Christmas in and around East Sussex

This article is about Christmas 2021. Check back later in the year for more information about Christmas 2022 at National Trust places nearby. Our places in East Sussex are getting ready to share their festive traditions with you. Discover decorated houses and twinkly Christmas trees. Little ones will love the new Percy The Park Keeper™ winter adventure activity trail around the gardens, with different activities and games at each participating place. Or head out for a winter walk on our estates, then warm chilly hands around a hot chocolate.

Every time you visit you help us keep those Christmas lights twinkling bright for years to come.

A family walking in the woods at Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire

Latest visiting update 

Our gardens, parks, cafés, shops, countryside locations and many houses are open. You no longer need to pre-book at many places. Some still require booking ahead, so please check the property webpage before you travel.​

A decorated Christmas tree in the wood panelled hallway at Batemans

Bateman's 

See the house decked in traditional snowy white, complete with foliage from the estate and a Christmas tree adorned with decorations inspired by the May Morris Orange Tree embroidery. Look out for orange-themed decorations inspired by visitors' own needlework, and discover more about the embroidery and other treasures from the collection in a special display. Families will love the outdoor Percy the Park Keeper™ trail, with welly hoopla and a mini wheelbarrow obstacle course. Look out for Percy’s personal touch on the snowy-white Christmas tree. The Mulberry tearoom is stocked with hot chocolates and festive treats. Runs 27 November to 3 January (trail from 4 Dec, £2 per trail).

Father Christmas beckons visitors to come into Bodiam Castle

Bodiam Castle 

Climb aboard the festive Christmas’ sleigh in the Castle Courtyard, and snap a festive photo (1 December to 3 January). Look out for winter characters including Father Christmas, Mother Christmas or elves wandering the courtyard or seated on thrones (selected dates 4 to 23 December). The Wharf tea-room has warming hot chocolate and festive treats, and the shop is open for Christmas gifts.

Scotney Castle Library Christmas Desk

Scotney Castle 

The ground floor of the mansion will be decorated for Christmas Eve in the early 1900s, after the annual Scotney ball. Christmas trees glisten and presents lay unopened, as the family settle down for the night in preparation for more celebrations tomorrow. Outdoors, there's a new trail all about Percy the Park Keeper™, with giant welly hoopla and a wheelbarrow station for more Percy-inspired fun. Admire the twinkly tree in the main courtyard, and pop by the tea-room filled with seasonal treats. For those that are welly-ready, there’s plenty of wintery walks to enjoy across the estate. Decorated rooms 27 Nov to 3 Jan. Percy trail 4 Dec to 3 Jan, £2 per trail, normal admission applies.

Christmas hampers on sale in our shop

Sissinghurst Castle Garden 

Browse local food, crafts and gifts to live music at the Sissinghurst festive market (27 & 28 November). See the Library and South Cottage dressed with atmospheric scenes evoking Vita and Harold’s legendry evening parties, with poetry readings throughout the festive period in the Library too. Learn more about Vita and Harold's present giving during the festive period, then hang your very own note on the Sissinghurst Christmas giving tree about what you’re gifting this Christmas. Outdoors, there’s wildlife bingo for families - don't forget to shout “Bingo” as loud as you can when you're done! There are festive lunches with homegrown veg throughout December in the Granary Restaurant too.

Percy the Park Keeper

More fun with Percy the Park Keeper 

Percy the Park Keeper is visiting lots of our places across the region and beyond this winter. We've created activity trails that'll bring the whole family closer to nature, with unique games and activities at each place. The time you spend with us during winter helps us look after nature, beauty and history for everyone to enjoy. Click below to find more fun with Percy.