An Enchanted Christmas with the Flower Fairies at Mottisfont

Green and gold baubles on the branches of a Christmas tree at Mottisfont

23 November - 5 January (excluding 24 and 25 December): magical woodlands await this Christmas, with decorations inspired by Cicely Mary Barker’s exquisite Winter Flower Fairy illustrations. The original artworks are on show in the second-floor art gallery, while the house and gardens are beautifully dressed with native winter foliage and traditional festive colours. Families can explore with a fairy-themed activity trail.

You'll find an exhibition of the original flower fairy illustrations in the upstairs art gallery, including the Christmas Tree, Holly and Winter Jasmine fairies. Instantly recognisable and utterly enchanting, the Flower Fairies still cast a spell years after they were first created in the early 20th century.

The Christmas Tree Fairy ©The Estate of Cicely Mary Barker, 1940
The original Christmas Tree Fairy illustration by Cicely Mary Barker
The Christmas Tree Fairy ©The Estate of Cicely Mary Barker, 1940

The fairies have sprinkled festive magic around the rest of the house and grounds to create a captivating Christmas. Decorations are inspired by the natural winter world the fairies inhabit. Indoor and outdoor spaces are dressed with swags of holly and ivy from our own woodlands, creeping moss and twinkling lights.

The winter garden has been transformed with little fairy dwellings, tucked secretively among the flowering plants. There are pixie-sized scenes in the lower corridor, too, leading into a festive ‘forest’ in the Cellarium, with hints of Father Christmas himself.

Families can discover these festive moments as they explore the grounds with a fairy-themed activity trail.

A girl admires a large Christmas tree in the Whistler Room at Mottisfont, Hampshire

Christmas for families 

The Winter Flower Fairies will guide you through our decorated grounds with a festive family trail. The mischievous woodland creatures that live in our gardens have stolen Father Christmas’ to do list - can you help the fairies find it for him?

Pathways illuminated by lanterns lead up to the house. Inside, themed decorations and atmospheric lighting create a winter woodland fantasy, while decorated Christmas trees and piles of wrapped presents give a festive feel.

The house will be adorned with an enchanted woodland theme
Foliage, decorations and an ornamental urn on a marble mantelpiece at Mottisfont, Hampshire
The house will be adorned with an enchanted woodland theme

Each room is decorated for a different fairy. The Old Man’s Beard Fairy is tucked up in the White Bedroom, while the Red Room is the perfect setting for the Holly Fairy’s glossy colours. A 14ft tree provides the grand finale in the Whistler Room, dressed traditionally to imitate the Christmas Tree Fairy.

Planning your visit

  • An Enchanted Christmas with the Flower Fairies runs from 23 November – 5 January, excluding 24 and 25 December when the whole property is closed. The grounds (including the trail), shop and cafés open at 10am; the house and gallery open at 11am. We close at 4pm - last entry into the property and house is 3.30pm. 
  • Normal property admission price only (free for National Trust members, Art Fund members and under 5s), plus £1 per trail. If you’re visiting with a carer or essential companion, they visit for free. For paying visitors we offer discounted entry from 3pm.
  • It's free to park here - our car park next to the Welcome Centre has around 400 spaces.
  • We're expecting to be busy, particularly during the Christmas holiday period - please be aware we may be staggering entry into the house with a queuing system. This will help prevent overcrowding, to give all our visitors the best possible experience.
  • We ask that prams/pushchairs into the house are left outside the house - we will have a buggy park with spare rain covers available. We have hip-carrying infant seats for loan in the Entrance Hall.
  • If you arrive at 10am you might find the grounds a little quieter before we start to get more busy from 11am. Or, if you have the flexibility, a weekday visit is generally quieter than a weekend, even during school holidays. If you can only visit over the weekend, Saturdays are usually less busy than Sundays.