An Enchanted Christmas with the Flower Fairies at Mottisfont

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

Magical woodlands await at Mottisfont 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 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.

An Enchanted Christmas with the Flower Fairites runs from 23 November – 5 January, 10am-4pm (excluding 24 and 25 December). Normal property admission price only.

Twenty original illustrations are on display upstairs, 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 original Christmas Tree Fairy illustration by Cicely Mary Barker
The Christmas Tree Fairy

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 ‘forest’ in the Cellarium, where you’ll find Father Christmas’s cabin.

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

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.

Making Mottisfont’s Christmas 

Christmas comes together thanks to creative work from all staff and volunteers, including a craft group and garden florists, who come together to create decorations and dress the house and grounds to wow visitors year after year.

Any installations have to be carefully planned to protect the historic nature of the house and grounds and need to be durable to last the winter. Foliage for outdoor decorations is cut and collected from the managed woodland on Mottisfont’s wider estate. Everything – and everyone - comes together to create a Christmas that’s truly unique to Mottisfont.