The Night Before Christmas at Mottisfont

A Father Christmas mouse and elf on a mantelpiece in the Whistler Room at Mottisfont, Hampshire

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse... Scenes from Clement C. Moore's much-loved poem will be brought to life at Mottisfont this Christmas, with exquisitely decorated rooms and a festive family trail.

The Night Before Christmas runs from 24 November – 6 January, 10am-4pm (excluding 24 and 25 December). Normal property admission price only.

A team of garden florists will make sure you’re given a festive welcome with outdoor decorations, from giant wreaths on the entry gates to floral displays on the bridges that lead you into the grounds. Follow pathways illuminated by decorated lanterns to discover Father Christmas’s sleigh in front of the house; and, of course, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen – all crafted from willow.

Inside the house, oversized books and set-dressed rooms will take you through each verse of the poem, from children’s dreams to hints of Father Christmas’s impending visit. And, unlike the poem, the mice are definitely stirring here, hidden in nooks and crannies. Spot a carolling choir, tiny Christmas helpers, and little robed monks hinting at Mottisfont’s medieval past.

Mottisfont is full of rich and vibrant Christmas decorations
Assorted gold-coloured Christmas decorations on white mantelpiece
Mottisfont is full of rich and vibrant Christmas decorations

Rooms will be enhanced by luxurious, traditionally-styled decorations, with festive flower arrangements, mantelpieces draped with dramatic swags, and towering trees sparkling with hundreds of baubles. A 14ft tree, surrounded by a pile of children’s presents, will take centre stage in the Whistler Room as a grand finale.

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

Christmas for families at Mottisfont 

Families can follow in Father Christmas’s footsteps around the grounds with an active trail, great for warming up on cold days. Take part in Santa’s sack race, throw some presents down a chimney, and visit Father Christmas’s workshop in the Cellarium.

Mottisfont’s Christmas involves 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.