The Night Before Christmas at Mottisfont

Close up of a decorated Christmas tree with open door in background

This event happened over in 2018 and has now finished. We'll be updating this page with information about Christmas 2019 later in the year.

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

Outdoor decorations make sure you're given a festive welcome, from giant wreaths on the entry gates to floral displays on the bridges that lead into the grounds. The front of the house has been dressed in purple, gold and green foliage by floristry students from Highbury College.

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 take you through verses 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.

Spot a host of handcrafted mice hidden around the house this Christmas
A Father Christmas mouse and elf on a mantelpiece in the Whistler Room at Mottisfont, Hampshire
Spot a host of handcrafted mice hidden around the house this Christmas

Rooms are enhanced by luxurious, traditionally-styled decorations, with festive flower arrangements, mantelpieces draped with dramatic swags, and trees sparkling with hundreds of baubles. A 14ft tree, surrounded by a towering pile of children’s presents, takes 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.