Christmas at Petworth

A decorated 20 foot Christmas tree in the Chapel at Petworth House

Please note that until 1 January 2018 the only access to the house is for A Grand Tour Christmas, a creative Christmas display where selected state rooms are dressed for Christmas from countries found on the historic Grand Tour. Eight items connected to those countries are on display and suitable for adults and families. Entry to the house is free flow and there is no need to book. Not all the rooms of the house are open to view and not all of the Petworth collection is on display. To see the extent of the collection please visit us again from 26 March 2018 or return for a Treasuring Petworth tour from 2 January 2018

Inspired by the Grand Tour popular from the 17th to the 19th century, journey around Europe just as the family at Petworth did. Wandering the six rooms of the mansion you’ll discover theatre set cityscapes of countries on the Grand Tour dressed for Christmas alongside historic star items that connect to each country.

Discover the Christmas traditions that make each country unique with some hands on activities ideal for families.

Begin your exploration of Europe in the mansion shop and receive your own passport to take with you from country to country.  Then as you wander the rooms be sure to find one of our volunteers and have your passport stamped just as you would travelling abroad.

A decorated 20 foot Christmas tree in the Chapel at Petworth House

Say goodbye to England in Oak Hall decked with stockings and garlands. Taking centre stage is a cityscape of Petworth dressed for the season as well as a life sized Christmas feast installation complete with turkey, crackers and, the like them or loath them, Brussels sprouts.

No British setting would be complete at Petworth without a scene of the British landscape and in Oak Hall you’ll find a reproduction of a painting by JMW Turner, who would often visit Petworth to paint landscapes of the deer park created by Capability Brown.

Travel to France in the Somerset Room complete with a Parisian landscape set dotted with well known landmarks from the Eiffel Tower to the Notre Dame.  While you visit discover more about a popular tradition in France with a scene of shoes filled with sweets and treats placed by le père Noël.

The Somerset Room dressed for Christmas and highlighting the Boulle Commode

An unmissable feature is the André –Charles Boulle commode made around 1710, identical to two pieces ordered by Louis VIV for the Palace of Versailles. This rare example features sphinxes at its corners and lion's paws at its feet.

The Grand Tour at Petworth then takes you to Switzerland in the Red Room for an immersive experience that uses a lantern technique to project illuminations of Swiss scenes over the walls.

No holiday abroad is complete without a photo opportunity with the family, place your face into the frame and bring to life the Swiss scene adorned with cow bells that are famous throughout the country.

The last leg of your trip is into the Chapel where a 20-foot tree awaits you. Help us decorate the tree by colouring in your own ornaments or take them home to decorate your own. There are also blank cards where you can write wishes to hang, see if they come true.

Across from the mansion, in the Servants’ Quarters, discover how we made a Grand Tour Christmas possible and see the corridors decorated with garlands, wreaths and postcards from the countries you can visit on our Grand Tour.

Open every day 11am to 3:30pm, from 2 December to 1 January 2018 except 24 and 25 December and included within your entry ticket, visit Petworth for a continental Christmas experience like no other.

Outdoor fun for the family