Deck the halls and see the lights twinkle at National Trust places this Christmas

Press release
Two people stand in the porch of Saltram house infront of a big christmas tree
Published : 21 Sep 2017 Last update : 22 Sep 2017

If you’re looking for somewhere special to escape the high street crowds this Christmas, look no further than the National Trust. See historic houses decked out for the season in the style of centuries gone by, or stroll through frosty winter gardens covered in sparkling lights and illuminations.

Check out the decorations inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s works at his house Batemans in Sussex, or head to Dorset to see the spectacular ruins of Corfe Castle illuminated at night. After all that, warm yourself with the knowledge that each magical day out supports the National Trust’s work as a charity looking after special places for future generations to enjoy. 

Here are the National Trust’s pick of the best places to see spectacular Christmas decorations in 2017:

South West

Cotehele, Cornwall
Christmas flower garland, 1 Nov – 6 Jan (except 25 & 26 Dec), 11am – 4pm

When the residents of Cotehele first hung a modest, floral, Christmas display in the hall just over 60 years ago, little did they know how their simple decoration would turn into the magnificent and famous tradition it is today. All of the flowers (20,000-40,000 depending on the growing season) are grown and dried on the estate, and you're welcome in the hall to watch the gardeners build it. Why not return once it’s hanging to admire their completed masterpiece, and listen to local choirs performing festive tunes underneath it?
N.B. the gardeners will make the 100ft dried flower garland in the hall of the house from 1 – 10 Nov, and then it will hang from 11 Nov – 6 Jan (closed 25 - 26 December). Booking essential for choirs, see website for details
Price: Free event (normal admission charges apply)

Tyntesfield, Bristol
Victorian Christmas, 25 Nov – 2 Jan, see website for opening times

Experience Christmas past as you join the Gibbs family and their servants in preparation for the festive period at Tyntesfield. Not only will the house be decadently decorated from top to bottom in Victorian garb, but history will be brought to life by the Gibbs family themselves, who will dance and sing you through the house to discover more about life in a Victorian country house at Christmas. Afterwards you can enjoy a breath of fresh air on a winter stroll across the estate, or go in search of warm mince pies in the café.
Price: Normal admission applies. Entry to house by ticket only – pre-bookable tickets will be available online, or there will be a limited number available on the door.

Saltram, Devon
Enchanted Christmas, 20 Nov – 30 Dec (except Christmas Day), 10am – 8pm. 
24 Dec, 10am-4pm

This Christmas Saltram has been enchanted by some famous fairytales, with decorations that are sure to enchant visitors of all ages. This year’s rooms are inspired by stories of magical journeys through woods and seas. The fun doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down either, as the gardens will be filled with bright illuminations to help lift the dark winter nights. Take a stroll explore this magical wonderland, and then head to the cosy Park Café or Chapel Tea Room for a warming drink and a bite to eat.
Price: Normal admission applies

Corfe Castle, Dorset
Winter Lights, 9, 15, 16, 18 - 23 & 27 - 30 December, 4 - 7pm

Settled high on a hill, the ruins of Corfe Castle can be seen towering over the landscape for miles around. They’re even more magical at Christmas, when the whole castle will be illuminated by lights and lanterns, and brimming with festive atmosphere. 
Price: Normal admission applies 

London and South East

Mottisfont, Hampshire
All the Colours of Christmas, 25 Nov – 2 Jan, 10am – 4pm

Inspired by the vibrant Kaffe Fasset displays in the gallery, Mottisfont will be celebrating Christmas with a bit of colour and sparkle. Discover plenty of traditional decorations, plus a few with some modern twists. The house itself will be dressed with statement trees, piles of presents and dramatic flower arrangements, each room will have a different colour theme. Outside there’ll be artist installations and celebrations of natural winter colours. 
Price: Normal admission applies 

Bateman’s, East Sussex
Rewards & Fairies, 2 Dec to 1 Jan (closed 24 & 25 December), 11.30am to 3.30pm

This Christmas, creatures from Rudyard Kipling’s Sussex fairy tales will cast their magic around Batemans, his family home. Look out for miniature handmade decorations and glowing doors to the homes of fairies that live among the books on the author’s very own shelves. From cooking pine cones to crafty carpentry, turning books into baubles and lighting up fairy homes, there is no stone left unturned as the National Trust team and volunteers bring Kipling’s tales to life around the house and garden.
Price: Normal admission applies. 

Petworth, West Sussex
A Grand Tour Christmas, 2 Dec – 1 Jan (closed 24th & 25th Dec), 11am – 3pm

Like most wealthy landowners of their day, the 2nd and 3rd Earls of Egremont both embarked on ‘Grand Tours’ of Europe during their younger days, where they explored new cultures and collected trinkets and artworks to take home. Petworth is still full of these treasures, which have inspired this year’s Christmas decorations in the house. Visitors will be able to venture on their own imagined Grand Tour of Europe, and get up close to treasures that the family collected on their travels.
Price: Normal admission applies 

Uppark, West Sussex
Country House Victorian Christmas Party, 2 – 31 Dec, times

Lady Featherstonhaugh is hosting one of her famous Christmas parties – and you’re invited. Head ‘below stairs’ and discover how a country house like Uppark celebrated Christmas in the Victorian era. Then sneak up to the ground floor to see the excesses enjoyed by the household. Meet some of the servants, re-created by talented paper artist Delicarte, or visit at the weekend to be greeted by some of the estates’ ‘real’ servants. There’s also plenty of fun for little ones with the outdoor trail that will take them on an adventure into the world of Victorian festive foods and traditions.
Price: Normal admission applies. Family trail: £2 per child

East of England

Wimpole, Cambridgeshire
Grand Tour Christmas, Fri - Mon throughout Dec (closed 25th Dec), 11am – 4pm

This year Wimpole’s Christmas is themed around the ‘Grand Tour’ – a trip around Europe that wealthy young men used to take in order to experience other cultures and deepen their education. It was while on the Tour that the third Earl of Hardwicke met architect Sir John Soane – who he later commissioned to remodel parts of Wimpole. Visitors can expect sumptuous and intricate decorations in the style of 18th and 19th century European tastes. 
Price: Normal admission applies 

Blickling, Norfolk
Christmas is Coming
House open: 1 - 3 and 8 – 10 Dec, 12pm – 5pm (last entry). Closed 4 – 7 Dec.
Grounds open: 1 - 3 and 8 – 10 Dec, 11am – 7pm, 4 – 7 December, 11am – 6pm.

The 11th Marquess of Lothian was a politician, diplomat whose patient efforts to help forge a new future for India as it became independent from the British Empire. 70 years on from the Act of Indian Independence, his work is being celebrated at Blicking with a year-long exploration of the story and Indian culture, culminating in a beautiful Christmas display. The house will be decorated with an Indian theme, with colours of gold, green and white. Meet the costumed interpreters who will make you feel at home, and see the cooks in the 1930s kitchen, whipping up a festive delight for Lord Lothian. There’s plenty to see outside too with the iconic Christmas trees lining the Temple walk and the Parterre festooned with sparkling lights.
Price: Normal admission applies 

Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk
Christmas at Oxburgh, 9-10 and 16-17 December, 11am – 4pm

Christmas is fast approaching, but if you need a bit of help getting into the festive spirit then why not escape to Oxburgh Hall for the day? Victorian costumed interpreters will be waiting to welcome you inside, where you’ll find the ground floor of the house festooned with traditional wreaths and decorations, filling the air with the scent of spices and pine needles. Hear seasonal music performed on the Victorian Saloon piano, or head to the chapel to join in with the carol singers. 
Price: Normal admission applies


Calke, Derbyshire
Christmas at Calke, Sat 2, Sun 3, Sat 9, Sun 10, Sat 16, Sun 17, Sat 23, 11am–6pm (last entry 5pm) 

The days might be crisp and the nights drawing in, but you can stave off the winter blues by heading to see Calke all lit up for Christmas. Enjoy the festive lights and illuminations in the grounds, and follow the candlelit trail up to the church. True to the traditions of the reclusive Harpur Crewe family, the Christmas decorations inside the house are humble but cosy. You’ll find a traditional tree beside the stairs, and a fire in the grate to curl up next to and warm those cold fingers and toes. 
Price: Normal admission applies

Upton House, Warwickshire
Christmas at Upton, Friday – Monday between 25 Nov and 18 Dec, 12pm - 4pm

Follow the story of Upton the ‘Made-To-Measure’ house this Christmas time as fancy and abandon mingle to merry effect.  From Victorian pomp to twenties Art Deco glamour, see the house decorated in different styles and hear how modern Christmas fashions were created.  Pick up tips from interwar home experts: delightful decorating schemes; charming presents, and festive family games to make your home sparkle with mirth.  
Price: Normal admission applies 


Dunham Massey, Cheshire
Christmas at Dunham Massey, 1–3, 8–10 and 14–24 December, 4.45 – 10pm

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Dunham Massey, and the gardens are all aglow with light. Follow the one-mile sparkling path as it winds through the woods to see the canopy illuminated with shards of light and hung with snowflakes and sparkling baubles. There will be plenty more magical surprises along the way, not least the spectacular water feature finale. Afterwards warm up with your favourite winter tipple, or enjoy some toasted marshmallows around one of the fire pits while the aroma of roasted chestnuts fills the air. 
Price: Adult £16, child £10, plus parking £6. Booking essential
Wallington, Northumberland
Christmas at Wallington, 1, 8, 15 & 22 December, 5 – 7.30pm and 2 - 3, 9 – 10, 16 – 17 & 23 December, 10am – 4pm

Admire the beautiful themed decorations and soak up the special Christmas atmosphere on a visit to Wallington at weekends during December. Visit on Friday evenings to experience the mansion after dark: beautifully decorated for Christmas and illuminated by thousands of twinkly lights.  You can also listen to festive music, get stuck in with some Christmas crafts or sit down for stories with Mrs Christmas on the sofa in the Drawing Room.   
Price: Normal admission applies 

Nostell, Yorkshire
A Clockwork Christmas,  2 – 3, 8 – 10 & 15 – 18 December, 10am - 4pm 

Experience a ‘Clockwork’ Christmas at Nostell this year - part of a year of celebrations marking the 300th birthday of one of the first longcase clocks, handmade by the famous inventor John Harrison. The house will be filled with clockwork themed decorations and toys, with plenty of family activities on offer and a giant picture frame for a seasonal family selfie.
Price: Normal admission applies 

Allan Bank, Cumbria
Homemade Christmas, Friday – Sunday 1 – 17 December, 10.30am – 4pm

Allan Bank has been a home to many families who each had their own personal ways of decorating the house at Christmas. Today the National Trust staff, visitors and volunteers have a new tradition - decorating the house with homemade crafts and plants gathered from the grounds. At the heart of the house stands the Christmas tree, and wreaths decorating the stairs, fires lit in the grates and the record player on to make Allan Bank a festive home from home. Outside, the garden bothy & veranda will also be dressed for the season with natural decorations, potted Christmas trees, lanterns, quirky home-crafted birdfeeders and homes for winter wildlife.
Price: Normal admission applies 

Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal, Yorkshire
Music and lights at Christmas, 25 – 26 November, 2 – 3, 9, 16 – 17, 23 & 27 – 31 December, 3 – 5pm 

Wander through the estate to see the trees twinkling with light and the abbey all aglow with the colours of the rainbow.  Tuck into hot festive food from the barbeque near the Abbey Tea-Room and stop by the cellarium and Fountains Hall to catch some live festive music.  
Price: Normal admission applies


Powis Castle, Powys
Christmas illuminations, Fri – Sun between 1-17 Dec, 5pm-9pm (last entry 8pm)

Brighten up your dark winter nights with a stroll around the spectacularly lit formal garden, terraces and courtyard of Powis Castle. Afterwards, explore the castle’s State Rooms which provide a stunning backdrop for a ‘Christmas with a twist’. The vibrant display will fire your imagination with a range of different Christmas trees, but not as you’ll have seen them before. If you’re looking for something to get you into the Christmas spirit, this is an event not to be missed.
Price: Normal admission applies

Chirk Castle, Wrexham
Christmas through the Ages, 2 - 23 December, see website for opening times

Chirk has seen many Christmas celebrations since it was built in the early 1300s. This year the castle will be festooned with different styles of decorations, charting the progress of Christmas trimmings over the last 700 years. From the ‘Medieval Christmas’ in the courtyard and Adam’s Tower to the Tudor Kissing Bough in the Portcullis and the Hop Garland in the Long Gallery, there’s plenty to discover about how the festive season was celebrated in centuries gone by.
Main activities take place on weekends, or visit on a weekday to get away from the crowds and enjoy the decorations.
Price: Normal admission applies 

Aberdulais, Neath Port Talbot
Night at the Tinworks - 28 Nov & 5 Dec, 5.30 – 8pm

Looking for something a bit different to the usual Christmas lights? Head to Aberdulais tinworks and step back in time to the Victorian era. Using lights, sounds and silhouettes, join the National Trust team on a lantern lit walk as they take you back in time to see and hear first-hand what it was like working in a bustling tinworks. 
Price: Non-members: Adult £7.50, child £3.75. NT members: Adult £2, child £1. Booking advisable.

Tredegar House, Newport
Christmas Traditions at Tredegar House, 25-26 Nov, 29 Nov-3 Dec, 6-10 Dec, 13-17 Dec

Travel through time at Tredegar House this Christmas as we explore traditions past and present. The state rooms will be filled with music and merriment throughout and families can get stuck in with festive celebrations as they explore the traditionally decorated mansion house. Make a wish to hang on the wish tree, stir the Christmas pudding and make paper chains before heading to the Servants’ Hall for a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie. Father Christmas will be stopping over in the stables this year as he makes preparations for his busiest night of the year. Dates for his visit can be found on the website.
Price: Normal admission applies

Every single visit supports the National Trust’s conservation work, looking after special places for people to enjoy for years to come.