The Nutcracker at Saltram (Booking essential)

A Christmas tree beside a nutcracker and presents

This Christmas it's the perfect time to meet up with family and friends to see the well loved story of The Nutcracker brought to life within the house. From Friday 19th November - Monday 3rd January, 10am - 4.30pm (there will be no evening opening or garden illuminations this year). Booking is essential to visit this year (whether you're looking to visit just the house or just the garden). Everything you need to know about booking is at the bottom of this page.


The Nutcracker

Christmas at Saltram
Christmas trees fill the Saloon at Saltram
Christmas at Saltram

This year the house will tell the well loved story of The Nutcracker through some of it's grandest rooms and with some of the best parts of our collection. This year we are open daytime only and there will be no evening opening and no illuminations within the garden. 

Christmas at Saltram
Nutcrackers line the stairs at Saltram
Christmas at Saltram

Amongst the other spectacular rooms, the grandest at Saltram, the Saloon, will be transformed into a magical fairytale forest with decadently decorated trees and magical interventions to make the house feel alive.

Natures real nutcrackers - Family trail

You've heard the story of the Christmas Nutcracker told in the house, but have you heard of nature's real nutcrackers? On arrival at the Welcome Centre (with your pre-booked ticket) pick up a free trail for the little ones to enjoy. 

Pick up a winter trail
Kids doing winter trail
Pick up a winter trail


Bobble hats at the ready, this Christmas the garden is the place to stretch your legs and enjoy the fresh winter air on a walk. Admire the gardens winter highlights and chat to a gardener to get some tips about how best to put your garden to bed over the winter months.


Winter courtyard cafe

Winter warmers served under the tipi
A family laugh as they drink under the tipi
Winter warmers served under the tipi

What makes you feel more festive than settling down to a festive treat beside a giant Christmas tree? snuggle up with family and friends with a festive treat in the winter courtyard café. Open 10-5 daily.

Coffee Trailer

Delicious festive coffees
Festive coffee at Dunstable Downs for Christmas 2020
Delicious festive coffees

Grab a hot drink or sweet treat at the Park Coffee Trailer before or after you set off on a walk around the parkland. 

Chapel Tea-room

The Chapel tearoom will be offering festive tea and cake on vintage crockery with views across the lawn to the house, the Chapel Tearoom is the perfect place to meet a friend or reunite with family. 

Opening times vary, so please check our homepage for up to date information. 

Gifts and food in the shop

Find some festive tipples in the shop
A table full of christmas gifts
Find some festive tipples in the shop

Searching for the perfect gift? Or perhaps you're after a special Christmas tipple? The shop has a range of quality christmassy products for all the family. Pop in to have a look round and beat the city centre crowds; the shop is open daily, 10am-5pm.

Booking your ticket to the House & Garden this Christmas

This year you will need to pre-book your visit

We welcome tens of thousands of visitors to Saltram over the Christmas period and we’re trialling a booking system so that everyone has an enjoyable visit and to help ensure that our visitors can explore the house and garden safely. By using a booking system we’re able to manage the capacity of visitors at Saltram at any one time so that everyone can have a fantastic experience.  

Booking a 'House and/ or garden inc. Nutcracker ticket' will be essential for any visitors wishing to visit the House & Garden between the 19th November and 3rd January even if you wish to visit the garden only. You do not need to book to visit the park, shop, Park Café or to park your vehicle during this time. We will not be admitting any visitors to the house and garden without a valid 'House and/ or garden inc. Nutcracker ticket'.

Tickets can be booked online using the link here or by calling 03442 491895. National Trust members and under 5s visit for free, standard admission charges apply at time of booking for non-members.

We expect to be fully booked for 'House and/ or garden inc. Nutcracker ticket' on popular days such as weekends and school holidays.

For 'The Nutcracker at Saltram and any visits to the gar there will be bookable slots starting at 10.30am and ending at 3.15pm on each day (last booking slot 2.15pm on Christmas Eve and NYE). This is the timeslot that you can enter House & Garden (you can arrive earlier to visit the park, shop or Park Cafe before going into the House & Garden if you wish to). Please note last admission into the House & Garden will be at 4pm (except on Christmas eve and NYE when it will be at 3pm)

The booking system is now live. Follow this link to book tickets for The Nutcracker at Saltram this year.

A few things to note:

  • Booking will be essential for any visit to the house and garden between Friday 19th November- Monday 3rd January. We will not be admitting any visitors to the house and garden without a valid ticket.
  • You will need to show your ticket on your phone or printed out to our team at Welcome Centre upon your arrival as well as your membership card if you are a member.
  • You can book a slot as close to an hour before your visit, if there is availability left on that day.
  • If you are just visiting the parkland you will not need to book a ticket. Please bear in mind that the car park will be busier than usual this time of year, if you are struggling to park for just parkland walks we recommend visiting outside of peak times before 10am or after 4:30pm when the car park will be quieter.
  • There is a car park charge of £3 for non-members. 

Merry Christmas from the staff and volunteer team at Saltram.



See the Christmas trees sparkle at Saltram
Mother and daughter look closely at a christmas tree at Saltram
See the Christmas trees sparkle at Saltram


Helpful info about visiting at Christmas

Will the illuminations within the garden be on this year? 

Unfortunately, the illuminations and lights within the garden will not be on this year. Sadly, due to budget cuts and staff losses we couldn't safely open the full event this year.  

Why do we have to book to visit this year? 

In previous years we have seen huge numbers of visitors come and visit at Christmas. This has been amazing to receive so much support from our local community. However, the Christmas experience did sometimes feel a little too busy at times, compromising on how enjoyable the experience was and often it became difficult to park. So, this year we have decided to introduce a booking system to manage the flow of visitors.

Will members need to book?  

Yes, members will still need to book..  

How much is it to visit this Christmas? 

Entry for National Trust members and children under 5 is free. For non-members it is £8 for an adult and £4 for a child. Visit the admissions page for prices for non-members.  

Do I have to pay to park? 

Parking is £3 per vehicle or free if you are a National Trust member. 

Will it still be free for members?  

Yes, entry for National Trust members and children under 5 is free. Visit the  admissions page for prices for non-members.  

Are you open during the evenings this Christmas?  

No. We will be open 10-4.30 from Friday 19th November- Monday 3rd January. Please check the opening times on the website before you visit.  

Can I bring in my pushchair?  

Yes, we want to make it as easy for you and your family to visit as we can, so all single pushchairs that are no more than 60 cm in width are very welcome in all areas of Saltram this Christmas. 

Can my dog come along too?  

Dogs are very welcome in the parkland; however, the house and garden where Christmas is held is a dog-free area. Dogs are allowed into the Courtyard under the tipi situated in the stables. 

Is the house accessible for wheelchairs?  

Due to the historic nature of the house and numerous sets of steps up and down, there is a limited route for wheelchair users which goes through 4 of the 6 spaces open at Christmas.  

Is Storytime with Father Christmas on this year?  

We are sad to say that we are unable to run Storytime with Father Christmas this year.  

Will Enchanted Saltram be back in 2022?  

We can’t yet say whether Enchanted Saltram along with the garden illuminations will be back next year.