A Christmas Journey to the North Pole at Mottisfont
Follow letters to Father Christmas on a magical journey to the North Pole, from children dreaming in decorated bedrooms to a polar bear’s ball, and experience the wonder of the northern lights.
A Christmas Journey to the North Pole
25 November 2023 - 7 January 2024 (whole property closed 24 and 25 December)
Enter the house to find richly-decorated trees, piles of beautifully-wrapped presents and extravagant floral arrangements created by Mother Christmas herself. Find Father Christmas’s study piled high with letters, and tiptoe past children asleep in decorated bedrooms. Follow their festive dreams to board the ‘Christmas Express’ into the North Pole, arriving just in time to join the glittering, snow-white polar bear’s ball. Experience the wonder of the northern lights over a towering tree sparkling with baubles.
Our family activity trail invites you to become an honorary elf for the day, helping to deliver Christmas wishes. Peek inside a postbox to discover the mechanism and magic behind the Christmas Postal Service. Play, explore and experiment in the elves' 'invention realm', help create stocking designs and test your stocking-stuffing skills.
Out in the grounds you'll also find festive floristry displays for photo opportunities.
Planning your visit: what you need to know
Entry: There's no need to book, unless you're planning a group visit (for 15 or more - see our group visits page for more information). Normal property admission price (free for National Trust members, Art Fund members and under-fives), plus £3 per trail. If you’re with a carer or essential companion, they visit for free.
When to visit: Christmas can be a busy time at Mottisfont, especially during the holidays. Most of our visitors tend to arrive between 11am and 2pm, which can cause congestion in the car park. If you arrive at 10am you might find the grounds a little quieter, or if you arrive after 2pm, there’s still time to enjoy all that Mottisfont has to offer. If you have the flexibility, a weekday visit is generally quieter than a weekend, even during school holidays. If you can only visit over the weekend, Saturdays are usually less busy than Sundays.
As Christmas is very popular, you may need to queue to view the decorations inside the house.
Parking: there's free parking in the car park next to the Welcome Centre, including accessible spaces. Please note that our car park surface can become uneven and muddy, particularly during periods of bad weather. Our car park can fill quickly on our busiest days, so you may need to queue; in extreme circumstances we may have to close the car park to allow spaces to free up. Please don't park in the village or on nearby verges.
Accessibility: toilets and changing facilities located at the entrance and at key points around the grounds. Buggies/pushchairs welcome in the gardens, but not in the house - please be prepared to leave these outside if going inside. Ramped or level entrances into the Welcome Centre, cafés and house. Gently-sloping areas and wide pathways around much of the grounds, which can be uneven and muddy in places during winter: sturdy footwear is recommended. Volunteer-driven mobility buggy service available.
Refreshments: drinks, snacks and light lunches with festive and family-friendly options are available from our cafés and additional outlets. Our cafés are busiest between 11am and 2pm, so you may need to queue at these peak times. If you’re looking to get a quick bite to takeaway, we recommend popping in before peak lunch hour to avoid the crowds.
The shop, plant centre and bookshop at Mottisfont are packed with great gift ideas. Why not treat yourself to a snack and drink at one of the cafés after a wander in the garden?
From activity trails in the garden to playing pooh sticks on the bridge, there's something for every young explorer to do at Mottisfont.
Explore Maud Russell’s 1930s neo-classical interiors, in an 18th-century house with medieval origins and enjoy changing art exhibitions in the spacious gallery.
Enjoy every season at Mottisfont, with its ancient trees and babbling brooks, from rich autumn foliage and the scented Winter Garden, to spring bulbs and, of course, the world-famous Rose Garden.
Mottisfont is a two pawprint rated place. Dogs on a short lead are welcome to explore most of the garden.