A Storybook Christmas at Chartwell
This Christmas at Chartwell, step into a magical storybook world. Each room in the house has decorations themed on a children’s book, look out for a shadow on the stairs and the swish of a tail under the Christmas tree! Outside, follow a trail of favourite storybook characters through the Walled Garden.
Christmas in the house
25 November – 23 December 12–3.30pm (last entry 3.10pm). Normal admission applies.
Delve into a nostalgic storybook Christmas at Chartwell. Join us this festive season as we explore the favourite storybooks of Winston Churchill’s beloved daughter, Mary, who spent an idyllic childhood in the grounds of Chartwell. Themed trees, gorgeous garlands and magical touches will transform the ground floors of the house into a cosy Christmas spectacle.
A storybook Christmas
Winston would often read to Mary in the evenings and she had several favourite stories. See if you can spot which storybook has inspired the Christmas decorations in each room of the house.
The Sitting Room will set the scene for an immersive journey into Mary’s imagination. Books tied up with ribbon will nestle beneath a towering Christmas tree decorated with reds and golds and the fireplace will be adorned with a garland of natural foliage from the grounds. Mary’s dolls will be lined up waiting for her to read to them.
As you continue into the Hallway, a whimsical birdcage will hang from the ceiling with mistletoe cascading down. You may glimpse a shadow dancing up the stairs and a hook curling around the lift. The Drawing Room will feature giant blue peonies and a sea of ticking clocks. Look out for the swish of a reptilian tail under the Christmas tree!
The tree in the Library will be elegantly decorated with black baubles, while in the Kitchen, things may seem a little out of sorts with a tree of teapots and a collection of ‘eat me’ and ‘drink me’ bottles. In the Dining Room, a luscious Roman feast will be laid out with laurel centrepieces. Come and experience Chartwell at Christmastime, as if seen through Mary’s imagination.
When to visit
The ground floors of the house will be open and specially decorated for Christmas from 25 November until 23 December 12–3.30pm (last entry 3.10pm). House tickets will be available from the Visitor Centre on the day. Normal admission applies.
Storybook Christmas trail
25 November – 7 January, 10am–4pm. Normal admission plus £3 per trail including a prize.
New for this Christmas, discover a magical sculpture trail of storybook characters through the Walled Garden.
Pass the red guards at the entrance and explore the garden to see if you can find the White Rabbit, Black Beauty and Cinderella’s sparkling carriage, overflowing with pumpkins. Meet the Tin Man, spot the Hungry Caterpillar and even board a pirate ship along the way. Don’t miss the Narnian-inspired doorway into the Marycot.
Choose your favourite characters and design the ultimate Christmas dinner guest list to complete this festive family trail.
4 – 22 December, 12–1.30pm. £32 for three courses.
Enjoy Christmas lunch with all the trimmings in the Lady Soames Room at Chartwell. View the menu and then book a table online. Please see the event listing for more information or call us on 01732 861142.
There's nothing like a Christmas carol to get you in the festive mood. This year we are welcoming local music groups to Chartwell to perform festive tunes outside the house at Chartwell.
- Saturday 25 November 2-3pm – Oxted Band
- Saturday 2 December 2-3pm – Forge Musical Theatre
- Saturday 9 December 2-3pm – 17th Tonbridge Scout & Guide Band
- Saturday 16 December 2-3pm – West Kingsdown Guitar Group
11 & 14 December (pre-school) 18 & 21 December (ages 4+) 11am-12pm & 1pm-2pm. £5, booking essential.
Families can head to our cosy cottage nestled in the gardens to hear extracts from classic books such as Alice in Wonderland, Black Beauty, A Christmas Carol and the Princess and the Goblin. Tickets include hot chocolate and a snack for the children. Christmas jumpers are encouraged! Book storytelling sessions.
If you’re looking to blow the cobwebs away, head out on a crisp winter walk around the frost-covered gardens or wider estate and enjoy misty views over the weald. The grounds are open daily 10am–4pm excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Explore the beloved home of one of Britain's greatest politicians, Sir Winston Churchill. The house has many treasures and provides an intimate portrait of the Churchill family.
From tasty treats and hot and cold dishes, to souvenirs, gifts and Churchill memorabilia, you'll be spoiled for choice in the Chartwell café and shop. Why not treat yourself?
Find out about Clementine Ogilvy Spencer-Churchill (née Hozier), a keen promoter of social and humanitarian causes, who was far more than just Sir Winston Churchill’s wife.
Winter illuminations, a chance to meet Father Christmas, family trails and elaborate decorations are just some of what’s in store at the places we care for over the festive season in 2023.
Many of the houses and buildings in our care that will be transformed with colour this Christmas. Find out more about our winter illuminations and lights trails and book tickets for your visit.
Step back in time and experience a historic Christmas first-hand. See houses decked out with decorations from across history and be transported right back to the festivities of the time.
Find perfect Christmas presents or stock up on seasonal treats and decorations at a Christmas market or winter fair.