Christmas with the National Trust 2

Six more Christmas National Trust ideas for places to go, things to see. These are slightly further afield but make a great day out.

by Katy Dunn

The National Trust historic houses are decorated in the style of Christmases gone by.  Stroll through frosty winter gardens, discover festive crafts to try at home, and tuck into delicious seasonal treats.

Don’t forget about the special Percy the Park Keeper winter trails at 122 National Trust places. Nick Butterworth’s most beloved characters will help your little ones enjoy the great outdoors!

Each of your festive days out will support the National Trust’s work as a charity looking after special places for future generations to enjoy.

 nationaltrust.org.uk/percy

1. Hughenden (near High Wycombe)

Hughenden is celebrating the nature, beauty, and history of their gardens this Christmas. The gardens were created in the 1860s by Mary Anne Disraeli and the garden team of today continue to care for them.

Mary Anne’s love of bright, bold colours is reflected in the colour scheme of vibrant reds, iridescent blue, and gold. In the stableyard, the 15-foot conifer tree features garden icons in miniature. Look for the spades and trowels, wheelbarrows and wellies.

In the manor, wooden baubles in the library reflect Disraeli’s passion for trees and books. Volunteers hand-carved the baubles using wood from the Hughenden estate. The garden hall, with its beautiful views of the formal gardens, features the showpiece of the Christmas theme. The showpiece is a glittering red blue, and gold homage to Disraeli’s beloved peacocks who roamed the estate.

Opening times

10am-4pm, last entry 3.30pm. Saturday, 20 November to Monday, 3 January.

House – 11am-3pm, last entry 2.15pm. Numbers in the house are limited for safety, places available on a first-come, first-serve basis on the day only.

Percy the Park Keeper’s winter wander

From 10am – 3.30pm, Saturday, 4 December – Monday, 3 January. Pick up your trail sheet from visitor reception when you arrive. Suitable for children aged 3-8 years.

2. Cliveden (near Maidenhead)

Winter is a wonderful time of year to reconnect with family and friends on frosty walks in the great outdoors. Spend time making new memories or picking up where you left off in Cliveden’s 400 acres of gardens, woodland, and riverside .

Percy the Park Keeper’s winter wander

Saturday 4 December – Thursday 23, December. Meet by the Info Centre to collect a trail map.

3. Basildon Park (near Reading)

This year, Basildon Park is inviting the woodland into the house, and bringing lights to the wintry woodland. The walk up to the house is full of shadow and mystery throughout autumn. The lights transform it in winter into a twinkling promenade of hope and reflection. Inside the house, a forest of Christmas trees awaits to delight the senses. There are sounds of woodland animals, the smell of pine, orange and cinnamon and the gentle caress of cool, silky fir branches.

There are also wreath-making workshops to book onto at the Basildon Park website from 26 November.

Percy the Park Keeper’s winter wander

Sat 4 Dec – Mon 3 Jan, 10am-4pm

4. The Vyne (near Basingstoke)

This year, the mansion is luxuriously decorated like a Victorian Christmas. Glittering Christmas trees and traditional decorations fill the ground floor rooms. An indoor family trail takes children on an adventure back in time. Enjoy wintery walks with beautiful views across fields, woods, and wetlands. At the end of the walk, enjoy warm mulled wine and mince pies in the café.

27 November – 2 January (closed 24 & 25 December)

Percy the Park Keeper’s winter wander

Saturday 4 December – Monday, 3 January

5. Greys Court (near Henley-on-Thames)

Greys Court is celebrating a family Christmas this year with Brunner family traditions. Christmas dinner is on the dining table and handmade decorations are all around. There is the scent of real fir trees and music playing throughout the house. Sense the nostalgic feel of happy Christmas memories spent with loved ones.

Throughout December book one of the candlelit tours on selected evenings. It promises to be a cosy, festive experience in the house at Greys Court. If you’re lucky on your visit, you may be able to sample some of Lady Brunner’s gingerbread. Our volunteers lovingly bake them to her recipe.

6. Chastleton (near Stow-on-the-Wold)

This Christmas we invite you to imagine the festive season as enjoyed by the first owner of Chastleton House, Walter Jones.

See the house decked in traditional Jacobean style, complete with dried flowers and greenery from the garden. As you wind your way through the decorated rooms, you may notice the scents of Christmas; wood smoke, oranges and spices. Listen to the sounds of the fire crackling in the grate, traditional lute music and the bustle of festivities.

Along the way, you can discover stories of how the Jones family may have celebrated the season. Look out for the Great Hall, its table is laid with the family pewter, glinting in the firelight. The kitchen will be the heart of festive preparation, with ale and food arriving through the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Opening Times

11am – 3pm, last entry into the house at 2.30pm, Saturday 27 November – Sunday, 5 December

For more information visit

National Trust