Christmas Celebrations at the National Trust

As the nights are drawing in and the air is getting colder, of course, Christmas isn’t far away. Finally, it’s time to get into the festive spirit! And, there’s no better way than visiting National Trust places all decked out for the season.

by Katy Dunn

The historic National Trust houses in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire are all 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.

After all that, warm yourself with the knowledge that each festive day out supports the National Trust’s work. The charity looks after special places for future generations to enjoy.

Plus Percy the Park Keeper Activity Trail

The National Trust is working in association with the best-selling author and illustrator Nick Butterworth. Together they bring Percy the Park Keeper winter wander to introduce children and their families to the busy park keeper and his animal friends.

The self-led trail invites you and your family and friends to join Percy’s team as he races to get the park and its animals ready for winter.

Read Percy’s handwritten note and donn his famous hat. You can then follow clues to help find Percy’s equipment. Along the way enjoy activities and games as you complete the trail.

At the end of the trail celebrate with a photo-op with Percy and your little ones will take home a prize too.

Trail information
  • Price: £2 per trail, plus normal admission applies.

Celebrate places and seasonal events at National Trust properties in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. 

nationaltrust.org.uk/percy

Stowe (near Buckingham)

The garden glistens with crisp frost in winter and the mist drifts across the lakes. This is what makes Stowe all the more mysterious and magical at this time of year. Once a hostelry, New Inn will be decorated to welcome you to Stowe in the spirit of festive cheer. There are also festive delights in the café and Christmas shopping in the shop.

Percy the Park Keeper’s winter wander

10am – 4pm, Saturday 4 December – Monday 3 January. Last admission at 3pm.

Canons Ashby (North of Towcester)

Canons Ashby will be dressed in festive finery with traditional and natural decorations and hand-made paper displays. There’ll be a feast fit for the season in the Georgian Dining Room and photo opportunities in the Great Hall. There are Christmas wreath workshops in November.

Traditional Christmas concert with Eboracum Baroque on 5.30-6.30pm, Saturday, 27 November. (book on the website).

Percy the Park Keeper’s winter wander

Saturday, 4 December – Sunday, 2 January. Pick up trails from visitor reception.

Waddesdon (near Aylesbury)

Christmas at Waddesdon is back with magical lights and the gardens aglow in an enchanting outdoor extravaganza. As twilight falls, stroll under the stars beneath magically illuminated tree canopies. Moving lights and playful installations will transform them. The rose garden will glow with flowers, there are giant dandelions and an interactive area with bubble tubes.

For the first time ever, the Parterre gets in on the act with a light show highlighting the geometric shapes of the bedding. The Manor’s facade will be bathed in dancing light set to music, and along Miss Alice’s Drive, there’s a display of lanterns and boats decorated by local schoolchildren.

The famous Christmas Fair is also back, where you can soak up the Christmas atmosphere. You’ll certainly be able to stock up on gifts from selected exhibitors in charming wooden chalets.

Christmas Market

12 noon-7 pm, 13 November -23 December 2021, Wednesday-Sunday. Booking necessary.

Light show in the grounds 13 November – 23 December. Wed to Sun. Booking necessary.