Take in the magic of the English country house during the Christmas season with Royal Oak and the National Trust.
The National Trust offers something in every season. From blooming gardens and lush parkland in the spring and summer to crisp, kaleidoscopic leaves in the autumn, the hundreds of properties in the Trust’s care are always stunning.
However, there’s no time more festive at the National Trust than Christmas season. The air is crisp and the grounds beckon for a brisk winter walk. The houses emanate warmth. The decorations glisten, and take their inspiration from the unique history of the house and the families that have made it a home. Simply put: there is nothing quite like an English country house festooned for the season.
Now is the perfect time to book your visit to the UK for Christmas and take in the winter wonderland that is the National Trust. Your Royal Oak membership is your all-access pass to these Top 5 National Trust Christmas treasures! Plan your trip to see them and make this holiday season one to remember.
1. The Vyne, Hampshire
Celebrate Christmas across three different eras at The Vyne, where the history of the Tudor house marries perfectly with the holiday festivities to give visitors an educational and celebratory trip. Take a stroll through its gardens, which twinkle with brilliant lights throughout the season, and bring the kids along to enjoy the Cracker-making Factory in the house. Don’t miss out on the visiting carolers or the special Christmas treats in the property’s restaurant.
2. Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire
There aren’t many places on Earth so evocative of the romantic Christmas ideals than Waddeson, the French-style chateau near the Costwolds. The sprawling manor goes all-out for the season, and its picturesque rooms and grounds make the perfect canvas for seasonal decorations. Don’t just take our word for it: enjoy this glimpse at previous year’s installations.
The decorations are accompanied by other lovely seasonal events, including a Christmas shopping fair in the gardens. The 2015 Christmas Fair has already been announced – don’t miss out on a truly one-of-a-kind experience.
3. Croome Court, Worcestershire
Croome Court’s incredible 25-foot tall Christmas Tree is just the start of its holiday celebrations. The staff transforms the property’s Royal Air Force building, dressing it in 1940s decorations. The house itself borrows from the Georgian tradition, with trees in many of the rooms, and Father Christmas’ grotto makes Croome a must for families during the holiday season.
Take a look at the property’s other holiday events, which includes a Christmas market, craft workshops for adults and children and a carol concert!
4. Standen, West Sussex
A visit to Standen during the Christmas season offers a different experience each day, as the Advent Garden unveils a new feature each day. The house is decorated to reflect its history with the Beale family in the 1920s; Father Christmas, a Christmas market and seasonal desserts add flavor to Standen’s seasonal offerings.
Perhaps the highlight is the specatcular Christmas lights on the grounds: the 2013 light show, telling the story of The Nutcracker through lights and sounds, made The Guardian’s list of finest Christmas displays in the UK.
5. National Trust Historic House Hotels
Did you know you can stay in a historic property operated by the National Trust? Bodysgallen Hall, Northern Wales, Middlethorpe Hall, York and Hartwell House, Vale of Aylesbury offer unique opportunities to live in a property overflowing with history (and live in luxury, I might add). Best of all, all three properties have spectacular Christmas accommodations, featuring lavish Christmas feasts, champagne receptions and meticulously decorated grounds. The rare treat offered by these unique properties during the holiday season is not to be missed.