Christmas days out: Christmas at Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire

We are on the verge of winter and December is approaching very quickly, which means the countdown to Christmas is well and truly on!

There is something magical about the festive time of year, no matter how old you are. In the upcoming weeks, there are lots of Christmas events to enjoy for you and your family that promise a magical day out – for example, Christmas at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire.

Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild built Waddesdon Manor in the late 19th century with the intention of displaying his fine collection of art. Today, the house displays various magnificent masterpieces, including English portraits, Dutch old master paintings and 18th-century French decorative arts. Waddesdon Manor was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1957 by the Rothschild family, but the family is still involved through Lord Rothschild. The property also offers its visitors a chance to stroll around one of England’s finest Victorian gardens, to celebrate food and wine, to discover the different exhibitions and to enjoy special interest days.

From the 12th of November to the 4th of January 2014, the Waddesdon Manor will be decorated in this year’s theme ‘Lights and Legends’ for the festive season and magnificent Christmas trees will sparkle. The Lights and Legends theme reflects traditional, contemporary (and some exotic) stories, myths and rituals from all over the world. The artist Bruce Munro will create Snow Code,  a new commission inside the house. In addition, the artist’s creations are displayed in the gardens in the form of six captivating light installations.

On the South Terrace of the Manor – overlooking the Parterre and Vale of Aylesbury – there will be a spectacular Christmas fair, including 55 stalls with festive food, gifts and Christmas decorations. Also, on the 6th of December a choir will be singing Christmas carols. The fair is open until 7pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

From November the 28th until January the 4th, you can meet child-friendly huskies and have your picture taken with them. In addition, from the 19th of November, there is the opportunity to write a letter to Father Christmas in the workshop at the Stables. Furthermore, there is a Christmas shop in the Coach House from the 19th of November, including handmade gifts and festive decorations. Last but not least, enjoy a special Christmas afternoon tea with its mouth-watering sandwiches and homemade pastries.

For more information about Christmas at Waddesdon Manor, including tickets and times, click here.

Make the most out of your Christmas getaway by staying at a nearby hotel, such as Danesfield House Hotel. Situated in Henley-on-Thames, Danesfield House Hotel is set within 65 acres of gardens and parkland overlooking the River Thames and offering panoramic views across to the Chiltern Hills. There is a choice of two restaurants, the acclaimed Oak Room and The Orangery Brasserie, both offering a choice of international cuisine with a distinguished wine list. The beautiful spa offers a stunning 20 metre ozone-cleansed pool, steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi, hydrotherapy, gymnasium and a host of relaxing and invigorating treatments given in seven luxurious treatment rooms. Danesfield House’s location puts you within 15 minutes of the M4 and M40 and within an hour of central London, not to mention near a host of great nearby attractions, including Waddesdon Manor, boat trips from Henley-on-Thames, boutique shopping in Marlow, Royal Windsor, Legoland and the Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden.

Alternatively you can stay at the Stoke Place Hotel. Arriving at Stoke Place Hotel in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire is like walking into a convivial private country house party. The 26 acres of surrounding gardens (including a lovely lake with Canadian geese) were designed by the legendary “Capability” Brown and are ideal for a relaxing stroll. Dining at Stoke Place is absolutely not to be missed and Head Chef Crain van Meer has won well deserved recognition for his cooking, including 3 AA Rosettes and raves from the Good Food Guide. Relaxation is the watchword here, and there are luxurious health and beauty treatments available from the resident therapist either in the treatment room or your own bedroom. Stoke Place Hotel is easily accessible, being only half an hour from central London and just 15 minutes from Heathrow and Windsor. Besides your visit to Waddesdon Manor, you can also explore many attractions in Windsor and the Thames Valley, or simply be content to go wildlife spotting in the gardens, enjoy a home-made picnic, explore the grounds by bicycle or to fish in the lake.

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas day out at Waddesdon Manor!

Waddesdon Manor North Front image by Amanda Slater