Seasonal fun indoors and out
Add some extra cheer to your Christmas
Preparations for Christmas can be a labour of love; post Christmas many of us fancy a breath of fresh air...so we thought a few ideas for getting out and about over the festive season would bring some extra cheer, whether it's exercise or fun you're after.
We're lucky to have some wonderful stately homes in our area, and many of them are lavishly decorated for the Christmas period:
- This year Hughenden Manor takes visitors back to 1877 when the whole house is preparing for Queen Victoria's visit. The house is also hosting an exhibition of the many precious gifts Queen Victoria gave her Prime Minister Disraeli, who lived at Hughenden. The Manor is open until the 23rd December and reopens on 26th December.
- Stonor House is also ready for Christmas: there's a star-dusted extravaganza with a vision of stars cascading from the ceilings and twinkling from room to room. Delicious seasonal fare will be served in the Stonor Pantry and the gift shop will be overflowing with goodies for all the family. Stonor at Christmas is open until December 9th so hurry along this weekend.
The Chilterns is also home to some fabulous museums, so if the weather turns miserable head over to one of these venues:
- Tring Natural History Museum showcases the collections of Lionel Walter Rothschild. Walter was a rich, eccentric and determined character who dedicated his life to the study of animals. His private collection formed the foundation of the Museum at Tring and remains one of the largest private natural history collections ever assembled. Until 23rd December, kids can explore the galleries for hidden polar bears and win a chocolatey surprise!
- Henley River & Rowing Museum has four permanent galleries dedicated to Rowing, Rivers, the work of British Artist John Piper and the history of Henley on Thames. The Museum is also home to the magical Wind in the Willows exhibition which brings to life the much-loved story with 3D models, lighting and music. During the Christmas period, the Museum is open daily with the exception of the following dates when closed: 24, 25, 26 & 31 December and 1st January.
- If it's excitement you're after, take a trip with Chinnor Railways. There are 'Mince Pie Specials' for kids & Christmas events for adults right through till 23rd December with more rides from 29th to 31st December.
Escape and enjoy some outdoorsy fun before/after the festive overeating:
- BBOWT have pre-Xmas walks available for youngsters at College Lake on 11th and 13th December. Nature Tots encourages pre-school little ones to interact with and learn from nature. Go along for an outdoor nature play, games, stories and craft on a wild and wonderful nature reserve.
- Visit Chilterns also has an organised walk at College Lake for the whole family this Sunday 9th December. Join in with a walk, looking at different trees and learning how to tell them apart. For guilty post-Xmas gourmands, there's an organised ramble for all the family at Ashridge Estate on 27th December.
Not sure when you'll want a walk? Why not try a self-guided trail? Brakspear have created Country Pub Trails: simply download the free ViewRanger app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, then visit www.viewranger.com/brakspear to find the full collection of walks, which incorporate pubs for refreshments along the way.
For more self-guided walks visit our web pages and download the leaflets:
- The Chess Valley Walk is a 10 mile walk following the River Chess, a 'chalk stream'. Your route passes through a number of communities and nearby Sarratt still boasts five working pubs where you can warm your hands and wet your whistle. The area is abundant in history as well as wildlife.
- Hughenden Manor and Downley Stile-free walk is a short easy-going one which enables you to visit both the National Trust property of Disraeli’s home, Hughenden Manor, and also go for a walk along attractive woodland paths to the village of Downley and Downley Common. A children's quiz has been developed to accompany this walk. There are lots of fun questions for children to answer about what they can see as they go round the route. Download a free guide and children's quiz.
Whatever you choose to do this Christmas, have fun and stay safe.