Get together with family and friends this Christmas with National Trust

Get together with family and friends this Christmas with National Trust

Across Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire, National Trust has a real variety of Christmas experiences for festive family days out this year. There’s spectacle and sparkle for those ‘wow’ moments and selfies. There will be cosy traditional Christmases for kindling a nostalgic warm glow. An opulent winter ball theme will get glamour-lovers and sociable types in the mood for the party season. And for those who just need an uplifting escape into fresh air and nature, we have miles of frosty landscape to explore.

Set a date to come together with family and friends for a Christmassy catch-up in the places we look after in Bucks, Berks and Oxfordshire.

Every Christmas gift and seasonal treat you buy helps care for these special places, to keep them twinkling for many Christmases to come.

The 12 Days of Christmas at Hughenden (near High Wycombe)

‘12 days of Christmas’
Monday 21 November – Monday 2 January  

Whisk your family away from the everyday and escape into a fairytale on your doorstep this Christmas. The National Trust is bringing enchanting scenes from the 12 days of Christmas to life in the garden, stableyard and manor at Hughenden.

Witness seven swans a-swimming on a cascade of blue baubles on the parterre and step through five giant gold rings into the fairy-lit manor. Inside, the aromas of sandalwood and cinnamon accompany a tour of sparkling trees and themed decorations. Sip scented hot chocolate or mulled cider in the stableyard surrounded by pearly baubles and festoon bottle lights. There’s even a milk churn fountain.

Look out for twilight openings, plus music and interactive performances on Saturdays, including of course, the dramatic sounds of 12 drummers drumming.

There are immersive storytelling sessions for pre-schoolers mid-week and for older children at weekends and holidays. There’s also lots of Christmas make-and-do magic to fuel the festivity for little imaginations.

Come together at Hughenden in a fairytale Christmas setting and make lasting memories.

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Hughenden drawing room by Hugh Mothersole

A Winter Ball at Basildon Park (near Reading)

‘A Winter Ball’
19 November to 6 January

Calling all Cinderella lovers, you shall go to the ball this Christmas. Recreating all the romance and opulence of historic parties past, Basildon Park is staging ‘A Winter Ball’.  Picture the entrance hall bedecked with peacock feather decorations, hanging bird cages and extravagant floral arrangements and the dining room transformed into a ballroom. Visitors can decorate their own masquerade mask and dance around the champagne glass tower.

The rest of the house exudes classic glamour with huge Christmas trees and rich decorations, dripping with baubles and jewels, and sparkling with lights.

Children can get in on the excitement with an activity trail through trees hanging with clocks and fairy lights. The anticipation builds as they’re urged to get to the ball before the clocks strike midnight.

Booking not needed, included with admission.

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The Octagon Room at Basildon Park by Sebastian Conwy

Together for Christmas at Greys Court (near Henley)

‘Together for Christmas’
Saturday 26 November – Thursday 5 January

Greys Court has always been a place of warmth and welcome. This Christmas, Kidmore End School, Sport in Mind and the local Women’s Institute are helping Greys Court to create a glowing, gingerbread-scented Christmas to bring families and friends together.

Who could resist taking family pictures in a garden twinkling with fairy lights and decorated with Christmas wreaths and giant, gift-wrapped presents? Children can scamper along the Woodland Animals Trail to work up an appetite for the tea room, stocked full of treats and festooned with garlands created by Kidmore End schoolchildren. They’re also decorating Christmas trees in the stableyard for the first time.

The Women’s Institute and National Trust volunteers are taking inspiration from the Brunner family Christmases in the house. Enjoy carols in the drawing room, traditional toys in the nursery and Lady Brunner’s gingerbread baking and available to taste in the kitchen.

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Grey's Court feast dining table

Christmas at Waddesdon

‘Christmas at Waddesdon’

Saturday 12 November – Monday 2 January

Christmas at Waddesdon is back with magical lights, the gardens aglow and with Christmas displays in the house for the first time since 2019. There’s a new route through the East Wing with light installations, sparkling trees and sumptuous decorations inspired by the Manor’s many treasures.

The Christmas Fair returns with all the sights, smells and tastes of Christmas with selected stalls in charming wooden chalets, surrounded by Christmas trees. New for this year is a Food Village to pick up delicious festive food and drink to take away whilst exploring the grounds. The Fair ends on 18 December.

The Winter Light Trail sees the garden spectacularly lit up with colourful interactive light installations. Winter Light continues until 22 January.

Book early to avoid disappointment.

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Bauble at the Stables, Waddesdon. Image ©Yes Events

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Bookable experiences

We have carefully chosen our most immersive and memorable Chilterns Countryside Experiences to share with you here. Choose from Active Countryside, Chilterns Food & Drink, Countryside Learning and Chilterns Sightseeing. All are bookable online.
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Upcoming events

Find out what's on in the Chilterns - walking or biking, food & drinks, serious trekking or a picnic on the flat - the possibilities are endless.