As National Trust members, we go to Waddesdon Manor, near Aylesbury, several times a year. It’s always beautiful, but my favourite time to visit Waddesdon Manor is at Christmas. We went to Waddesdon Manor last Christmas and loved it, and this year was just as magical. It’s the perfect way to get the festive feels!
What’s On at Waddesdon Manor at Christmas
There is a lot going on at Waddesdon Manor at Christmas.
The House is Beautifully Decorated
A selection of rooms has been decorated, each with one or more gigantic, perfect Christmas tree. This year’s theme is ‘Enchanted Menagerie’ so there is an animal theme which really appeals to children (and adults, of course!) Each child is given a 12 door advent calendar, and they open a door when they find the right bauble. Some of them were very difficult to find, so we just opened them anyway!
Writing Letters to Santa
This happens in the Stable Block. Thea asked for a toothbrush, a real unicorn, a toy puppy and a toy penguin. Ava asked for a toothbrush that goes round and round. I have no idea why they both want electric toothbrushes, but I am obviously encouraging this enthusiasm! Watch this space to see if Santa delivers a real unicorn…
Next it’s time to look at the neon creations of artist Lauren Booth. Her Electric Menagerie ties in with the house them, and there are neon installations around the grounds. These are my favourites – aren’t they stunning?
I believe the outdoor adventure playground is open at this time of year, but we avoided it, as it was very icy when we went.
Finally it was time to see the magical projections on to the side of Waddesdon Manor itself. Accompanied by music, amazing animals are projected onto the side of the building. It’s really magical. I don’t think my photos do it justice at all, but trust me, it’s fantastic.
How To Make The Most of Your Visit to Waddesdon Manor at Christmas
Book ahead online. The house is booked until Christmas, but we went after Christmas last year and it was just as good, and a bit less hectic. At the time of writing, there are some spaces for the house in between Christmas and New Year. If you’re a National Trust member, it’s only £5, and well worth it! You get timed entry.
Allow time to get from the carpark to the house. There are regular busses, but it can get busy so there may be a queue. I’d suggest allowing half an hour to be on the safe side if you have a house ticket booked.
Leave bags and coats in the kiosk near the entrance, otherwise you won’t feel the benefit when you come out!
Wear ALL the layers! Waddesdon Manor is quite exposed so it’s always cold at Christmas.
If you can be bothered, take a picnic and head to the power house. There are tables and chairs set up and it’s relatively warm.
If you can’t be bothered, there are is a restaurant and cafe at the Stables and a lovely restaurant in the house (but that has always been booked up when we’ve been) There is also a cafe next to the house, which is super pretty with sheepskin rugs to sit on. The hot chocolate with marshmallows is delicious.
The outside lights switch on at around 4.30 so don’t miss them! Ryan was so tempted to go home before it got dark as we were so cold but I made him stay and I’m so glad we did!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my taster of magical Waddesdon Manor at Christmas – why not pin my tips for later?