If you're a lover of decking the halls with all things tinsel, you'll certainly appreciate the Christmas decor at these English stately homes. With larger-than-life Christmas trees and grand staircases festooned in festive fairy lights, these Christmas houses make for the perfect December day out.
Castle Howard is as grand as they come and when this baroque Yorkshire pad is festooned with traditional decorations – including twinkling Christmas trees spiraling towards painted ceilings – it’s almost too much for the eyes to handle. Give them a rest, then, by mooching around the Christmas market in the Stable Courtyard.
Modelled on the Temple of Fortuna Virilis and the Pantheon, Holkham’s Marble Hall is one of England’s most elaborate spaces and its majestic beauty reaches new levels come Christmas time. Columns are wrapped in fairy lights, Christmas trees line the staircase and giant baubles dangle from the ceiling. See this and lots of other decadent state rooms as part of the Christmas candlelit tours of the house.
Blenheim Palace may be the birthplace of Britain’s most iconic Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, but come December we’re only visiting for one thing – the show-stopping Christmas decorations. Lasers, light tunnels, a scented fire garden, and thousands of twinkling pea lights, oh my! And we haven’t even touched on what’s waiting inside – more lights, giant Christmas trees and The Nutcracker-themed displays.
This 15th-century country pile takes Christmas and its decorations very seriously. There’ll be twilight events with mince pies and mulled wine, festive music, and plenty of bejewelled Christmas trees for those essential Christmas selfies.
The holiday home of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert – aka the real-life Father Christmas who introduced many of the traditions we still celebrate – is arguably the best place to relish in all things festive. See the Italianate villa adorned in plenty of festive finery, enjoy rides on a vintage carousel and make your own traditional wooden toy.
Visit Waddesdon, the Rothschild House & Gardens in Buckinghamshire, for magical lights and gardens aglow. Set against the backdrop of the North Front of Waddesdon Manor – complete with six large Christmas trees – is the Christmas Fair, full of festive treats from over eighty hand-selected artisan stalls housed in charming wooden chalets. As twilight falls, watch the landscape come to life with Waddesdon’s playful Winter Light trail. Take a stroll beneath sparkling tree canopies, past giant dandelions and walk through a tunnel of light hoops before stopping to admire Waddesdon Manor’s façade illuminated with dancing lights set to music.
See the childhood home of Anne Boleyn transformed into a festive paradise this Christmas. Spot Jiminy Cricket on the Adventures of Pinocchio on this year’s themed Christmas trail – you’ll begin in Geppetto’s Workshop before journeying through the land of toys and under the sea before seeing the Blue Fairy grant Pinocchio’s wish of becoming a real boy. Once the sun goes down, enjoy a walk under the stars on the Magical Christmas Light Trail to admire the castle, gardens and lake festooned with fabulous colours and twinkling lights, before jumping on fairground rides and cuddling fluffy Huskies. Inside the castle, you’ll be met by beautifully and traditionally decorated rooms, welcoming log fires and twinkling Christmas trees – more than enough to get you into the festive mood.