Step into a world of festive, musical splendour, as Waddesdon – the Rothschild house and garden in Buckinghamshire – is transformed, inside and out.
Waddesdon has many connections to the world of music, and this Christmas visitors will be welcomed by the smell of pine and the sound of classic carols, as they step into decorated rooms inspired by traditional tunes and memorable Christmas hits.
Once inside, visitors will be greeted by the glowing colours of illuminated manuscripts and a sparkling 15ft fir tree, while the familiar tune of ‘O Christmas Tree’ fills the air. A magical moving star, accompanied by ‘We Three Kings’, will guide visitors through the East Gallery and past the famous musical Elephant Automaton, towards rooms filled with festive surprises.
After wandering up a winding staircase bedecked with seasonal greenery, visitors will discover a tree made from sheet music – carols old and new. Waddesdon’s three Sèvres porcelain ship vases, of which only ten exist in the world, take centre stage in the White Drawing Room, themed for ‘I Saw Three Ships’, while a full Christmas feast, complete with a flaming figgy pudding, will be laid out in the Billiard Room.
Outside, the gardens will be illuminated with sparkling lights and colour, as Waddesdon’s longest ever Winter Light trail fills the grounds. Beneath coloured tree canopies and bushes draped in sparkle, stroll under the stars and be dazzled by playful light features such as floodlit disco balls and a cascading river of light. The Manor’s façade will come to life, with coloured lights dancing in time to much-loved Christmas classics, illuminating the building’s distinctive architectural features and roofline.
New for this year are giant fairy-light baubles at the Stables Courtyard, providing a unique Instagram frame. Inside the Coach House, an immersive light installation with orbs of light rising and falling from floor to ceiling will entertain the whole family.
Saturday 16 November – Sunday 22 December 2019, 11am-6pm Wed-Sun
Longer than ever before, Waddesdon’s spectacular Christmas Fair, with over 80 wooden chalets, is a shopping experience not to be missed. Artisan producers, makers and craftsmen will offer the very finest and, in many cases unique, gifts.
The fair will be set against the backdrop of the floodlit North Front of the Manor, decorated with 20ft tall Christmas trees. Visitors will be able to browse gifts and enjoy seasonal delicacies as festive melodies fill the air.
Pippa Shirley, Head of Collections & Gardens says, ‘Christmas is a magical time at Waddesdon, as the house, its collections and beautiful grounds come to life in an entirely different way. We love seeing families and children enjoying its unique atmosphere, sparkle, glamour and fun. The Manor looks like a fairy-tale castle at the best of times, so at Christmas it is truly enchanting. The great Rothschild traditions of hospitality and attention to detail are very much to the fore, from the welcome at the front door to the care and attention that the chefs put into making our own mincemeat.’
For more information about Christmas at Waddesdon Manor, visit www.waddesdon.org.uk and follow @WaddesdonManor on Twitter and Facebook, and @waddesdonmanor_nt on Instagram.
Opening, Times and Tickets
Christmas at Waddesdon, Sat 16 Nov 2019 – Sun 5 January 2020. Closed 23-26 December.
Christmas Fair, Sat 16 Nov – Sun 22 Dec 2019.
Grounds and Fair 11am-6pm, Wed-Sun
Prices: £11 Adult, £5.50 Child, £27.50 Family (up to 2 adults + 3 children)
National Trust members & Under 5: Free
Decorated rooms in the House, open 11.30am-6pm (last entry 5.30pm)
Wed – Fri House + Grounds: £26 Adult, £14 Child, £66 Family (up to 2 adults + 3 children)
National Trust: £5 Adult, £2.50 Child, £12.50 Family (up to 2 adults + 3 children)
Sat & Sun House + Grounds: £28.50 Adult, £15.25 Child, £72.25 Family (up to 2 adults + 3 children)
National Trust: £7.50 Adult, £3.75 Child, £18.75 Family (up to 2 adults + 3 children)
Under 5: Free
Advance booking of timed tickets is essential for all house visitors.