Celebrate Christmas at Waddesdon Manor

Waddesdon Manor
North Front, Waddesdon Manor. Credit: Stuart Bebb/ National Trust

A visit to the beautiful Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire this festive season offers a range of Christmas delights, from a gingerbread recreation to a light spectacular.

Waddesdon Manor
North Front, Waddesdon Manor. Credit: Stuart Bebb/ National Trust

Christmas is always a special time at Waddesdon and this year is certainly no exception. Get in the festive spirit with a visit to the magical house and gardens all trimmed for Christmas with magnificent trees and decorations. The annual programme of Winter Light will be running from dusk, with a new light and sound show Dazzle@Waddesdon illuminating the manor façade in rainbow colours. This performance will run for four minutes every quarter hour and has been designed specifically for Waddesdon by the renowned duo Woodroffe Bassett design.

Contemporary artist Bruce Munro returns to Waddesdon with another iconic light art installation. The immersive Field of Light, will be in a new location, to celebrate 25 years since its conception. As darkness falls, the Aviary glade will come into ‘bloom’ with 9,000 illuminated stems crowned with glass spheres, taking the visitor on a sensory journey through the gardens.

Waddesdon’s State Bedroom made out of biscuits by Biscuiteers. Credit: Biscuiteers

New for this year see Waddesdon recreated entirely from gingerbread, on display in the Coach House gallery at the Stables until 19 March. Created by the Biscuiteers Baking Company Ltd, the model is over two metres in size and will recreate the rich details of some of Waddesdon’s most beautiful rooms, including its paintings, furniture and ceramics, modelled in icing. Visitors will also be able to see a biscuit-baubled tree in the house, and hand-iced Biscuiteer bauble biscuits inspired by Waddesdon’s collection will be available in the gift shop.

The house has been transformed for Christmas and visitors are invited to step into rooms imaginatively decorated on a magical materials theme. The decorations are inspired by the rare, exotic and beautiful materials from Waddesdon’s collections including glass, porcelain, precious metals and minerals. Families can follow a special trail through the house, spotting jolly gingerbread men made by the Biscuiteers.

Soak up the sights, smells and sounds of Christmas at the annual Christmas Fair set against the enchanting, floodlit backdrop of the house. It will feature 60 exhibitors and run across four weeks, from 16 November to 11 December (Wednesday to Sunday, 11am-6pm). With local artisan producers alongside some of the best loved independent traders from around the country, the fair will offer visitors a great selection of Christmas gifts and festive foods.

Waddesdon Manor
The Jolly Gingers Trail at Waddesdon Manor. Credit: Derek Pelling/National Trust

Indulge in some retail therapy and browse Waddesdon’s shops for some favourite seasonal products. As well as the Manor shop and Wine shop, this year there will be two festive pop-up shops at the Stables until 23 December. Continuing the Winter light theme, Glow@Waddesdon will be full of dazzling items, while the more traditional Christmas shop in the Coach House will have gifts and decorations. Also at the Stables, families can enjoy craft activities, creating felt Christmas tree decorations to take home.

Throughout the Christmas season there will be an array of delicious festive foods on offer. Enjoy seasonal street food, hot chocolate, mulled wine and homemade cakes in our cosy new Wigwam café or a traditional Christmas lunch in the Manor restaurant. For a real Christmas treat, book a magical materials themed afternoon tea, created in-house by Waddesdon’s talented head pâtissier.

Waddesdon Christmas runs until Monday 2 January; open Wednesday to Sunday, 11am-6pm. Closed 24-26 December. Open additionally on Tuesday 27 December and Monday 2 January. For more information and to book tickets see www.waddesdon.org.uk