Waddesdon Manor at Christmas is a fantastic festive mix with a Christmas fair, wonderful decorations inside the house and enchanting light displays in the grounds. This year was the busiest I have ever seen it, so if you’re planning a visit then definitely go earlier in the season. If you want a ticket to see inside the house then you need to be quick, as they’re already sold old at weekends! Thanks to Waddesdon Manor who invited us along to find out what’s on offer this Christmas.
Inside Waddesdon Manor
A visit to Waddesdon Manor is now part of our family traditions in the run up to Christmas as it never fails to get us all feeling festive. The attention to detail inside the Manor House is incredible and this year the rooms are decorated with a musical theme, including Christmas carols as well as Christmas Number 1 hits! My highlight has to be the enormous figgy pudding in the Billiard Room as well as Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer hiding in one of the smaller rooms, with the footprints of a special someone all over the sumptuous carpet! Visitors must book in advance to see inside Waddesdon Manor, but if you aren’t quick enough to get tickets the grounds and stables are well worth the visit on their own.
The Stables Light In Motion Installation
As the sun goes down Waddesdon Manor becomes illuminated with magical auras, however, this year you don’t have to wait for dusk to see the Light In Motion installation, which you’ll find inside the Coach House. The dancing orbs of light and colour have a hypnotic presence. The children loved it and so did I. The sequence of dancing lights is set to a modern version of the Carol Of The Bells and is a beguiling mix of modern and festive that doesn’t feel out of place at the Waddesdon Manor Christmas.
Waddesdon Winter Light Trail
At dusk Waddesdon Manor is bathed in colour with patterns projected on the North Front and music soaring across the avenue in front of the house. We made our way towards the Aviary to walk along the Winter Light Trail. The woodland walk looks like an enchanted forest, lit with flashes of colour. There’s a spectacular display featuring more coloured orbs, which cascade down the hill, lit in perfect time to a resounding classical soundtrack. The glitter balls in the trees create rivers of swirling light on the ground below.
The Winter Light Trail is a wonderful spectacle. This year it was much busier than we have ever experienced before and it wasn’t clear whether there was one particular way to walk the trail, so I would take a torch and if you have a buggy, attach a light to the frame, if you can. Despite the crowds, this year’s house tour and Winter Light Trail did not disappoint.
Waddesdon Christmas Fair
Once again the avenue in front of Waddesdon Manor is home to the Waddesdon Christmas Fair with over 80 artisan producers and traders. When we visited there was a fantastic variety of stalls, from Christmas decorations to steamed puddings, flavoured liqueurs and spirits to jewellery and gifts. We queued patiently for delicious hot chocolate and I had to resist the strong urges to eat all the Raclette!
We spent 4 hours at Waddesdon this year and still didn’t manage to see the Illuminated Woodland Trail, find the giant baubles or visit the Woodland Playground. There really is something for everyone at the Waddesdon Manor Christmas festivities.
Top Tips for a visit to Waddesdon Manor Christmas 2o19
- Waddesdon Manor Christmas is on from 16th November 2019 to 5th January 2020, Wednesday to Sunday 11am-6pm (closed 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th December 2019).
- Waddesdon Manor Christmas Fair is home to over 80 decorated wooden chalets from 16th November to 22nd December 2019, Wednesday to Sunday 11am-6pm.
- Make sure you stay after dark to see the Winter Light Trail and Illuminated Woodland Trail.
- Make sure you seek out the Light In Motion Installation in the Coach House at the Stables.
- All tickets for the decorated rooms inside Waddesdon Manor must be booked in advance (including National Trust Members). No Christmas Manor House tickets will be available for sale on the day. Visit the website to book your tickets.
- Waddesdon Manor is near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. Visit the website for more information including the details of opening times.
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I visited in November 2019, all information is correct at the time of publishing.
I visited as a guest of Waddesdon Manor. Images, words and opinions are my own.