Plenty of activities to enjoy with the National Trust this Christmas

Father Christmas welcomes visitors to his grotto, credit National Trust Images, John Millar SUS-151216-114415001
Father Christmas welcomes visitors to his grotto, credit National Trust Images, John Millar SUS-151216-114415001

Christmas is a time for traditions, from those passed down through families, to new discoveries with friends that become part of these winter celebrations.

Sending cards, decorating trees, carol singing, advent calendars, mince pies and mistletoe…there are some festive traditions without which Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas.

For many, a day out to a National Trust house and garden is already a Christmas ‘must do’.

National Trust places are decked out with Christmas sparkle, Father Christmas is visiting special grottos, there’s wreath making and Christmas crafts, and our picturesque estates are packed full of festive traditions to bring Christmas to life through the ages, mixing festive favourites with new experiences unique to these historic properties.

There are plenty of activities on offer to help make your Christmas that extra bit special in these winter wonderland locations. Here’s what’s happening at Petworth House:

n Petworth House presents: A Christmas Confection, running since Saturday November 28 until Sunday January 3, 11am – 3pm, adults £6, children £3, National Trust members free.

This vast 17th-century mansion reveals extensive Servants’ Quarters, which are little changed from Victorian times.

This Christmas, you’ll find these atmospheric rooms beautifully dressed for the festive season, with tastes and treats to experience from a bygone age. View the preparations under way for a culinary feast in the huge kitchen, and find out what life was life ‘below stairs’ for the servants at this time of year.

Every weekend in December, the rooms are a hive of activity as Petworth’s costumed servants prepare Victorian festive fare; there are opportunities to sample a few treats too, including Christmas ale in the imagined brewery! You can also learn how to make your own scented pomander to take home and enjoy.

In the cosy Shepherd’s Hut in the Courtyard children are invited to write their personal messages to Father Christmas, before posting them in the Petworth Post box, with special delivery to the North Pole.

n Petworth House hosts: Father Christmas and friends, Saturday December 19 - Monday December 21, times slots between 10.30am and 3pm, child £8 including small gift, adult £4 including drink and mince pie. Booking on 0844 249 1895

Meet Father Christmas and his animal friends in Petworth’s historic Stables, where he’ll be waiting to hear if you’ve been naughty or nice!

Parents can relax with a warming hot drink and mince pie.

n Petworth House invites you to A Winter’s Tail, running since Saturday November 28 until Sunday January 3, child £3

All the animals in the Pleasure Ground have woken up with the wrong tail and look very odd indeed. Can you return the right tail to the rightful owner? Complete the puzzle trail and receive a small prize.

Every single visit this Christmas will support the National Trust’s work as a charity looking after special places for future generations to enjoy.

For all Petworth House events, please park in the town centre and make your way towards the Parish church where you will find Petworth House’s Church Lodge Reception entrance.

For more information visit

Report contributed by The National Trust. Picture bcredit credit National Trust Images, John Millar.