Waddesdon! The National Trust's 'Jewel in the Crown' shines bright with its Christmas Light Trail. Read my insider tips on what to see while you're there.
When did Christmas light displays become a ‘thing’? Every heritage behemoth worth its entry fee now puts massive effort behind visual family events. You can catch them locally-ish in Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Wakehurst (Kew’s sister site) in Sussex, RHS Wisley in Surrey and of course Waddesdon Manor in mid Buckinghamshire (below) self-styled ‘jewel in the National Trust crown’, and the site most local to me, where I went last week.
If you’re close enough to visit do – the images below will tell you why! The Christmas light trail rather handily coincides with the Christmas market that lines either side of the Manor’s front lawn up – a large number of foodie outlets and trinkety gift shops.
Give yourself a couple of hours to meander around the grounds, it goes right around the the Aviary, and the light trail takes you down to The Coach House which is the bit I loved the most and my tip for the top – there’s a Light In Motion kinetic light installation there that’s so beautiful and hypnotic that we watched it twice.
If you haven’t been to Waddesdon before, there’s also a café down there for nibbles though personally my favourite café around Christmas is the tipi close to the children’s playground – all twinkly fairy lights, wooden furniture and sheepskin rugs.
Waddesdon Manor‘s Christmas Trail is open until Sun 5 Jan 2020. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Grounds: 11am-6pm. House: 11.30am-6pm, last entry 5.30pm