Across the country many National Trust properties and gardens will be helping Santa with amazing locations for his grottos this December.
© National Trust
From atmospheric woods and ancient forests, to castle towers and historic courtyards - these are grottos you won’t come across just anywhere.
Take the family along to one of these festive houses and rediscover the joys of a homemade Christmas with many properties offering wreath and cake-making workshops.
Join in the various carol concerts and spend some time exploring Christmas markets - a great opportunity to grab some last minute gifts and stocking fillers.
Anglesey Abbey, Gardens and Lode Mill, Cambridgeshire
A Lantern-lit Christmas, 28 November, 10.30am to 8pm
Pick up a few presents from the wide selection of gifts on offer in the shop and get in the mood with mulled wine and mince pies. Bring along the family to get creative at the lantern-making workshops, then join in the lantern procession at 5pm.
From 6pm the winter walk will be alive with twinkling lights and a special 30-minute tour can be enjoyed. Normal admission charges apply (see below) but there are no additional charges. Booking is not necessary. For more details, call 01223 810080.
- © David Levenson
- © National Trust
Bodiam Castle, East Sussex
Santa in the Grotto 5-6, 12-13 and 19-20 December, from 10am to 3.30pm
Meet Father Christmas and his helpers, the mysterious Snow Queen and Jack Frost. Enjoy seeking out the clues in a Christmas challenge and then visit Santa in his medieval grotto in the West Tower.
All children will receive a special gift. Please note that Santa will take a rest for half an hour from 1pm. Normal admissions apply (see below) plus all tickets to this event are £6 each (including National Trust members). Booking is advised - call 01580 830196 - and select '0'.
Chartwell Christmas Market, 4-6 December 11am to 4pm
This fabulous Christmas Market returns for its second year. Don't miss this festive treat and your chance to get your Christmas sorted far from the hustle and bustle of the high street.
Normal admission charges apply (see below) but there are no additional charges. Booking is not necessary. For more details call 01732 868381.
Hatfield Forest, Essex
Father Christmas Trail 5-6 and 12-13 December, from 10.30am to 2.30pm
A magical trail leads you to Santa's Grotto. Plus there will be craft activities, refreshments and a gift for every child. Normal car park charges apply (see below; free for members) plus £6.50 per child (including members). Booking is essential for this event - call 01279 870678.
Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum and Village, Wiltshire
Christmas in the Cloisters, 5-6 December, from 11am to 3pm
A truly traditional Christmas Fair - where you can do all your Christmas shopping in a beautiful festive setting. Enjoy a glass of mulled wine, live musical entertainment and treat the kids with a visit to meet Father Christmas.
Normal admission charges apply (see below) plus an event charge of £2.50 per adult. Booking is not necessary. For more details, call 01249 730459.
© National Trust
Osterley Park and House, Middlesex
Christmas at Osterley Park House, 5-6, 12-13 and 19-20 December, from 12.30pm to 3.30pm
See Osterley Park House in all its beauty as it is decorated for a traditional Christmas. Normal December admission charges apply (see below) but there are no additional charges. Booking is not necessary. For more details, call 020 8232 5050.
Wimpole Home Farm, Cambridgeshire
Wimpole's Dickensian Christmas, 5-6 and 12-13 December, from 11am to 4pm
Step back in time to discover the sights and sounds of a Dickensian Christmas and meet some of Dickens’ characters. Visit the hall traditionally decorated for Christmas; meet the servants in the basements where children can join in the festive craft activities.
Listen to the brass band playing traditional Christmas carols in the Stable Block amidst the scent of mulled wine and roast chestnuts, whilst Father Christmas hands out presents from his grotto in the Great Barn. Normal admission charges apply (see below) but there are no additional charges. For more details, call 01223 206000.
Buckland Abbey, Devon
Christmas at the Abbey, 18-23 December, from 11am to 4pm
For the first time this event moves to a week long period to coincide with the school holidays. The whole family can discover the meaning of Christmas from Medieval times to the present day with our costumed characters, fabulous decorations, food, music and more. Plus take the mystery trail to find Father Christmas.
Normal admission charges apply (see below) plus an event charge of £2 per child for the Father Christmas trail. Booking is not necessary. For more details, call 01822 853607.
© National Trust
Castle Drogo, Devon
Drogo Christmas, 12-13 and 19-23 December, from 11am to 4pm
Return to the 1930s for this popular event with its wonderful Christmas atmosphere. See parts of the Castle traditionally decorated and enjoy music in the Library. Children can also visit Father Christmas in his fantastic grotto and receive a festive gift.
Normal winter admission charges apply (see below) plus an event charge of £2 per child for Father Christmas (including National Trust members). Booking is not necessary. For more details, call 01647 433306.
Admission prices for National Trust properties
Gift Aid admission (standard admission prices in brackets): adults, £7.70 (£7); children, £3.85 (£3.50); family, £19.25 (£17.50). Groups, £6 per person. Park and garden only: adults, £4 (£3.60); children, £2 (£1.80); family, £10 (£9)
For more information on family days out, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-events/w-events-christmas.htm.