“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”. Isn’t it? I normally don’t feel Christmassy until at least the middle of December but for some reason I am feeling really festive already.
So if you’re already ahead of the game and all organised how about looking for somewhere special to sneak off to for the day. Or if you have still to do your shopping but want to escape the high street crowds this Christmas, consider a visit to a National Trust house or landscape.
See historic houses decked out for the season, try out a new festive trail for children or stroll through picturesque landscapes and pick out some Christmas gifts.
Each magical day out supports the National Trust’s work as a charity looking after special places for future generations to enjoy.
Do click on the property names to be taken to a link with all the relevant information
Here are the National Trust’s pick of the best places to see spectacular Christmas decorations and festive events in Surrey:
See the National Trust’s sumptuous house at Polesden Lacey decorated for the festive season, in the style of a glittering 1930s party.
Dressed to impress, a 18ft Christmas tree welcomes as you step into the central hall. There are Christmas trees with twinkling lights in every main room of the house downstairs and the house is abloom with seasonal flowers. The sound of 1930s tunes drift through the house.
Step back in time and experience all the glamour of a high society Christmas party. With inspiring Christmas gifts in the shop and a lively café serving festive food, a trip to Polesden Lacey is the perfect way to connect with family and friends over the Christmas season.
- Polesden Lacey’s 1930s Christmas party is open daily from 30 November to 23 December. Entry £15 adults, free for National Trust members.
- Children’s trails are available in the house and gardens, plus hop on a horse-drawn sleigh ride (weekends only, 1 to 23 December).
- Take part in a wreath-making workshop using foliage from the gardens, with a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie. On 4 and 18 December, 10.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30 to 3.30pm, £30, booking essential 01372 452048.
- Between Christmas and New Year try Polesdenopoly, a life-size version of the classic Christmas game in the gardens, £5 per game bag for up to 5 players. Available Boxing Day to 2 January.
Join us for festive family fun in the great outdoors this Christmas at Hatchlands Park. Follow our children’s trail in the parkland to find tiny houses and ships from Gulliver’s Travels. Then drop in to our café for a mince pie and a hot chocolate.
- New for 2018 there is a traditional carousel, open for rides in the Victorian courtyard, every weekend in December, plus Boxing Day and 27 & 28 December. (£3 per ride).
- The children’s trail is available daily from 1 December to 6 January (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), 10am-4pm. Usual admission.
- Join in with family Christmas carols, songs and readings in the Music Room at Hatchlands Park on Sunday 16 December, 12 to 1pm and 2 to 3pm. Booking essential via firstname.lastname@example.org 01483 444334.
Beautiful winter vistas and sparkling lights make Claremont a very special place to visit at this time of year. Take a break from the hectic high street and spend an atmospheric afternoon recharging yourself in this historic royal landscape. The children’s Thatched Cottage in the gardens is dressed with Christmas decorations and seasonal games. And bring your dog to meet Santa Paws in his grotto, who will be busy handing out festive dog biscuits, the perfect treat for your four legged friend.
- Claremont Landscape Garden is open every day for festive walks, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
- Take part in the Rescue Rudolf trail, for families, 8 to 23 December.
- There is a special Christmas shopping evening on Monday 3 December, 3.30 to 7pm.
- On 22 and 23 December, 11am to 2pm bring your dog to meet Santa Paws and receive a festive biscuit.
Christmas tree harvesting and children’s trail
Head to the Devil’s Punch Bowl to harvest your own Christmas tree on Saturday 1, Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 December, 10- 2pm. Bring along a saw and pair of gloves, trees cost from £20 each.
- A Christmas themed trail for children is available from the visitor den and the café is open with seasonal food.
Nestled on a hillside in the heart of Surrey, Winkworth’s wintry woodland is the perfect spot for a festive walk in the crisp, clean air. With a mixture of level walkways and more challenging slopes, there’s a route for everyone.
- Winter wonders trail and a mince pie hunt for families around the arboretum, 8 December to 1 January.
- Christmas shopping evening, plus the chance to meet Santa Paws (for dogs) and visit Father Christmas’s grotto in the boathouse, 13 December, 3.30 to 7pm. Normal admission.
- Festive table decoration workshop, 2 to 2.45pm and 2.45 to 3.30pm, £10 booking essential.
Crafts for Christmas workshop
6 December, 10am to 3pm
Enjoy a relaxing day with NT staff who will assist you to make beautiful natural festive decorations to adorn your home this yuletide. All materials, lunch and refreshments provided.
Photograph used with kind permission of National Trust