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Historic Properties Dressed for Christmas

11th December 2017

Exploring historic properties is one of our favourite pastimes. We were excited to learn that this December the National Trust has dressed many of its beloved houses for the festive season. There's something for everyone to enjoy: lavish decorations, delicious festive treats, craft fairs and carol singing.

We’ve selected five of our favourite historical buildings in the South East…

Historical Properties

Hinton Ampner, Hampshire

©National Trust Images/John Miller

The charming house of Hinton Ampner and its grounds will provide the setting for a ‘Brothers Grimm’ themed Christmas. This historical property is complete with meandering pathways, intriguing topiary and towering oaks. It could easily be straight from the pages of a fairy story.

Exploring Hinton Ampner’s many rooms will see each represent a different fairytale. Look out for lost glass slippers, gingerbread crumbs and the shoemaker’s elves in their workshop.

Outside there’s more to discover, with the gardens and surrounding parkland containing a number of interesting walks. Take a stroll through the walled garden edged with 19th century fruit trees or collect. Alternatively, venture out across the estate in search of civil war history with a map from the visitor's reception.

It's also worth visiting the neighbouring parish church of All Saints. It's the final resting place of Hinton’s Ampner’s former owner, Ralph Dutton.

Address: Hinton Ampner, near Alresford, Hampshire, SO24 0LA.

Website: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hinton-ampner

Christmas Opening Times: Open throughout December except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For opening times click here. Booking required for some events.

Admission: Adults £12, Children £6.

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Historical Properties

Uppark House and Garden, Sussex

©National Trust Images/John Millar

The grand Uppark estate has taken a step back in time to the Victorian era this Christmas. There are plenty of historic interiors to enjoy that will be authentically dressed for the festive season. You can then immerse yourself fully with a range of fun activities for children and adults alike.

Undoubtedly the highlight is the Festive Food Trail which takes you "downstairs" to the bustling kitchens. There you’ll find the servants busily preparing their masters’ lavish Christmas banquet. Try your hand at stirring the Christmas pudding and peak into the larder. Then you can journey "upstairs" to learn about the important process of table-laying.

To complete the experience, there is an exhibition of ten mannequins in authentic Victorian dress. They have been painstakingly made by artist Denise Watson. Don't miss out as they are only available until the 31st of December.

Before you leave, don’t forget to pay a visit to the café, situated in the former orangery. You can treat yourself to a full Christmas dinner or simply a hot drink and homemade gingerbread snowman.

Address: Uppark House and Garden, South Harting, Petersfield, West Sussex, GU31 5QR.

Website: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/uppark-house-and-garden

Christmas Opening Times: Open throughout December except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For opening times click here. Booking required for some events.

Admission: Adults £10.50, Children £5.25.

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Historical Properties

Polesden Lacey, Surrey

©National Trust Images/John Millar

The impressive Edwardian country house of Polesden Lacey in Surrey has hosted many a celebration in its time. This was especially true under the care of the famous hostess Mrs Grenville. She entertained members of the royal family and some of society’s most prominent celebrities during the 1930s.

To celebrate this golden era, the house has been transformed to look as it would have done in Mrs Grenville’s time. The look is complete with a 17 foot Christmas tree, extravagant festive foliage and 1930’s music.

As you wander through the beautiful rooms, you can learn more about the guests that have graced Polesden Lacey. This includes a very special red and white clad guest who may pop in on his way from the North Pole!

If you’re visiting on a weekend, a horse and carriage ride through the picturesque grounds will have you feeling festive in no time. Otherwise, settle down in the old dairy to hear carols sung by a local choir.

Address: Polesden Lacey, Great Bookham, near Dorking, Surrey, RH5 6BD.

Website: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/polesden-lacey

Christmas Opening Times: Open throughout December except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For opening times click here. Booking required for some events.

Admission: Adults £13.60, Children £6.80.

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Historical Properties

Standen House and Garden, Sussex

© National Trust Images/Megan Taylor

This year, Standen House in West Sussex has decorated each of its rooms according to a different decade. They begin in the Victorian era through to today. This is in honour of the Beale family who lived there for over 70 years.

Famous for its distinct Arts and Crafts style, the property contains many Morris & Co wallpapers and textiles. They are further complemented this year by an Arts and Crafts Christmas tree decorated by designers Timorous Beasties.

As well as all this, there is a delightful gift shop selling many Arts & Crafts-inspired pieces made by Sussex Guild artists. You can pick up the perfect presents for your loved ones.

There’s also lots to entertain the little ones. There's wintery walks, storytelling in Santa’s woodland grotto and watching the house and grounds light up on one of Standen’s special ‘after dark’ evenings.

Address: Standen House and Garden, West Hoathly Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 4NE.

Website: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/standen-house-and-garden

Christmas Opening Times: Open throughout December except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For opening times click here. Booking required for some events.

Admission: Adults £11.50, Children £6.

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Historical Properties

Mottisfont, Hampshire

©National Trust Images/John Miller

Mottisfont house in Hampshire is celebrating this festive season with the theme ‘All the Colours of Christmas’. It's inspired by Kaffe Fassett’s vibrant textile exhibition currently on show there until the 14th January.

Each section of the house has a different colour scheme, formed from spectacular drapery, striking flower arrangements and lavishly decorated trees. It's all handmade by a team of crafty volunteers.

The creativity continues outdoors with a series of installations by local artists. You can spot the glass fish swimming in the font stream or the cleverly sculpted stag against the avenue of lime trees.

Surprises can be found around every corner and children will delight in exploring these through the interactive activity trail. There is also a guide for adults to learn more about each installation and the artists behind them.

Address: Mottisfont, near Romsey, Hampshire, SO51 0LP.

Website: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottisfont

Christmas Opening Times: Open throughout December except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For opening times click here. Booking required for some events.

Admission: Adults £13.60, Children £6.80.

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