LOCAL: Celebrate a sparkling Christmas at National Trust places around Hampshire

And join Percy the Park Keeper – at Mottisfont and The Vyne!

© Nick Butterworth 2021

Our Hampshire places offer the perfect escape for a festive day out with plenty of sparkle. Houses are richly decorated with twinkling lights, winter greenery, and Christmas trees. 

You’ll find shops full of traditional and contemporary gifts for all ages, including ranges created exclusively for the National Trust. Cafes are serving new winter menus, featuring warming treats that include ingredients from our own kitchen gardens and local producers. 

This year, we’re also inviting families to step into the wonderful world of Percy the Park Keeper, at Mottisfont and The Vyne. In association with the best-selling author and illustrator Nick Butterworth the Percy the Park Keeper winter wander introduces children to the busy park keeper and his animal friends.  

Running from 4 December, the self-led trail invites families to join Percy’s team as he races to get National Trust places and the animals that call them home ready for winter. After reading Percy’s handwritten note and donning his famous hat kids will follow clues, find Percy’s missing equipment, and enjoy activities and games that will bring them closer to nature this winter. Trail activities are different at each location. 

At the end of the trail families can celebrate with a photo-op with Percy, plus they’ll get a special prize too. 

Find out more about Christmas around Hampshire: 

Mottisfont, nr Romsey

Glowing lanterns line Mottisfont’s garden paths, and in the house, glittering lights add sparkle to Christmas trees laden with baubles. Look out for mini woodland creatures nestled amongst the decorations. Outside, explore sparkling waterways and meadows on a festive walk, then return to the café for delicious seasonal treats. 

Little ones can also enjoy Percy the Park Keeper’s winter wander trail, helping Percy and his animal friends to tidy up the beautiful gardens in readiness for the colder months (£2). 

Christmas at Mottisfont: 4 December – 3 January (closed 24 & 25 December). Trail £2. 

The house at Mottisfont, Hampshire, in the winter. The house was a Tudor mansion remodelled in the 1740s into a comfortable Georgian home. The garden features ancient trees, babbling brooks and rolling lawns.

The Vyne, nr Basingstoke

Experience the ground floor of this mansion luxuriously decorated for a Victorian Christmas. Look out for Christmas trees dressed in authentic, hand-made decorations. Outside, there are glorious winter walks across this ancient estate, with views across fields, woods and wetlands. Come back to warming mulled wine and mince pies in the café. Don’t forget to pop into the large book shop, packed with surprises. 

An indoors family trail takes kids back in time, whilst outdoors, little ones can meet Percy the Park Keeper and his friends on a winter activity trail, and find out which animals call this garden their home (£2).

Christmas at The Vyne: 27 November – 2 January (closed 24 & 25 Dec)Trail £2. 

The Vyne

Hinton Ampner

Booking essential

This winter, Hinton Ampner’s pretty rooms reveal festive scenes from Christmas past at the house, from fairytales to fables. Outside, the gardens are also decorated, and the pop-up sweet shop is full of delicious traditional treats. The picturesque parkland and wider estate are perfect for a short stroll or longer winter wander. Warm up with homemade dishes and hot drinks from the café. 

Christmas at Hinton Ampner: 27 November – 3 January, house open Tuesday to Friday only (site closed 25 & 26 December). Booking essential (from 1 Nov) at https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hinton-ampner.

The sunken garden in winter at Hinton Ampner, Hampshire.

Uppark House and Garden

Inside the mansion you’ll find rooms decked with all the sparkle and grandeur of a traditional family Christmas, whilst the gardens twinkle with lights. The grounds offer glorious views over the South Downs, and pops of bright winter colour. There are warming seasonal meals in the café, and next door a delightful second-hand book, full of hidden gems that make great presents. 

Christmas at Uppark: 20 November – 3 January, house open Thursday to Sunday (site closed 25 & 26 December). 

The mantle place in the Dining Room dressed for Christmas at Uppark, West Sussex.

Winchester City Mill

Join us at a festively decorated Winchester City Mill for a season of Yuletide celebrations. You’ll find out about the traditions and beliefs surrounding this ancient midwinter festival, and discover how King Alfred and his subjects would have celebrated, including workers here at the Mill. We’ll be hosting decorative festive workshops too, from wreath-making to Yule swags and logs. There’ll be a delicious season menu on offer, in our cosy café.

Yuletide at Winchester City Mill: 15 November – 3 January (closed 25, 26 & 28 December)

Festive decorations workshops: wreath-making 26 Nov 4.30-7pm, Yule swags 29 Nov 2-4pm, Yule logs 20 Dec 2-4pm, £40 per person. Booking available from beginning November. 

Christmas decorations at Winchester City Mill, Hampshire.

Find out more about the National Trust in and around Hampshire at: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hampshire

Find out more about Percy at the National Trust: nationaltrust.org.uk/percy.

Each festive day out you enjoy supports the National Trust’s work as a charity looking after special places for future generations to enjoy.

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