Image: The staircase hall - COPYRIGHT National Trust Images, Ellie McCarthy
Christmas has arrived at the National Trust's Arlington Court in North Devon.
Every weekend from now until 18 December, visitors can see the house at Arlington decorated in all the splendour of a Victorian Christmas. There is plenty to discover outside too, including a Christmas Carol themed activity trail and even Santa’s sleigh.
This year the National Trust team have gone bigger and better than ever. Christmas at Arlington will feature 23 decorated trees (inside and outside the house), thousands of baubles, dozens of handmade wreaths and over 40 meters of garland.
For the first time the upstairs of the house will be open and decorated as if the former owners, the Chichester family, were getting ready for a Christmas party. Look out for the two party dresses which will be on display for the first time. Downstairs, the Staircase Hall is home to a 17ft Christmas tree, whilst each room is lavishly decorated for the season as it would have been in Victorian times.
There is plenty on offer outside too. Visitors can explore the grounds at Arlington whilst taking part in a Christmas Carol themed activity trail – with prizes on offer for those who can correctly solve all the clues (£1 per trail). And there’s plenty of opportunity to capture a Christmas memory along the way: families can take a ride in the Arlington sleigh complete with wooden reindeer, share a kiss under a mistletoe laden tree or take a photo of loved ones at one of the Christmas photo frames in the grounds. Outdoor adventurers can warm up afterwards in the cosy tea-room where there will be plenty of tasty festive treats on offer.
For anyone feeling creative there will be family crafting sessions running on select weekends until 18th December and a Christmas card lino print workshop on December 3, led by local artist Lizzie Mee (tickets £45, booking essential).
Those looking to delve a bit deeper into Christmas at Arlington, can experience the house after hours on one of two evening house tours led by an experienced house guide. These will be taking place on 9 and 15 December and will include some festive refreshment (tickets £12, booking essential).
Braver souls can take part in a lesser-known Victorian Christmas tradition in the form of a thrilling ghost story performed by the Nunkie Theatre Company in the Staircase Hall at Arlington. Ghost stories are taking place at 7.30pm on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 December. Tickets are £18 including refreshment and must be booked in advance.
Kate Godden, Experience & Visitor Programming Manager, said: ‘We are delighted to invite visitors to Arlington Court this festive season for Christmas at the Court. There really is something for everyone with the house, Carriage Museum and even the garden dressed to impress. This Christmas we have gone bigger and better than ever and we are excited to share the festive fun with our visitors.’
More information can be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/arlingtoncourt
Intriguing Regency house and impressive collection of horse-drawn vehicles, set in picturesque gardens and ground. Arlington Court is an unexpected jewel on the edge of Exmoor, a complete family estate held by the Chichester family for over five hundred years. The collection consists of…