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8 stunning Cotswold stately homes to visit this Christmas

PUBLISHED: 16:07 13 November 2017

Sudeley Castle's 'Spectacle of Light'

Sudeley Castle's 'Spectacle of Light'

Archant

Home to some of the country’s most breathtaking architecture and picturesque gardens, the Cotswolds boasts plenty of beautiful stately homes you need to visit. We pick eight special locations that are made even more magical during Christmas time

Snowshill Manor

Packed full of the eclectic treasures collected by Charles Wade, Snowshill Manor is bursting with an extraordinary array of trinkets and toys to marvel at.

Stood proudly on a pretty English country garden, a stroll round the grounds covered in a glittering frost makes for a delightful winter’s walk.

This winter, from Saturday November 4, the Cotswold manor will be inviting guests to explore festive traditions old and new each weekend of November (10.30am-3.30pm). There will be the opportunity to take a glimpse at what happens over the winter months with the preservation of Charles Wade’s collection. Please note only the first floor is open to visitors over winter.

Sudeley Castle, near Winchcombe

Just a stone’s throw from the charming town of Winchcombe sits the dramatic Sudeley Castle, resting upon ten pretty landscaped gardens.

Steeped in history, Sudeley Castle & Gardens has played an integral part in English history – Henry VIII’s sixth wife Katherine Parr is even buried within the grounds.

This Christmas, from December 8 to December 30, visitors can explore the castle and grounds after dark in stunning illumination, enjoying the surroundings by the ‘Spectacle of Light’. Treat yourself to a glass of mulled wine or hot chocolate, and wander round Sudeley at night, to experience its enchantment like you never have before. Book tickets in advance and save 10% here.

Blenheim Palace, Woodstock

The birthplace of Winston Churchill and principal residence of the Dukes of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace is steeped in history.

It’s easy to while away a day exploring the grand interior of the palace, the surrounding buildings and beautiful landscaped gardens.

From Friday November 24, experience the palace and gardens lit up by illuminations for ‘Christmas at Blenheim’. This year the palace will celebrate the festivities with a glorious winter wonderland with twinkling lights, lanterns and dancing flames.

Charlecote Park

The Victorian home of Charlecote Park is nestled on a rolling landscape inhabited by woodland, roaming deer and historic herds of Jacob sheep, just on the edge of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Still home to the Lucy family, visitors can savour the treasures amassed by the formidable Mary Elizabeth and many generations of the family.

Charlcote Park looks even prettier when adorned with festive decorations, a laid Christmas dining table and plenty of presents at the bottom of the Christmas tree. Unfortunately Father Christmas is fully booked this year but there’s still plenty of festive activities to enjoy throughout December.

Lodge Park and Sherborne Estate

The statuesque Lodge Park, built by John ‘Crump’ Dutton in the 17th century, and Sherborne Estate, boasting an array of fauna that visitors regularly meet around the grounds, is a glorious spot to explore this Christmas.

Gather your loved ones, wrap up warm and soak in the stunning architecture and gorgeous landscape, embracing the crisp, winter air.

You may even spot deer running round the countryside.

A post shared by Ella Wood (@ellawood01) on

Chastleton House

A gem of Jacobean architecture, Chastleton House was built between 1607 and 1612 by a prosperous wool merchant who wished to boast his wealth and power.

Exuding a timeless atmosphere, as the building was left untouched in the 21st century, it’s a fascinating place to enjoy a relaxing stroll.

This Christmas, on the weekends of December 2 and 3, 9 and 10, 16 and 17, embrace the Victorian celebrations; a roaring fire will warm you up while you enjoy the festive journey through the house.

A post shared by Gary Cooke (@cooke_with_an_e) on

Ragley Hall, Warwickshire

Although now closed for the season, the beauty of Ragley and its surrounding ten hectares of rolling greenery can be enjoyed on various dates throughout December with ‘Ragley by Candlelight’ (booking is essential).

To the backdrop of choral song, enjoy a guided walk around the grand hall, made all the more beautiful with festive touches. You can also book a festive afternoon tea on the December 3 tour.

This year Ragley Hall will host its first Frost Fair on Friday November 24 to Sunday November 26 with an array of unique gifts to purchase ahead of Christmas Day.

A post shared by Ragley (@ragleyhall) on

Dyrham Park

Calling all nature lovers, a trip to this ancient deer park is perfect. Over 270 acres surrounds the 17th century house founded by civil servant William Blathwayt.

Get cosy in a thick coat and scarf this winter, and ramble through the varied landscape. As well as housing almost 200 fallow deer, Dyrham Park is also home to an abundance of flora for you to spot along your stroll.

This Christmas, Dyrham Park will step back to its 17th century roots, and offer a peek of festivities gone by. There’s plenty to enjoy including a children’s trail and activities to enjoy as well as a weekend Frost Fayre on December 16 and 17 offering some local Christmas bits.

A post shared by Dyrham Park (@ntdyrhampark) on

Fancy a look at more of the Cotswolds enchanting stately homes after the festive period? Here’s some more to explore or perhaps stroll the Cotswold countryside on a bracing winter walk.

Looking for the perfect gift idea this Christmas? Click here to treat yourself or a loved one to a subscription to Cotswold Life from just £11.50!

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