8 stunning Cotswold stately homes to visit this Christmas
PUBLISHED: 11:07 23 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:16 26 November 2018
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
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.
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. From November 26, Snowshill Manor will be closed for winter and open again on March 18, 2019.
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 heritage, 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%.
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.
This year, Christmas at Blenheim is bigger and better than ever. From November 23-January 1, experience the palace and gardens lit up by illuminations, from the delicate and twinkling to the grand and spectacular. For the first time, there will be a Christmas Market in the Great Court (open November 23-December 16) with an array of hand-picked, unique gifts to peruse.
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.
Charlecote Park looks even prettier when adorned with festive decorations, a fully laid Christmas dining table and plenty of presents at the bottom of the Christmas tree. Book ahead to enjoy Charlecote Park’s first ever traditional carol service taking place in St Leonard’s Church.
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.
Although the Lodge Park closes for winter, gather your loved ones, wrap up warm and soak in the stunning architecture and gorgeous landscape of the Estate, embracing the crisp, winter air.
You may even spot deer running through the countryside.
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 November 24 and 25, December 1, 2, 8 and 9, embrace the Victorian celebrations; a roaring fire will warm you up while you enjoy the festive journey through the house.
Ragley Hall, Alcester
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.
Following its success last year, Ragley Hall will once again host its Frost Fair on November 24 and 25 (10am-5pm). Expect plenty of festive gifts on sale to buy ahead of Christmas Day.
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 15 and 16 offering some local Christmas bits.
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