New this year: weekday evening opportunity to experience the decorations in winter light; mid-week offers and a fairytale experience to remember.
Imaginatively decorated for Christmas, the Hall will be open every Wednesday (3-7pm), Saturday and Sunday (both 10-4pm) between Saturday 26 November and Wednesday 21 December. It’s an opportunity to soak up the festive atmosphere of Christmas in a treasured family home, which has seen a lot of Christmas mornings over its four hundred year plus history. A chance to see what the present day family and staff have created and to think about how Christmas may have looked and felt through the centuries. For the first time, the Hall will be open on Wednesday afternoons into early evening, so visitors can make the most of the fading light, the warm glow of decorations and the roaring open fires. For 2016, the decorative theme is ‘Fairytale Christmas’.
Many of the main rooms will take an individual theme, taking the visitor on a whimsical tour through characters, scenes and stories from evocative fairytales. For example, in one of the bedrooms the Princess and the Pea will be depicted using an antique four-poster bed; in the Brown Parlour, you’ll be invited to step into the sweet world of Hansel & Gretel and in the 96-foot Long Gallery the Snow Queen will beckon the visitor in towards her through silent white birch branches and fresh Christmas trees. Shhh! Be sure to creep quietly lest you disturb the forest…
This year, as in previous years, the displays will have been created by a team which includes Claire Birch, who runs the Doddington Estate with her husband James, several staff members, resident cutting gardener florist Rachel Petheram of Catkin Flowers and lighting and production designer Howell Thomas with students from Lincoln College.
Add that extra bit of magic to the festive season for little ones and book a visit to see Father Christmas in the cosy family setting of the Hall’s Library. Meet the Christmas Elves, share your Christmas wishes with Father Christmas and receive a small present per child. Booking is essential and tickets are expected to sell fast so book early to avoid disappointment. *SORRY, NOW SOLD OUT!*
On Wednesday afternoons between 30 November and 21 December (1pm-3pm) schools are invited to book their classes in for an exclusive tour of the Hall, which will see them enchanted by the festive decorations whilst learning about the history of the House. (£3 per child). Find out more.
Elsewhere on the Doddington Estate, there is plenty of magical atmospheric shopping to be enjoyed including Late Night Shopping Evenings 5pm to 8pm on Wednesdays between 30 November and 21 December.
The colourful Bauble Barn is one of the largest selections of decorations in the area and a popular destination. With numerous styles available from Bollywood Christmas to Woodland Animals, and plenty of ‘warm metallic’ which is this season’s fresh trend, it has something for everyone and is already open. The Bauble Barn includes a traditional toy area and, new this year, table accessories to make the Christmas day table look extra beautiful. It is open 9am to 5pm, closing at 6pm from Saturday 26 November (Sundays 10am to 5pm). Closes at 12noon on Christmas Eve.
Doddington at Home and Doddington Country Clothing are both full of inspirational gift ideas. Doddington at Home has plenty of quirky, original gifts and artisanal home accessories whilst Doddington Country Clothing has both clothing and footwear for a stylish rural lifestyle as well as beautiful accessories.
The Farm Shop has plenty of seasonal produce including vegetables and fruit, plus the butchery offers turkeys, game, sausages etc. as well as traditional pork pies. With gift ideas among the sweet treats, customers will be able to find everything they need to put both under the tree and on the table.
This year, a ‘Win your Money Back’ promotion is offered to customers who shop between Monday and Thursday in all Doddington stores. The lucky winner’s shopping will be refunded (up to £150; draw takes place on the 23 December 2016).
Of course, a visit to Doddington Hall to choose a freshly-cut home-grown tree is a part of many families’ seasonal calendar. The pretty Stable Yard will again be full of trees with plenty of shapes and sizes to choose from. Tree sales open on Saturday 26 November and remain open every day from 9am to 6pm until Christmas Eve (Sundays 10am to 5pm / Christmas Eve 9.30am to 12noon). For customers purchasing a tree between Monday and Thursday, a £1 off voucher (on the Doddington Christmas flyer) can be used.
Book your tickets for a Fairytale Christmas here.