It’s finally starting to feel like winter in England. After months of damp and mild weather (aka: standard British weather) and endless battles with wet umbrellas, the frosts have started and there is a wintery chill in the air. This means one thing, and one thing only: Christmas is on its way!
So, we decided that it was officially time to rekindle our Christmas spirit, with a Christmas day trip. It was also Sunday, and these sort of day trips always happened on a Sunday when we were kids, so it seemed appropriate.
After a little research, we decided to visit Waddesdon Manor: an enormous, stately home owned by the Rothschilds, not far from us. We had heard that the place was now officially decked-out for Christmas and that even better, the artist, Bruce Munro, had put together a light exhibition across the beautiful grounds of the house. So we bundled into our car and set off.
Built over a century ago for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild (because, who doesn’t need a 200 acre estate to entertain their friends?), the house is beautiful; filled with artwork and silk walls.
As you drive up, the driveway is dotted with big Christmas trees and sparkly lights. We were excited. Inside, the house has been filled with 12 Christmas trees, each of which represents a different country or theme. You can see each tree as you wander around the huge house and its many various suites and bedrooms (dodging the multiple elderly folk, also out on their Sunday day trip). Our favourite rooms were the ‘Ice Queen room’ (think ‘Frozen’) and the Russian tree filled with little Babushka dolls. Things were definitely feeling festive!
As the sun had gone down, we then headed out to see the light exhibition. Called ‘Winter Light at Waddesdon’ the exhibition is very cool and quite magical, especially as you wander through the cold, pitch black grounds of the manor. Made up of a mixture of different installations, you can see a big lawn full of ‘mini’ glowing harvest moons; clothes lines filled with neon chirping kookaburra (or pegs!); a huge dome of light, made up of plastic bottles, and a field of red, white and yellow light bulbs, glowing away. We’re no artists, but the whole exhibition was brilliant, colourful and vibrant!
So if you’re local, or wanting to visit a nice old English country home, spend a Sunday afternoon here. It’s much better than sitting on the sofa, eating chocolate and weeping quietly about the impending Monday morning (or is that just us?)