The National Trust really know how to celebrate the festive season. With several magnificent properties in Cornwall all offering a host of things to see and do, now is the perfect time to visit and enjoy the delights of Christmas.
Step back in time and experience the magic of a traditional Victorian Christmas at Lanhydrock. Not only is the house dressed for Christmas, but you’ll also discover decorations in the formal gardens and in the trees on the estate. For children, there are Christmas trails, crafts and the opportunity to visit Father Christmas.
The Victorians were responsible for making many of the customs we enjoy at Christmas popular. They revived old traditions, such as singing Christmas carols and bringing greenery inside to decorate our homes. They also invented a variety of Christmas traditions – from crackers to sending Christmas cards, and beautifully decorated Christmas trees.
The 10ft tree Christmas tree in the hall is striking, and you can see the table laid for Christmas dinner – complete with menus from 1887.
In Victorian times, children often performed concerts or put on plays to entertain their family and guests, so visitors will even find a theatre set complete with dressing up clothes to play with.
There’s a reduced winter admission fee (free entry for National Trust members).
The house has been decorated for Christmas, and is wonderfully atmospheric. There’s also festive entertainment in the form of stories, poetry, song and pop-up theatre.
And what better way to round off your visit than by stopping by the kitchen for a glass of mulled wine and a slice of Christmas cake?
Visit after dusk on selected dates in December and you’ll find Trelissick magically transformed. Tiptoe through the garden and follow the trail of lights to discover trees lit up with green, blue and red lights, creating shadows that flicker and dance as the branches move in the wind.
Trerice is a beautiful Elizabethan manor house which contains a host of festive delights. There are several activities happening in the run-up to Christmas at Trerice, including the opportunity meet a Tudor Father Christmas, listen to carols or be spellbound by stories.
The Christmas flower garland at Cotehele draws hundreds of visitors each year. A garland has been hung in the Tudor hall during the festive season each year since 1956. It’s created by the Cotehele gardeners using thousands of flowers, all grown on the estate, and measures an impressive 100 feet in total.
Local choirs and musicians perform under the garland during the afternoons (see the NT website for more details), ranging in style from traditional Christmas carols to classical and gospel music.
Other activities at Cotehele include wassailing in the orchards and an opportunity to meet Father and Mother Christmas. Cotehele is open from 11am to 4pm (except Christmas and Boxing Day). Usual admission prices apply (free entry for National Trust members).
For more information on National Trust properties and events during the festive season, see www.nationaltrust.org.uk
What’s your favourite way to get into the Christmas spirit in Cornwall? Share your thoughts below, tweet @Bosinver or post on our Facebook page. We’d love to hear your recommendations!