I love Waddesdon, I’ve loved it ever since my first visit about 15 years ago. The house and the grounds are just magical and no more so when it comes to Christmas. This year I visited a few days after the south of England had seen a rather impressive scattering of snow and the warm yellow brick of the house looked stunning against the crisp white surroundings and (between downpours!) a beautiful blue sky.
Each year Waddesdon’s main rooms are ‘put to bed’ for cleaning and conservation, but parts of the House are opened specially for Christmas. A selection of rooms are each individually decorated with beautiful decorations. This year the rooms are adorned with wonderful displays to celebrate the weird and wonderful animals of Waddesdon, from an elephant parade inspired by an 18th-century musical automaton (one of my favourite displays in the house which can be viewed all year round) to a life-sized zebra! The Enchanted Menagerie didn’t disappoint and it is well worth a visit if you can get tickets. Take the kids and pick up a free children’s trail at the entrance to the House.
A favourite of mine this year is Noah’s ark and the sealions in the bathroom. Mr Deer was rather taken with the pyramid of boxes displaying a range of curiosities…
Christmas at Waddesdon is on until 2nd January and it is definitely worth a visit. Tickets for the House do need to be booked in advance and are currently still available to pre-book for weekdays between Christmas and New Year. All other dates have now sold out. However you can still visit the gardens including the Waddesdon Imaginarium, Willow Lantern Walk and the Electric Menagerie throughout the Christmas season from Wednesday to Sunday 11am-6pm until 2 Jan 2018 (inc Mon 1 & Tue 2 Jan). Waddesdon is Closed 24th, 25th & 26th December. To see the light displays at their best plan to stay around after dusk.
For tickets and more information visit their website https://waddesdon.org.uk/