Festive fun with the National Trust in Surrey and Sussex this Christmas

The nights are drawing in, it’s getting colder, and Christmas isn’t far away. It’s time to get into the festive spirit – and there’s no better way than visiting National Trust places all decked out for the season.

See historic houses decorated in the style of Christmases gone by, stroll through frosty winter gardens, discover festive crafts and tuck into delicious seasonal treats. If you’re lucky you might even spot Father Christmas on one of his annual visits.

For little ones there will also be a special Percy the Park Keeper winter trail at six National Trust places in Surrey and Sussex, so they can enjoy the great outdoors inspired by some of Nick Butterworth’s most beloved characters.                                                                                        

After all that, warm yourself with the knowledge that each festive day out supports the National Trust’s work as a charity looking after special places for future generations to enjoy.

See below for the National Trust’s pick of the best places and events locally to help you celebrate the season. More information at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/surrey and www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sussex


Polesden Lacey, Surrey
27th November to 23rd December and Boxing Day

The house has fallen under an enchanted evergreen spell this Christmas. See the house at Polesden Lacey dressed for Christmas with each room transformed by the beauty of the festive season. Woodland animals have taken over the festive preparations and have transformed Mrs Greville’s Edwardian party house. As you wander through the rooms see what animals you can spot along the way.

The magic continues outdoors where an enchanted wood is waiting to be discovered. Two elves need help to find Father Christmas and the lost presents. Can you help?

Or take part in Percy the Park Keeper’s winter wander trail through the gardens.

  • Finding Father Christmas, in association with The Visitor Enhance Experience and The Cat’s Grin Theatre Company, £10 per child, including members. Advance booking essential.
  • Decorated house and Percy the Park Keeper trail – normal admission charges apply, no need to book.

Hatchlands Park
4th December to 3rd January (closed 24 & 25 Dec)

There’s festive family fun in the great outdoors this Christmas at Hatchlands Park. Follow Percy the Park Keeper’s winter wander trail in the beautiful parkland. The house is decorated for a traditional family Christmas, while the Kitchen Café in the courtyard is open for festive treats and hot chocolate.
Normal admission applies

Claremont Landscape Garden
4th December to 3rd January (closed 24 & 25 Dec)

Beautiful winter vistas and sparkling lights make Claremont a very special place to visit. This year we’re inviting you embark on Percy the Park Keeper’s winter wander trail. Join in the fun with Percy and his animal friends and give nature a helping hand.

Normal admission applies.

Witley and Milford Commons

Hunt for your own Scots pine tree to cut and take home for Christmas and help us with our important heathland conservation work.

Pick your perfect pine and cut your own Christmas tree for the festive season at Witley & Milford Commons. Scots Pine is beautifully scented, non-prickly and has excellent needle retention, making these wild native trees an environmentally friendly alternative to the usual farmed Christmas trees.

Bring the walking boots, a saw and gloves to cut your own tree.

£35 includes one tree, two hot drinks and parking, advanced booking essential.

Winkworth Arboretum
4th December to 3rd January (closed 24 & 25 Dec)

Tis the season for crisp winter walks, days out with the family, festive decorations and warming drinks. Winkworth’s wintry woodland is the perfect spot for a quiet walk in the crisp, clean air.

Normal admission applies.

River Wey Navigations

Head out, in good company, on a walk alongside the beautiful River Wey on 5 December. This 5 mile guided walk will take you around the Chantries in Guildford, moving on to Shalford.

Box Hill

Box Hill is the perfect place for a festive family walk. Enjoy the uplifting views, then snuggle up in the cosy café with coffee and a mince pie. The Natural Play Trail is a two-mile level walk and a great chance to play in the woods. There are lots of trees and structures to climb on.

Open access countryside, small charge for parking

Hindhead Commons and the Devil’s Punch Bowl  

With so much wide open space, the Devil’s Punch Bowl is a great place for a family walk over the festive season. Experience true wildness on a hilly walk through the centre of the Punch Bowl. Or bring the scooters and the dog and saunter along to the viewpoint and back. There are cakes and hot chocolates back at the cafe.

Open access countryside, small charge for parking


Petworth House and Park – Festive traditions through time
27 November to 3 January (closed 24 & 25 Dec)

Explore Christmas traditions through the ages and into the future, as you wander through rooms decorated with festive sparkle and costumes crafted from winter greenery.

In the Pleasure Gardens you’ll find performances of poetry, spoken word and carols (selected dates). Little ones can set off on our new Percy the Park Keeper activity trail (4 Dec – 3 Jan), and there are festive workshops too, from sustainable card, gift wrap and tag-making, to cake decorations and wreaths.

Normal admission applies.


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