From magical light trails to Narnia-inspired worlds, Christmas tree farms to Harry Potter tours, we’ve rounded up the 12 best festive days out near London. Read on to find out the events worth booking this Christmas – and be quick, as tickets are destined to sell out quickly!

Looking for more ways to keep the kids entertained this Christmas? Read our guide here.

Walking with The Snowman at Winkworth Arboretum

It’s not Christmas without watching The Snowman. This winter, Winkworth Arboretum is bringing Raymond Briggs’ classic story to life with a woodland trail. 

Perfect for all ages, walk through the wintery woodland at Winkworth and see if you can spot 12 The Snowman sculptures. Tucked between the trees, each has been hand-painted with a unique pattern inspired by the traditional yuletide song, ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’. 

Winkworth will also play host to some traditional fairground games and rides, including a glittering carousel.

26th November – 2nd January 

Hascombe Road, Godalming, GU8 4AD

www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Glow Wild at Wakehurst

Whether you’re already well acquainted with Kew’s Christmas trail or looking for somewhere further afield to visit for a festive day out, Glow wild at Wakehurst is the perfect alternative. 

Located in Sussex, Wakehurst is Kew’s sister site. This year they are welcoming Christmas with open arms as their award-winning winter lantern trail returns for its ninth year. As the darker nights pull in, the gardens are brought to life through hand-crafted festive lanterns and captivating light installations created by leading artists. 

The perfect sensory experience for all ages, follow the trail along and see the magic of the season come to life through bursts of colour and lights.

24th November – 1st January 

Ardingly, Haywards Heath, Sussex, RH17 6TN

www.kew.org

Narnia at Mottisfont

Fancy embarking on a journey through C. S. Lewis’ childhood classics? Over in Romsey at Mottisfont, you can step into the world of Narnia thanks to their winter decorations and family trail inspired by the beloved story The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

From 26th November – 8th January, the house will be transformed with a touch of warmth and sparkle from a 1940s Christmas. Think trees glistening, traditional toys and paper decorations. Follow in the footsteps of the wartime evacuees as you pass through a ‘wardrobe’ to experience their adventures for yourself. 

The festive spirit comes into its own in the Whistler Room, where Aslan takes centre stage over tall trees bursting with baubles and brightly-wrapped gifts. Wander around, spotting objects from the story as you travel through the rooms of the house. 

There’ll be an art exhibition too, dressed as an enchanted forest and featuring 16 watercolour illustrations by Pauline Baynes, the original artist for the Chronicles of Narnia series. 

26th November – 8th January 

Mottisfont Lane, Mottisfont, Romsey SO51 0LP

www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Lapland UK

Venture a little further afield and soak up the festive spirit at Lapland UK. Let your little elves fall in love with the magic of Christmas as you wander around, visiting Santa’s little helpers’ workshops, his grotto and the Enchanted Forest.

This books up super quickly, so make sure to nab your space in advance.

 

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Whitmoor Forest, Swinley Road, Winkfield Row, Ascot, SL5 8BD

www.laplanduk.co.uk

Beatrix Potter’s Christmas Tale at Nyman’s

Explore Beatrix Potter’s festive family favourite this Christmas in a magical setting. Taking over the West Sussex National Trust spot will be the story of ‘The Tailor of Gloucester’. Installations spread around the garden will help bring this story to life. 

The mice that live in the poor tailor’s shop have made it their mission to help him, and it’s up to you and your friends to find all of the things they need to finish the special coat in time for Christmas Day.

The house will also be dressed to the nines, with rooms decorated with rich displays, Christmas trees and sparkling lights. There’s also a story corner for little ones, an exhibition with original Beatrix Potter Christmas cards and illustrations and festive treats at the Welcome Café.

26th November – 3rd January 

Nymans, Handcross, Haywards Heath, RH17 6EB

www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Christmas at Blenheim Palace

A visit to Blenheim Palace is always magical, but at Christmastime, the estate really comes into its own. This winter sees the Oxfordshire country house transform into a wonderland, complete with a brand new trail and a new exquisitely themed Palace interior. 

There’s plenty to get excited about. Spend the day exploring the new Palace rooms, each of which has been transformed and filled with hidden treasures. Stop by the glistening Land of Snowflakes, a room filled with frost-covered forests, before heading to the Kingdom of Ice, adorned with shimmering crystals. All of your fairy-tale dreams will come alive here. Head over to the Orangery to sample their Ice Kingdom-themed afternoon tea, complete with finger sandwiches, scones and wintery treats. 

Their Christmas market will be returning too, home to maker-craft traders’ houses in wooden chalets in the Great Court. 

Come evening time, book yourself in for their after-dark illuminated trail. The Palace’s picturesque gardens will be filled with festive spirit, with over a million lights transforming the space. Expect plenty of dancing lakeside reflections, trees drenched in jewel-like colours and glittering tunnels of light.

 

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18th November – 2nd January 

Woodstock, OX20 1PP

www.blenheimpalace.com

 

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Christmas at Epping Ongar Railway

Let the magic of Christmas come to life at Epping Ongar Railway’s special light display. Every winter, the steam railway transforms one of its trains with a colourful light display. 

Adorned with hundreds of colourful lights, book in now to experience this magical countryside experience.

18th November – 15th January 

Ongar Station, Station Approach, Ongar, Essex, CM5 9BN

www.eorailway.co.uk

Santa’s Sleigh at Bodiam Castle

Let the little one’s dreams come true and catch Santa’s sleigh parked up in the Castle Courtyard at Bodiam Castle this December. From 3rd December to 2nd January, you’ll be able to jump aboard and take a family photo like no other. On selected dates in December, there’ll even be a few friendly elves and winter characters, as well as Mr C or Mother Christmas, walking around the Castle Courtyard or seated on thrones. 

Throughout December there’ll also be Christmas storytelling held in the cosy castle tower room, suitable for young children and perfect for drop-in sessions for families. Or grab your wellies and walk around the castle walls and grounds.

3rd December – 2nd January 

Bodiam, Robertsbridge, TN32 5UA

www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Hogwarts in the Snow

Harry Potter studio is transformed into Hogwarts in the Snow.

Whizz over on your Nimbus 2000 and fall in love with the epic Hogwarts castle model that’s been covered in a dusting of snow, before making your way through the Gryffindor common room and Boys’ dormitory. It’ll be as if Harry and his friends are still living in the space, with original props including handmade Christmas cards on display. 

The Yule Ball returns, offering you a chance to step in the footsteps of your favourite character moments. Prepare to be dazzled as you’re greeted with silver decorations, dripping icicles and sparkling snow. 

Expect fan-favourite sets to be transformed with red and gold ornaments, as well as snow falls across the Forbidden Forest, Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts castle model.

12th November – 15th January 

Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, WD25 7LR

www.wbstudiotour.co.uk

Christmas with the Churchills at Chartwell

Over at Chartwell in Kent, you’re invited to see just how the Churchills celebrated the festive season at their family home. Peek behind the doors and see the house beautifully lit up and decorated. 

On selected dates throughout November and December, you’ll be able to discover the connection with Hallmark cards and how the Churchills transformed the dining room after dinner. Expect plenty of festive touches throughout. 

From Thursday 17th – Sunday 20th November, the Chartwell Christmas Fair will be held. It’s the perfect opportunity to get in some festive shopping and explore stallholders like High Weald Dairy, Warren Woodcrafts, Iveta Goddard Ceramics and West Fisher Winery.

17th November – 23rd December 

Mapleton Road, Westerham, TN16 1PS

www.nationaltrust.org.uk

 

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Christmas Tree Farm, Harold’s Park Farm

Looking to invest in the perfect tree? Make a day of it and venture out over to Harold’s Park Farm to explore their hundreds of non-drop trees. 

Available for sale from 26th November – 24th December, head down with the kids, wander around the field, and find the right tree for your home. Tractor rides run on the weekends until 18th December.

26th November – 24th December

Bumbles Green, Nazeing, Essex, EN9 2SF

www.haroldspark.co.uk


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