Historic hall prepares for another magical festive season
After weeks of preparation, Lincolnshire’s Doddington Hall will unveil its magical transformation when it opens its doors for the festive season on Sunday 25 November.
This year the Elizabethan stately home, just five miles outside of Lincoln, will be dressed in spectacular style to mark the 60th anniversary since the first Christmas trees were planted in Doddington’s own ‘Christmas Wood.’
Its theme ‘O Christmas Tree’ will celebrate trees in every size, shape, form and material. And what makes it extra special is that all the decorations - from the Victorian themed Parlour to the festive forest in the Long Gallery - have been carefully designed and home crafted by the Doddington team itself.
Doddington Hall remains a lived-in and much-loved family home, and Claire Birch, whose family live in the Hall, has worked with the Doddington team to create the festive decorations. This includes contributions from Doddington-based florist Rachel Petheram, of Catkin Flowers, and Howell Thomas and his students from Lincoln College.
Not only are the Christmas trees grown within natural woodland habitat on the estate, but many of the stunning decorations around the Hall are made from materials that have been collected on the Doddington estate. Visitors are sure to be inspired by the home crafted displays that include dried alliums, artichokes, bean-pods, maize and hydrangeas, and items such as twigs, moss, ivy, mistletoe and holly foraged on the estate. There will be some special fun twists to look out for including the quirky food inspired decorations in the Great Hall and the Christmas Tree ladies in the Drawing Room. The route will take visitors eventually to the huge Christmas Tree in the Long Gallery, which will be the star of the show.
The Hall will be opening its doors for the Christmas season from Sunday 25 November through to Sunday 23 December, Wednesdays through to Sundays. There will be extra festive magic for the little ones too as families can book a visit to see Father Christmas and his Christmas Elves in the Hall’s cosy Library.
On the evening of Thursday 29 November, there will be exclusive guided tours of the Hall. Tickets include a festive drink and mince pie. The event is for limited numbers and so early booking is essential. There will also be a late-night shopping event during that evening between 5pm-9pm. The Farm Shop, Home Store, Country Clothing and Bike Shop will be open to allow shoppers the chance to stock up on festive food and buy gifts, treats and artisan products.
Visitors keen to beat the crowds and get into the Christmas mood early can kick start their celebrations with a trip to the Bauble Barn and Toy Shop in the Stable Yard, which opened to the public on Saturday 6 October. There will be the opportunity for visitors to buy Doddington estate-grown Christmas trees from the Stable Yard from Saturday 24 November.
Doddington Hall’s owner, Claire Birch, said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming visitors through our doors again. It is a fabulous opportunity to soak up the festive atmosphere of Christmas in a family home, which has seen a lot of Christmas mornings over its 400-year history. We hope people will return to see this year’s spectacular displays that have been lovingly created by our family and staff. Visitors will be able to see Christmas trees from angles they have never seen them, Christmas trees made from surprising and extraordinary things, Christmas trees as ball-gowns and of course a celebration of the very first Christmas tree dating back to Victorian times.”
Doddington Hall will be open five days a week between Sunday 25 November and Sunday 23 December: Wednesday to Friday 12-4pm, Saturday & Sunday 10am-4pm. Tickets cost £11 for adults and £5.50 for children (under 3 years are free). There is an additional fee to visit Father Christmas. Details can be found on www.doddingtonhall.comalong with all the opening times for the Tree Sales, Toy Shop and Bauble Barn.