Dear Mummy, we’re big fans of the National Trust, having been annual members now for four years. Mottisfont, near Romsey in Hampshire, is one of our favourite places to visit in the UK and every year they host wonderful Christmas events. Mottisfont is an 18th-century home with a medieval priory owned by The National Trust and we’ve had many adventures here. Two years ago we saw their beautiful installation of The Nutcracker on their estate and we love visiting when the roses are at full bloom. We’ve visited in all seasons but nothing beats walking around Mottisfont on a crisp winter day.
This year the Twelve Days of Christmas came alive at Mottisfont. We discovered decorated rooms and gardens inspired by the classic song, from the glittery dresses of ‘nine ladies dancing’ to beautiful bird decorations. Creative volunteers have crafted hundreds of hand-made decorations for the Twelve Days of Christmas at Mottisfont and the displays are wonderful.
We followed a new activity trail which guided us through all the song’s famous verses and started by picking up our own ‘songbook’ at visitor reception to commence the trail. It’s packed with activities to do as we followed all the song’s verses. We ticked off the displays as we found them and it was great exercise walking around in the fresh December air.
We spotted lots of themed decorations around the grounds, including seven swans swimming in the stream and had fun making our own ‘Lords a-leaping’ craft paper puppets in the craft zone. It was a beautifully decorated room with lots of colouring sheets and crayons for little folk like me to use.
We were amazed by how much attention to detail was put into the displays by local artists and volunteers. The estate looked wonderful, even in the winter we enjoyed walking around in the winter garden and the walled garden.
We found four calling birds in the winding winter garden along with five gold rings. Three decorated hens were made by Mandy Flynn, the artist behind the much-loved wire horse in Mottisfont’s stable block and that display looked fabulous against the bright blue frosty sky and the house in the background.
We enjoyed warming up inside the house after following the trail outside and there was lots of festive sparkle inside, as Mottisfont was getting ready for a Twelve Days of Christmas party. Mottisfont’s last owner, Maud Russell, held many lively parties at Mottisfont so we peeked inside to see the house grandly decorated and transported back in time.
The dining room was laid out for a festive feast. We found an elaborate cake decorated with the Twelve Days of Christmas in an impressively ornate room, while the grand ballroom hosted a cocktail party with a magnificent traditional Christmas tree which was as tall as our house (well, nearly). It was such a festive atmosphere with lovely flower arrangements, twinkly lights and party placements laid out.
We used the picture frames and costumes to dress up in one of the rooms and had fun striking a photo pose in this grand house. We found a dressing room laid out for a Christmas party guest, and joined in the preparations by dressing up ourselves.
My mummy was really impressed with the attention to detail on the miniature sparkling dresses of nine ladies dancing created by Vin Turnham. The tiny dresses rotated on little plinths and I was mesmerised by them.
These nine ladies dancing took centre stage in the Whistler Room. These exquisite miniature ballet dresses twinkled in warm festive light. From the Sugar Plum Fairy to the Queen of the Night, each dress represented a dance costume in miniature, made in quarter-scale. Delicate crystals and sequins sparkle as they caught the light, above perfectly formed tulle tutus.
Mottisfont is the perfect place for a family visit all year round, with plenty of space to run, jump and play and The Twelve Days of Christmas runs until 3 January 2016. Suggested donation £1 per trail. We loved the beautiful creations in the grounds and it makes a great day out to burn off energy and those mince pies!
Love Bella x
Want to read more about Mottisfont, National Trust? Read our other Mottisfont posts here!