It’s been a tough year for everyone, but there’s festive respite on offer, as National Trust places in Hampshire invite you to celebrate Christmas in beautiful rural settings.
Government guidance permitting, we’ll have houses decorated with twinkling lights and glittering Christmas trees at Mottisfont and The Vyne. At Hinton Ampner, Mottisfont and The Vyne, we’ve got an exclusive outdoor Peter Rabbit™ family trail to explore, as well as Peter Rabbit craft activities to enjoy at home.
All our Hampshire places are set in acres of gardens and countryside, offering the perfect winter getaway for a day.
Mottisfont near Romsey
Christmas at Mottisfont: early Dec – 10 Jan (closed 24 & 25 Dec). Glowing lanterns line Mottisfont’s garden paths. In the house, twinkling lights add sparkle to Christmas trees laden with baubles. Look out for little woodland creatures nestled amongst the decorations. Outside, join favourite Beatrix Potter characters on a Peter Rabbit™ winter adventure activity trail, with fun nature-themed tasks and rewards. (£2). There are sparkling waterways and frost-covered meadows to explore on festive walks, and a winter garden full of colour and scent. Warm up with seasonal takeaway treats from the café.
Hinton Ampner near Alresford
This picturesque country estate has winter trails to suit all ages, and a chance to warm up with tasty takeaway treats from our café. Set out on our Peter Rabbit™ winter adventure activity trail in the gardens. Pick up a trail pack with everything you need for this fun challenge to help Peter Rabbit’s friends. Includes a selfie station where families can take photos with their favourite storybook rabbit. £2 per trail. Closed 25 & 26 Dec.
The Vyne near Basingstoke
Celebrate a Victorian Christmas at The Vyne (early Dec – 3 Jan, closed 24 & 25 Dec). Ground floor rooms are filled with glowing Christmas trees and traditional decorations. Outdoors, there are winter walks to explore through woods and fields, and refreshments to keep you warm. Families can have fun outdoors on a Peter Rabbit™ winter adventure activity trail, leading to a badge, certificate, and other treats (£2).
Christmas on the Isle of Wight
Mottistone Gardens, near Brighstone
Forest Fables family theatre, 11 – 24 Dec, 45-minute day and evening performances Age range: 2 to 10 years. Tickets: £65 for a bubble of up to six people. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mottistone-gardens-and-estate
This Christmas, enjoy a unique family theatre experience inside Mottistone Manor. Forest Fables is a spell-binding, socially distanced performance, designed for bubbled families. Journey through enchanted rooms, discovering captivating and curious characters with tales to tell, of folklore and nature. Forest Fables is the creation of Naiads Foundry, a company of Golden Globe, Emmy, and Olivier nominated artists who are passionate about producing theatre in a safe, beautiful and thrilling way.
More information on: Peter Rabbit™ winter adventure activity trail (for ages 3-5 and 5-9 yrs), £2 per trail
This exclusive offer, in partnership with Penguin Random House UK, will see kids helping Peter Rabbit’s friends prepare for the winter months, in the gardens at Mottisfont, The Vyne,
and Hinton Ampner. Young nature adventurers will be lending a hand to some of Beatrix Potter’s best-loved characters, including Squirrel Nutkin and Jemima Puddle-Duck. There are clues to solve, nature-themed challenges to try, and a Peter Rabbit selfie station where everyone can take a picture with their favourite storybook rabbit.
Each £2 trail pack includes an activity sheet, pencil, badge, certificate, and additional play pack to take home. There are tasks to suit both 3 -5 year olds and 5 – 9 year olds.
Booking your visit to a National Trust place
We hope to offer our Peter Rabbit winter adventure activity trail as soon as Government guidance allows us to do so safely – look for updates online. To avoid disappointment, we recommend you book your visit in advance, especially at busy times like weekends and school holidays. Every Friday we release new tickets for the following week.
In the meantime, the gardens and wider estates at Hinton Ampner, The Vyne and Mottisfont remain open so that you can enjoy glorious family rambles, and warming takeaway refreshments.
Peter Rabbit™ at-home activity packs
There’s more Peter Rabbit fun to enjoy this winter, from the comfort of your own home. The National Trust and Penguin Random House UK have rustled up a series of downloadable activity packs, inspired by popular characters from Beatrix Potter tales. Help Peter Rabbit find his buttons, make a home in your garden for Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, rustle-up a yummy recipe from Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail, and listen to stories from Beatrix Potter’s home, Hill Top. Plus, there’s puzzles, colouring sheets, spot the difference and more fun things to make and do.
Discover the five new packs as they’re released from November to January here: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/peter-rabbit-activities-and-games-to-try-at-home.
Photo: Hinton Ampner – entrance hall at Christmas, ©National Trust Images, Oskar Proctor