High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP14 4LA
This post is purely about the Christmas 2018 displays at Hughenden Manor. For my main review of Hughenden Manor (including lots of photos) click here
Christmas at Hughenden is a much more subdued experience than it’s near-neighbour Manor House nr Aylesbury, and that’s no bad thing. There are less crowds (we actually went on a slightly soggy weekday so it was actually very quiet), the site is more compact and there’s more opportunity to do your own thing. There are also more rooms to explore because none of the rooms are closed except those that are always closed.
This year the theme is all about the visit of Queen Victoria to Hughenden Manor (She was good friends with Benjamin Disraeli) and there is a tree in each room decorated to fit a particular aspect of this theme. What is nice is that there is an explanation on each tree of what it’s all about.
The stables area has a huge tree and looks great with all of the lights and the wreaths outside. As this is one of the first places you come to when you visit Hughenden it’s lovely to see.
Unlike some other places, there isn’t an inside trail for you to follow as such. Their Christmas decorations are all about the trees. There are lots of them and they’re really nicely decorated. Other than the stairs and one room the rooms themselves have mainly been left as they are for the rest of the year, which is completely fine. It all looks very festive though. It did make me laugh that the giant lollipops are made from swimming noodles. One to remember should I ever need to make a massive lolly!!
High Wycombe has a proud chair making history and, in order to represent this, the local furniture-makers created a chair arch in Queen Victoria’s honour. This has been recreated as you go into the manor.
Out in the gardens there is a bell jar trail that you can follow. Each jar has a miniature scene, again related to the Queen’s visit. There are 10 dotted around the grounds (the locations of which are on the leaflet you are given). I feel a bit bad saying this as I know they were made by volunteers, but some are certainly better than others. There were a couple I wasn’t entirely sure what they were supposed to be about. That said, they are nice and easy to find and the kids enjoyed looking for them which is all that really matters.
The decorations are really good across the site as a whole, particularly in the house itself, and it’s nice to be able to see the house in a different way but I wouldn’t necessarily say this screams CHRISTMAS. It’s not supposed be, it’s more homely than showy and I like that. In previous years there have been things for kids to find inside the house (such as mice I seem to remember one year) and it might have been nice to have done something like that again this year.
Entry – Free for NT members £31.65 for a family ticket
Parking – Free, on-site
Toilets – Yes
Food – Cafe on site picnics are very welcome. There is also Dizzy’s Tea Room near the house but for some reason I’ve never found it!
Rating – 4 / 5