I am ready to embrace the magical experiences that November has to offer. I have narrowed it down to a few places I want to take the kids this season, and top of the list is Waddesdon Manor. A lot of National Trust properties have closed for the season, and although all the statues at the Garden of Waddesdon Manor have been tucked up for the winter, they still have lots of events going on during the lead up to Christmas.
I had done some research, and unfortunately I wasn’t able to book on a house tour, or in the restaurant for their incredible looking afternoon tea. I did get excited about the Lantern trail so we went later in the day to get a better experience. The fact that the Christmas market was there was a bonus.
Actually, I wonder if it is a good thing because as usual, it’s difficult to enjoy simple things like a Christmas market with a pushchair, a 4 year old escape artist, and older children who are on the constant look out for the next snack. Also, the embarrassment that comes with 4 children trying to sneak samples from the vendors. I always like to come up behind them and say “kids, come on, that’s not for you” as if it’s the first time – EVERY time (in the hope that it looks like I’m on top of it and it’s not going to happen at every single stall along the way, which it inevitably does!)
We walked down the pathway, past the woodland play area, and towards the stables. It was raining so the kids didn’t play very much, but there are shops and a cafe at the stables so we stayed there for a while.
As it got darker, we started to notice the lanterns everywhere and it was so beautiful. Warmed by our hot chocolates, we thought we would continue walking and follow the lanterns back to the car, instead of taking the shuttle bus that ferries people from the house to the car park.
There aren’t many places I can think of where you can walk with the children in the dark where they have the freedom to run around, you feel that they are really safe. We didn’t realise that at some points along the way it was very muddy, and because it had been raining it was extremely slippery. A couple of the children returned to the car covered in mud, but there were big smiles on everyone’s faces.
The Waddesdon Manor Christmas Market runs until 10th December 2017. Other Christmas events run until 2nd January 2018. Please visit the Waddesdon Manor website for more information.