16th December 2022
Many National Trust houses reopen for Christmas and are decorated with a theme. We try and visit at least each year. There are some houses which are decorated in an extravagant fashion, such as our local house, Waddesdon Manor. This is a big money-making scheme and visitors are charged entry whether they are or are not members of the National Trust. These houses tend to become very busy. We typically visit the smaller houses which have been decorated by the volunteers and are still free to National Trust members. This year we have already visited Chastleton House in late November and squeezed in this visit to Canons Ashby to meet up with some friends of ours.
The weather had been cold and frosty for several days, and wonderful frost patterns had formed on the lawns and outdoor furniture. The house looked spectacular with the bright blue sky and the white from the snow/frost patterns. The house had been decorated with small paper Christmas trees, castles and Welsh dragons, the theme being Arthurian legends. Seems the volunteers had made many of the decorations. Brilliant and, of course, R cannot resist a dragon. There were even dragons eggs and a puffing, growling dragon.
Of course, no visit is complete without a visit to the cafe (not to mention the secondhand bookshop), where, on our second visit, we stayed and chatted until past closing time. Back at the car park, the NT staff were trying to figure out who was still in the gardens, and which cars belonged to visitors.