Festive days out with the National Trust

Father Christmas, music, crafts and festive food all play their part in what is set to be a traditional Christmas with the National Trust this year.

The Trust has over 20 Christmas events taking place across the North East between now and the big day itself. So whether you’re looking for a festive farmers’ market, a chance to soak up the atmosphere or something to get your little ones in the mood for Christmas, there will be plenty to do with the National Trust.

Here’s what’s happening at each of the places the Trust looks after:

Wallington, Northumberland

On weekends throughout December Wallington are recreating a traditional Christmas atmosphere inspired by the Trevelyan family who once lived there. Throughout the first floor of the house you can enjoy colourful decorations, festive music, craft activities, stories from Mrs Santa and the chance to meet the big man himself if you book up early enough.

Outside you can enjoy a walk through the woods to look for red squirrels, or head down to the garden to visit the colourful conservatory. After you’ve worked up an appetite the Clocktower Café has a festive menu that’s sure to make your mouth water, including roast turkey and all the trimmings followed by Christmas pudding.

Gibside, Tyne & Wear

Over at Gibside, stock up for the festive season with local produce at the Farmers’ Market on 6th and 20th December, or bring the family to search for Father Christmas in his woodland grotto and discover a winter woodland at the stables (every weekend, 6th–21st December). There will also be Christmas carols by candlelight in the chapel on 6th December and a festive hog roast on 19th December.

Cragside, Northumberland

If you’re looking for a pre-Christmas winter walk, head to Cragside and explore the many footpaths. In spite of the season, you’ll still find Cragside is very green at this time of year because of the thousands of conifers that were planted by Lord Armstrong. After a spell outdoors, there’s nothing better than some comfort food and at Cragside a warming one-pot or a steaming bowl of homemade soup awaits. They also have three course traditional Christmas lunches with a Lord Armstrong twist on the pud, but you’ll have to book up for these.

Souter Lighthouse, Tyne & Wear

If you’re looking for Christmas on the coast, head for Souter Lighthouse. There’s a Christmas Craft Fair on 29th & 30th November, selling unique and locally made goods ideal for presents or stocking fillers. For younger visitors, Father Christmas will be in residence every weekend from 6th–21st December. And if you’re after a spot of lunch the menu includes hot spiced apple juice, mulled wine as well as turkey, stuffing and cranberry stotties.

Washington Old Hall, Tyne and Wear

Father Christmas is taking some time out of his busy diary to pop into Washington Old Hall on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th December. He won’t be there for long so they’ve asked you to call in advance to book your own special time to meet him. If you fancy some shopping, the Frost Faye on the 23 November will have loads of gorgeous local gifts, and for grown-ups, learn how to make a contemporary wreath on the 30 November.

Housesteads, Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland

Wednesday 17th December

For the first time ever you can experience a traditional Roman Christmas at Housesteads. Inspired by the Roman festival Saturnalia, there will be a mix of activities including willow weaving as well as decorations, music food and drink.

Seaton Delaval Hall, Northumberland

6th & 7th December

Enjoy a traditional festive weekend at Seaton Delaval Hall including a Christmas fair and a chance to meet Father Christmas.

To find out more about festive days out in the North East visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/northeast