Waddesdon Manor has been a regular haunt since we first joined the National Trust when my son was really small. We live fairly close by and are often to be found enjoying the grounds and admiring the beautiful exterior of the house. We’d had such a manic build up to Christmas, that for the first time in a number of years, we hadn’t visited the Christmas Markets or seen the light display. I was beginning to think we’d not get there at all over the festive period, when a brain wave struck. Why not spend time enjoying Waddesdon Imaginarium on New Years Eve?
With it being a Sunday it meant that Daddy P would be home and as we aren’t big party goers these days, we thought it would be a different way to start the celebrations. As well as being something our eight year old would enjoy.
We wrapped up warm and headed over to Waddesdon Manor later than in previous years as we were specifically going just for the light display this time around. I’d also seen on their Facebook page that they’d had an issue with a power cut and that the Stables complex wouldn’t be open that evening. We arrived about 4pm and the car park was quite full, but it was certainly easier to park than in previous years. We’re National Trust members and the light show at Waddesdon Manor is included in your entry. Every year the light show offers something different. The queue for the bus was minimal and we were soon whisked away to spend time enjoying Waddesdon Imaginarium on New Years Eve.
As soon as the bus dropped us off at the end of the drive I knew we were going to enjoy the light show.
Even without it being full dark yet, it all looked rather magical. Waddesdon Manor looks rather like a fairytale French Chateau in daylight, but as the sunset and the lights went up it took it to a whole new place.
We knew we’d get the best experience looking at the light projection when it was properly dark, so we headed off round the grounds to the side of the house, and walked around the path towards the Aviary.
It gave us a chance to see the carriage which we normally only see in daylight and to discover a rather lovely dragon.
My son was totally captivated by him and spent ages trying to take selfies with it with his new camera. You had to be there to see how funny that was.
The emphasis on this show was most definitely on the main house illuminations rather than a light trail around the grounds that we’ve followed in previous years. But for us, living close by, I think we preferred it.
There were a few lights by the Aviary, and the building itself is beautifully ornate.
We wandered back towards the house and with the moon coming through the clouds it really was like something straight out of a story book.
As we knew the Stables were open and a hot chocolate was most certainly called for, we opted to walk around to the back of the house to grab a drink from the kiosk, and enjoyed the mistletoes light as we passed by.
The lights are always too enticing for my son.
The back of the manor house certainly wasn’t going to be left in the shade.
The hot chocolate warmed us up and we were soon ready for the main event. Enjoying Waddesdon Imaginarium on New Years Eve would see us standing in front of the manor enjoying the light show which ran on a 15 minute loop, accompanied by music.
It really was beautiful.
We saw Christmas scenes, snowflakes falling, pieces of Waddesdon porcelain flying across the facade, cuckoo clocks chiming, flowers blooming, butterflies and ladybirds adorning the building and the aviary full of birds. Stunning.
We had a lovely time enjoying Waddesdon Imaginarium on New Years Eve, it really did end the year off nicely for us.
There was hardly any queue for the return bus, so rather than walk back to the car park as normal, we picked the easy option and were soon heading off towards Aylesbury for our evening meal. What did you do with the kids on New Years Eve?