You all know that Monkey and I love visiting Waddesdon Manor, it’s been one of our ‘go to’ places since he was really small. He knows his way around the grounds and we always have fun. My niece had been offered the chance to visit for the first time with her family, so we agreed to meet up with them there last Saturday, we’ve all been feeling festive at Waddesdon Manor.
We always make a point of visiting Waddesdon Manor on the run up to Christmas, although I’m yet to actually go inside the house at this time of year. I really must sort that out! The property is run by the National Trust and is located between Bicester and Aylesbury. Timed tickets are available for the house all year round, but at this time of year they go very quickly indeed.
Last year we were feeling festive at Waddesdon Manor with Daddy P, and I remember the car park being busier than we’d ever seen it before. This year, he was working so Monkey and I headed over a little earlier, but I have to be honest,the parking was just as bad. Christmas at Waddesdon is very popular. We finally found somewhere to park and joined the queue for the buses that run up to the manor itself. Being National Trust members we did avoid the main queue and didn’t wait too long at all for a bus.
My niece and her family had arrived before us and were going straight into the house, so we agreed to meet up with them once they’d enjoyed seeing the interior.
We’d heard that the Biscuiteers had recreated Waddesdon Manor as a gingerbread house so Monkey and I headed down to the Stables to see it for ourselves. We were not disappointed, the 2 metre long, double-sided model of the house is really amazing, unlike anything either of us have ever seen before. Feeling festive at Waddesdon Manor took on a whole new meaning as we walked around this marvel of confectionery.
Next stop was the Christmas Fair, it appears we’ve created a new Christmas tradition with Monkey. Last year he bought a couple of decorations for our tree at the Fair, and he found the same stall holder, and purchased his choice for this year, from his own pocket money too.
His purchase had to be celebrated with our first mince pies of the year. We sat and chatted, people watched and scoffed our pies, might good they were too.
No visit to Waddesdon for us could be complete without a walk through the trees and a visit to the Aviary. It was too cold for a lot of the birds, but my eagle-eyed son spotted a few lingering in the undergrowth as we walked past.
We stopped by an old tree trunk so Monkey could try to count the rings. The whole concept of trees being even older than Mummy just amazes Monkey. He kept losing count, but we’ll be back to try counting again another day I’m sure.
The wind has been blowing madly around here lately and the leaves covered the ground.
They were just too tempting for Monkey and he was soon running off to play in them.
After meeting up with my niece and the family we recommended that they all visit the gingerbread house at the Stables. While they went inside Monkey and I headed for the drinks kiosk, grabbed a couple of Hot Chocolates and found a table with sheepskin covers and blankets provided. The others joined us and we all enjoyed warming up. The hot chocolate was superb, just like drinking molten chocolate.
It was now dark and tile for us to really start feeling festive at Waddesdon Manor, as we headed back to the front of the manor to see the dazzle@Waddesdon sound and light display. The house was flooded in different colours to music, it really was quite beautiful and the photos don’t do it justice.
The Bruce Munro light installation for 2016 is called Field of Light and it can be found close to the Aviary area of the grounds. There are 9000 glass spheres on long stems, that keep changing colour as you walk round. I think they’d have had a bigger impression on our group if we’d seen them before we say the light show in front of the house. But a 6 year old Monkey – our art critic for the day thought they were better than the tents of last year.
It was time to head home, we took one look at the huge queue for the buses which ran all the down the main drive, and decided we’d walk back to the car park. Monkey did really well with the walk at the end of a busy afternoon. We’d had a good time, spent it with family and it really got us feeling that Christmas isn’t so very far away.