Let’s Get Festive
We visited Killerton a few weeks ago which you can read about here, and enjoyed the National Trust house and gardens and so we were keen to return for the festive offerings. Each year Killerton, like many NT properties, adopts a theme based on a classic story and decorates their property for the festivites. This year we were in for a treat.
Wind in the Willows
Killerton’s festive theme this year is based on the book and film ‘The Wind in the Willows‘ and it’s glorious! You are invited to visit the estate and go on an adventure with the classic character Toad, Ratty, Badger and Mole. NT asks that people book an entry slot (every 15 minutes) so that the house doesn’t get too overcrowded and busy. I think this is a really good idea as visits are popular and there’s nothing worse than going to see a display of some sort and not actually being able to see it.
On arrival at the entrance to Killerton you are given your time slot cards and provided with a Wind in the Willows story and activity book which tells you about this years theme, a synopsis of the classic story and has some activities for the younger ones.
So Much to See
After collecting our ticket and activity book we made our way outside and headed along the path towards the house. The path is adorned with wooden cut out statues of woodland animals and theres lights and baubles hanging from the trees. We were immediately put into the Christmas Spirit and were really pleased to see that the scaffolding what was around the top part of the main house on our last visit had gone.
We entered the house and couldn’t believe how different if looked compared to when we were here a few weeks ago – the place was decked with brightly coloured trees, beautiful festive decorations and looked stunning! I particularly liked the garlands that decorated the doorways as I thought they looked really effective.
Following the Story
As you walk around the house you are greeted by various classic scenes from the story, some with a lovely Christmas twist. I particularly liked the Christmas dinner scene – the animals sure looked like they were having fun and enjoying themselves!
There was lots to look at and many decorations to admire. Upstairs in one of the rooms there was a place for children to dress up and try on different costumes and we saw many children engaging in this and having a good time.
It took us around 20 minutes to walk around the house and displays I think. We enjoyed it although it did get quite hot with the number of visitors in there and quite a few excited children running around!
Magical Outdoor Trail
After visiting the house we decided to walk along the outdoor trail which had been set up based on the Wind in the Willows theme. There were lots of lights and decorations along the route as well as games such as hook a duck and noughts and crosses. In the activity book there is a tick list for children to tick off all the woodland animals they encounter along the route.
We made our way up to the chapel which was beautifully decorate with trees from local schools. There was a small carol concert going on with a four piece choir. We sat and listened to a few songs which added to our warm festive feelings.
No Hot Chocolate
We thought it would be nice to visit the Stables Cafe but by the time we got there mid afternoon they didn’t have any chocolate left and the selection of cakes wasn’t too plentiful so we decided not to worry. It was busy in there and I guess the lack of things left shows how busy it had been all day – we will have to get there earlier next time!
There’s lots to do at Killerton during the festive period including visiting Father Christmas and Christmas shopping. Check out the events page here. I would really recommend the Wind in the Willows festive display and think anyone of any age would enjoy it! It’s open until Friday 5th January so plenty time left to visit!