Father Christmas at Killerton. Photo: Steven Haywood, National Trust Images

Dedicated volunteers donate 3,000 hours to create Christmas magic at Killerton

Mary Youlden
Authored by Mary Youlden
Posted Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - 11:10am

A dedicated team of Christmas volunteers have spent over 3,000 hours creating a range festive displays and decorations bringing to life this year’s theme, which has taken inspiration from the well-known poem by Clement Clarke Moore, ‘Twas the night before Christmas.’ 

It’s all thanks to a dedicated team of volunteers at the National Trust’s Killerton, near Exeter, who start planning the theme, design and decorations at the start of each year.

Throughout 2019 the team have been busy creating festive decorations including stockings to hang by the fire in the Drawing Room and towering Christmas trees laden with sparkling decorations. However, the final designs for the display have been a tightly-kept secret and were only revealed when the house opened again for Christmas on Saturday 23 November.

Chris Chapman, one of the volunteers who kindly donated their time and creative flair to the displays said, ‘Early each year we get together to discuss the theme on which we will be basing our Christmas decorations for the house – it’s quite an undertaking and there’s always plenty of work to do but we enjoy creating festive sparkle at Killerton.’

The magic will continue outside with a themed activity trail set under twinkling festive lights. The trail will feature lots of fun activities, perfect for both the young and young at heart. To help keep you warm on the trail, visit the dairy café at the start where you can treat everyone to a warming hot chocolate.

Adding to the fun, Father Christmas will also be at Killerton; he will be in his magical grotto every weekend in December,16-20 and 23 December. To celebrate Father Christmas visiting Killerton this winter, the staff at Killerton have worked with local photographer, Steve Haywood, to create their annual magical seasonal image to mark the start of the festive period. This year the photograph is of Father Christmas in the thatched Bear Hut at Killerton.

The Killerton Kitchen restaurant will be serving a festive menu, including all your Christmas favourites and their delicious roast turkey. The shop will have an array of toys, gifts and treats, perfect for Christmas shopping and where you can pick up your locally grown Christmas tree.

The event runs daily from 23 November 2019 – 5 January 2020. For full opening times and how to book please visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/Christmas-at-killerton

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