Winter days out

Published 10 December 2015

We pick some of the best days out to beat the chill and give you a festive glow.

1. Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire

Free with National Art Pass

This season the breathtaking mansion is showcasing the work of Bruno Munro as he returns for his last year in residency at Waddesdon. In his exhibition, Winter Light at Waddesdon, Munro sets the grounds alight. A series of glowing tents, titled …---… SOS, provides an immersive audiovisual trail around the gardens of the manor. The shifting sounds and changing colours are interrupted by a Morse-code distress signal, which acts as a reminder of the people and places throughout the world that are in need of help.

2. Geffrye Museum, London

Free to all

After more than 25 years at the Geffrye Museum, the annual Christmas Past exhibition has become a tradition for many. Exploring the ways in which Christmas has been celebrated by the middle classes over the centuries, the exhibition traces the origins and meaning behind festive traditions, from kissing under the mistletoe to hanging up stockings. With ongoing research, each year adds a new dimension to the history of Christmas. The exhibition features the posset pot which was acquired with support from the Art Fund in 2014.

3. National Museum Cardiff

Free to all

Art meets music at the National Museum Cardiff this Christmas. After looking around the museum’s extensive art collections, visitors can listen to a beautiful programme of carol songs with mulled wine and mince pies on 17 December. But if you want to get into the festive spirit earlier, why not take the whole family for a day of storytelling and face painting, and to meet Santa Claus, at Family Festive Fun on 12 December?

4. Falkland Palace & Garden, Fife

Free with National Art Pass

Falkland Palace was the Stuart monarchs’ country residence for 200 years. This festive season, from 11 to 13 December, it hosts a Christmas Market in the Orchard where, in heated marquees, visitors can browse more than 30 stalls of local produce from around Fife. For a break from the festivities, take a walk around the breathtaking grounds, which are home to the oldest real, or royal, tennis court in Britain.

5. Wrest Park, Bedfordshire

Free with National Art Pass

The magnificent mansion at Wrest Park is surrounded by 90 acres of parterres, sweeping landscapes and woodland walks. It provides the perfect setting for enchanting winter walks to get into the festive mood. During the weekends leading up to Christmas, the park offers visitors the chance to meet Santa and to listen to his stories about Christmas amid the Yuletide decorations. The little ones can receive a small gift from the man himself. (Please note, meeting Santa comes at an extra charge.)

Enjoy 50% off admission price to exhibitions at major museums including Tate, V&A and the National Gallery with a National Art Pass.

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