Visit Doddington Hall's enchanted forest this Christmas
Get ready for a magical Christmas as Doddington transforms into an enchanted forest, with surprises for all the family.
Doddington Hall & Gardens is a magnificent manor house and gardens near Lincoln which is known for its spectacular Christmas decorations, festive entertainment and locally produced food.
This year, Doddington Hall is promising its most magical Christmas yet as it transforms into an enchanted forest, with surprises at every turn.
Beautifully shaped, decorated trees and foliage will have magically sprouted and a host of magical creatures can be discovered. Meanwhile, guests can enjoy festive Christmas menus and afternoon tea at Doddington’s award winning restaurant.
The season sees the return of the best dressed Christmas tree competition (#DoddingtonTree) as well as festive retail outlets, The Bauble Barn, the Toy Box and home-grown Christmas trees. Doddington’s popular Farm Shop will also provide a wide range of local and artisan produce to make your Christmas a culinary sensation.
Claire Birch, whose family has owned and lived in Doddington Hall for 190 years said:
“Christmas at Doddington has become a huge local tradition over the last 50 years, and we pull out all the stops to create a truly magical experience, creating extra special memories for everyone who visits. Whether it’s to enjoy the hall’s decorations, enjoy an afternoon tea in the warmth of our restaurant, or to collect the most beautiful Christmas tree and trimmings around, a visit to Doddington at this time of year is a must-do for thousands of families. “This year, with our Enchanted Forest theme, Doddington is set to sparkle and thrill like never before and our team is working hard to make sure everything is absolutely perfect. The Bauble Barn has the biggest selection of unusual and traditional decorations around, our shops will be full of inspiring ideas for Christmas, and our menus celebrate our own seasonal game, beef, and kitchen garden produce. And as for the hall decorations… think Narnia, Jungle Book, Red Riding Hood – so many wonderful stories happened in the Forest!”
In Doddington Hall’s Enchanted Forest, unicorns, fairies, and woodland creatures will welcome visitors as they explore the indoor forest where trees will have magically grown in every room of the 400-yearold hall. Decorations throughout the hall and gardens are largely handmade using material that’s grown or produced on the Doddington Estate.
Inspired by the works of C.S. Lewis, the Long Gallery will become the world of Narnia, where snow and ice adorns the path through this magical world.
The magnificent ‘Bauble Barn’ is bursting with the most beautiful Christmas decorations from around the world to make your home sparkle. The Bauble Barn has the widest selection of Christmas decorations in the area, with traditional glass baubles as well as wood, tin, homegrown, natural and knitted decorations, with new styles for 2019 including a magical menagerie of decorative llamas, unicorns, flamingoes, sloths and even flying pigs.
The pop-up Toy Box shop offers beautifully crafted wooden toys and games for all ages with traditional favourites and new additions to enjoy.
A favourite tradition for many generations of Lincoln residents is the chance to choose a Christmas tree from the Doddington Estate. Doddington Hall allows visitors to choose their own home-grown Christmas tree, which makes getting your home ready for the season an experience to remember. Grown just half a mile from Doddington Hall without chemical fertiliser, pesticides or herbicides, Christmas trees have been grown on Doddington Estate for more than 60 years. Unlike other Christmas tree retailers where trees are pre-netted, visitors to Doddington Hall can select their tree before it’s netted so they choose with confidence. Doddington’s trees come in a number of varieties including the popular Norway spruce and Nordmann fir and all shapes and sizes.
Think your decorating skills make the neighbours jealous? Doddington Hall invites you to put your tree to the test by entering its best-dressed tree competition. To enter, share a picture of your Christmas tree to social media and tag @doddingtonhall (#DoddingtonTree) before 23rd December. The decorator whose skills are judged to be the best will win a £50 Doddington gift voucher. Visit doddingtonhall.com for more details.
Whether you’re looking for Christmas dinner or a stocking filler for a foodie, Doddington Farm Shop offers a wide range of the best quality local produce with fresh, local fruit and veg, artisan produce and Hambleton Farms butchery providing locally sourced meat, traditionally reared and properly hung to produce the best flavour - everything you need for an incredible, sustainable Christmas dinner.
To enjoy festive food and drink at its best, enjoy festive evening dining at Doddington Hall’s awardwinning restaurant. Doddington’s chefs work closely with local producers and the estate’s own kitchen garden team and gamekeeper to create menus that showcase home-grown, home-reared and local produce. Doddington’s Christmas lunch, evening and Christmas Eve Breakfast menus provide one of the
most sensational festive dining experiences available and you can also book fabulous home-made, ‘Christmassy’ afternoon teas in the restaurant.
Looking for something lighter? Enjoy festive fare and cream teas at Doddington’s café and coffee shop.
Doddington provides the perfect environment for Christmas shopping with high quality gift ideas including luxury clothing, sports equipment and homeware available from Doddington’s Homes Store, Country Clothing and Bike Shop.
Beat the crowds and enjoy an atmospheric evening of Christmas shopping at Doddington Hall while it’s beautifully lit by fairy lights on Thursday 28th November from 5-8pm and make the most of the free and conveniently located parking and the Doddington team’s friendly, personal service. This evening of Christmas shopping is also the perfect time to pick up one of Doddington’s fresh home-grown Christmas trees or to enjoy some fabulous in store treats, tastings and demonstrations.
And the best thing of all is that Doddington Hall & Gardens is a not-for-profit organisation, so every penny generated through the shops, cafes, Christmas tree sales and house opening goes towards the conservation and upkeep of the hall and gardens for future generations to enjoy.
Built in 1595-1600, it is one of the few untouched examples of the work of Robert Smythson who is famed for his work on Longleat and Hardwick Hall, and has been owned and inhabited by the Jarvis/Birch family since 1829.
Preparations for Doddington Hall & Gardens Christmas season began in February with many trees grown on the estate especially for the enchanted forest. Meanwhile, decorations have been painstakingly crafted, the estate’s team of chefs have been perfecting their menus and The Farm Shop team have sourced a tantalising selection of produce from the local area and from further afield. Production arts students at Lincoln College have gained valuable experience by designing and assembling the spectacular decorations for the Narnia themed Long Gallery.
While much of the work has been behind the scenes throughout the year, Doddington Hall itself will be transformed in the space of just two weeks, when the decorations will be installed in the hall by a team headed up by the owner, Claire Birch.
Christmas at Doddington Hall & Gardens begins on Saturday 23rd November 2019 and will be celebrated until 22nd December 2019. The hall will be open five days a week, Wednesday-Friday 12-4pm and Saturday-Sunday 10-4pm.
Admission to the house and gardens is £11 for adults, £5.50 for children, with free entry for children under three years old.
The festive Christmas lunch menu is served from 12pm-2pm and Christmas Afternoon Tea is served Monday-Saturday from 3pm. Christmas à la carte evening dining is served on Fridays and Saturdays from 7pm (29th November - 21st December) while Christmas Eve Breakfast is served from 9-11am (booking is essential).
To find out more about Christmas at Doddington Hall & Gardens by visiting doddingtonhall.com.
Photography by Instinctive Photography.