Christmas with Mr Toad at Chatsworth House
7 November 2015 – 3 January 2016 (closed 24, 25, 26 December & 1 January)
My family and I were kindly invited to attend Christmas with Mr Toad at Chatsworth House last month, which meant we were also fortunate enough to be there whilst the Christmas Market was taking place too!
It was a cold, crisp morning and a beautiful rainbow appeared over the grounds of Chatsworth upon our arrival. The grounds were stunning and we were able to see all the animals freely roaming the estate.
We arrived around 9.45am which meant we were able to avoid queues in the grounds and in the car park. This also gave us to chance to explore the Christmas Market and so we perused a few of the stalls, grabbed a coffee and then headed off to the house to meet Mr Toad.
My son was very excited as we told him to keep his eyes peeled for Mr Toad and his friends. We were also advised by the Chatsworth staff to keep an eye out for toy badgers which were hiding around the house (we had to count the number of them hidden in each room, which my son loved).
As soon as we entered the house, we were in awe of the amazing decorations. There were SO many Christmas trees around the route of the Mr Toad tour.
The tour took us around the house, up the stairs and to a dressing-up room, on to Mr Toad sleeping (snoring in bed) and Mr Mole taking a bath. I can’t tell you how stunning the house is, we have never visited it before and it absolutely took our breath away. From the incredible artwork on the ceilings to the amazing windows and statues around the house.
Once we had counted the badgers, we arrived at the end of the tour where children could write a wish on a tag and place it on the wishing tree, which was really quite sweet.
On your way out of the tour you enter the Orangery where the gift shop is. The gift shop gives you the opportunity to buy some Wind in Willows goodies (which we did, we bought the book and CD) along with Chatsworth farm merchandise and some lovely jewellery, books etc. Some great gifts for ages.
It was a little cold outside so we had a short wander around the gardens and then some lunch in the restaurant. After lunch we headed up to the farmyard and play area. This place is amazing, there is lots of fun to be had for all ages. The farm was brilliant as it gave us all an opportunity to stroke a sheep, see the piglets feeding from their mother and we played on the small tractor track, which my son thoroughly enjoyed with pointing out all the chickens on the park.
In summary, we had an amazing day out, in particular the tour of the house and the Mr Toad experience. The farmyard and playground was a huge surprise, I didn’t even know it was there at the back of the house, it was SO much fun. Everyone needs to experience the house tour at Christmas, when it is at its most magical.
We also returned to the house and the Christmas market the week after and it was very busy, too busy to actually get round to see anything and the car park was very difficult to get out of. The restaurant queuing system is the only other negative as, when you have a toddler and pensioner in tow, it’s a little bit difficult to stand and wait for so long – so I am glad we visited when we did.
Christmas at Chatsworth – November/December/January 2015-2016
*Please note my family and I were sent tickets to visit the house for the purpose of this review, but all views are my own*