Hylands Estate in Chelmsford is getting ready for its most magical Christmas season yet, with everything from an expanded outdoor light trail and an artisan shopping evening, to yuletide afternoon teas and festive productions at Hylands House.
"Enlightened" light trail returns
"Enlightened" came to Hylands last year and the imaginative light show was a big hit with visitors. It brings its sparkle back to Hylands Estate later this month with a new longer route and even more dazzling installations, transforming the historic parkland and elegant gardens of Hylands House into a twinkling Christmas trail.
Enlightened starts on 26 November and runs until 2 January and tickets must be pre-booked via Enlightened Moments. First entry is at 4.30pm and ticketholders won't have to pay for parking at the estate. This year the trail starts from the Writtle entrance to the park (Greenbury Way, CM2 8FS).
Christmas shopping at The Stables
On Wednesday 1 December The Stables will be hosting homegrown local businesses selling beautiful gifts and artisan food and drink.
The Stables' community of artists, designers, and makers will also be opening the doors to their studios and there'll be live music and refreshments available from The Stables café and a range of other stallholders. The evening runs from 6pm until 10pm with free parking after 6. Keep an eye on the Hylands Estate Facebook page for the latest on what's planned.
Christmas Open Estate Day
The last Open Estate Day of 2021, which takes place on 19 December, will have a very festive feel and Santa has promised to take a break from his workshop to stop by and say hello. The farmers' market will have Christmas wreaths, mulled wine and a wide range of local produce, and live entertainment is planned for The Stables where the resident artists and makers will open their studios for the day.
Hylands House also opens its doors free of charge and December's exhibition of Hylands history will be 'Weddings and Royalty'. Walk through the neoclassical villa at your leisure or join a free guided tour at 10.30am.
The last Hylands House vintage afternoon tea of the year also takes place during Open Estate Day, with a Christmas twist to the menu (vegetarian and vegan options available) and a musician playing a selection of seasonal tunes to get you in the mood for the holidays. Fill in the reservation form on the Hylands Estate website if you'd like to book. Parking is included in the ticket price.
Shows at Hylands House
It wouldn't be a Hylands Christmas without a performance or two and the Cameo Players are back with their popular Christmas Soirée between 6 and 8 December. This year audiences will be transported back to the Edwardian period as Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson visit the Banqueting Room for 'An Elementary Christmas'. Tickets can be pre-booked on Eventbrite and mulled wine and refreshments will be available in the interval.
For those of you for whom Christmas isn't complete without at least one trip to see a panto, The Pantaloons Theatre Company cordially invites you to Prince Charming's annual ball for their version of Cinderella on 28 and 29 of December. There are four performances of this traditional story with a twist set in the Grand Pavilion. Tickets start at £8 and can be booked on the Hylands Eventbrite page and free parking is included.
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