Free entry to gardens, and Christmas activities for all

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VISITORS to Stowe Landscape Gardens can enjoy free entry to the National Trust gardens.

VISITORS to Stowe Landscape Gardens can enjoy free entry to the National Trust gardens.

As an early Christmas present, the gardens will be free to walk around and enjoy during the rest of November and December.

The gardens are open from Wednesdays to Sundays, 10.30am to 4pm. They will be closed from Christmas Eve and re-open on Bank Holiday Tuesday, December 27.

The shop will be closed from December 28 to 30 for stocktaking

This year, Stowe has extended its Christmas gift shop, and will be selling handmade wreaths using pine cones from its own gardens. There are worksheets to take away to try making natural decorations at home, and kits to buy.

There’s late-night shopping in the gift shop on Thursdays, from 4pm to 8pm until December 15. Enjoy free mulled wine and mince pies, shopping in a relaxed atmosphere for presents made by local suppliers, stocking fillers, jewellery and natural Christmas decorations.

A series of Christmas events are taking place in the gift shop, but pre-booking is essential by calling 01280 822850.

On Saturday, December 26, there’s a chance to make your own vintage three-tier cake stand in one of two workshops. Cost £45.

On Sunday, December 4, all the family can join in a free session to make natural tree decorations for Stowe and your own tree from 10am to 11am.

On Friday December 9, the Christmas talk is The Georgians At Christmas, from 2pm to 3.30pm. Over a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie, learn how the Georgians celebrated a month-long festive season. Price £10.

Unwind and enjoy a festive evening of period music with readings at Stowe House on Sunday, December 11, from 7pm to 9pm. Tickets £7.50 including refreshments. To book tickets for this event, call 01280 818002 during office hours.

Children can create Christmas cookies in one of three fun workshops on Thursday, December 22. Price £6 per child.

Then on Saturday, January 7, there’s a chance to help sing away the bad spirits from Stowe’s apple trees and encourage a good harvest. Join in with free children’s craft activities, singing and fireworks, led by the Midshires Orchard Group from 2pm to 4.30pm.