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Nunnington Hall | Discovering Christmas Traditions Through The Decades

Nunnington Hall | Discovering Christmas Traditions Through The DecadesScore 0%Score 0%

As our thoughts turn to Christmas, both girls have asked what was Christmas like in the Twenties? The Thirties, Forties or the Fifties? So inspired in part by the excellent TV series ‘ Back in Time for….’ we decided to visit Nunnington Hall‘s excellent ‘Christmas over the Decades’ exhibition.

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If you haven’t seen the TV series, it focuses on the Robshaw family stepping back in time to experience life across the 20th Century and offers a great way to help bring history to life (see clips here) just like visiting Nunnington Hall proved this week…..

Visitors to Nunnington between now and Christmas will discover just how it may have felt over time. As you step into the impressive entrance, you’ll be welcomed into the 1920s by the Butler with a tot of sherry to enjoy by a roaring fire, before stepping back to an indulgent feast of the 18th century or be staggered by the memorable rationed years of the war. Each ‘Christmas’ display is visually appealing and helped by fantastic information boards that support the ‘Christmas Toys’ theme that continues throughout the decades.

In terms of location, you’ll find the idyllic Nunnington Hall nestled between the North York Moors National Park, the Yorkshire Wolds and the Vale of York and close to the picture perfect village of Helmsley. Making it the perfect location to explore the beautiful Howardian Hills or another fantastic place to get festive at the nearby Castle Howard.

There’s plenty more to enjoy on a visit to Nunnington Hall including the excellent restaurant / tea room!!! There’s the sumptuous grounds with their ‘ribbon tree’ where children are encouraged to leave a lasting memory…. or the beautiful gardens to explore (including a wonderfully interactive kitchen garden)

Inside this National Trust property are a series of well presented rooms that offer a useful narrative to the lives of it’s owners Colonel Fife & his family…. Each room from drawing room to bedroom is faithfully restored and presents a wonderfully evocative view of life from yesteryear.

You can even discover the fascinating stories behind certain festive traditions, from Christmas food and carols to greetings cards and crackers (find more here)

Fortunately, this visit to Yorkshire has been full of these ‘steps back in time’ just like the Jorvik Viking Centre to the excellent Georgian Fairfax House… or the chance to get a snapshot of medieval monastic life at Fountains Abbey or the medieval history on show in the Richard III / Henry VII Experiences…. Each bringing a different period of history to life for our girls, much like we’ve discovered across Europe.
Nunnington Hall also houses the impressive ‘Carlisle Collection of Miniature Rooms‘ which is an amazingly collection of rooms over different periods of history…. proving itself to be very popular and another of the girl’s favourite rooms from the visit!!
As too was the opportunity to browse the shop and the second hand book room for some more reading material….. for the price of a coffee they picked up 6 new books which should keep them busy for a few days at least!!!

From the chance to play pooh sticks at the entrance bridge (kindly broken and provided for you – a  simple but effective gesture!) to the excellent treasure trail leaflets and plentiful grounds to burn off some energy… it’s the kind of place you could happily spend a Sunday afternoon with everyone finding something they enjoyed!!!

Nunnington Hall is located within 60mins of York’s City Centre and costs £24.50 (family  of 4). Special offers are available online or just use your York Pass.

LifeinourVan Top Tip

If you get the chance, explore Colonel Fife’s bedroom and see what’s under the floorboards or take a peek at the fantastic Christmas needlework displays in the attic!

LifeinourVan Top Tip

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About The Author

Richard

Ever wanted to pack your bags, just jump in a motorhome and go off and explore Europe as a family? Well, that’s exactly what my family has done since September 2015. Visiting 35 European countries, travelling over 54,000 miles and grabbing over 450 family experiences on the way… enjoying Bobsleigh in Norway, Climbing into Mt Etna in Sicily or Kayaking the River Dordogne.

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