Grimm folktales

Hughenden Manor at Christmas

Hughenden Manor at Christmas

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There will be fairytale festivity throughout the estate at Hughenden this Christmas as the National Trust manor presents the fantastical folk tales of the Brothers Grimm.

The magical and sometimes macabre stories behind the popular 19th century fairytales will be explored through family friendly tableaux, talks, walks and storytelling.

Hughenden’s staff and volunteers have recreated scenes from the stories throughout the Buckinghamshire manor with typically creative flair.

Visitors will see Rapunzel’s golden locks tumbling from the top of the stairs, wonder at Rumpelstiltskin’s spinning wheel transforming hay into gold, discover a wolfish imposter in granny’s bed, and will be able to ask the wicked stepmother’s mirror who is the fairest of them all.

The theme will extend into the woodland with a fairytale trail through the German Forest.

The copse was planted by Victorian prime minister Benjamin Disraeli, who lived at Hughenden, to recreate the mysterious atmosphere of the Black Forest which inspired so many of Grimms’ tales.

On special days Father Christmas will visit Hansel and Gretel’s woodland grotto in the Study Base at Hughenden. Visitors will need to book to see him via the website www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hughenden as the wicked witch is keeping a gimlet eye on his appointments.

A Fairytale Christmas takes place at Hughenden between 11am-3pm from Thurday December 1 - Wednesday January 4.

Father Christmas will be in his grotto 10am- 3.30pm on the following days in December: Saturday 3, Sunday 4, Saturday 10, Sunday 11, Saturday 17, Sunday 18, Monday 19 and Tuesday 20. The cost is £6 per child.

There will be a chance to listen to traditional fairytales read by one of Hughenden’s storytellers at 11am and 11.45am on Friday December 2, Wednesday 7m Tuesday 13 and Monday 19.

And adults may enjoy finding out more about the dark history of 19th century fairy tales and the folklore that inspired the Brothers Grimm in a 30 minute talk given by a member of Hughenden’s house team. This is not suitable for children.

A History of Fairy Tales takes place at 2pm on Tuesday December 6, Thursday 15 and Tuesday 20.

Finally, to round off a magical month of festive activities, the Wycombe Abbey Choir will entertain with a performance inspired by 19th century fairytales especially for Hughenden. This will take place at 1.30pm on Tuesday December 13.

Normal admission to Hughenden applies with all these events.

Further details at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hughenden

Picture of Hughenden at Christmas taken by Megan Taylor for the National Trust.