Waddesdon Manor announces Christmas line-up with festive lights by artist who has worked on Buckingham Palace and London Olympics

During the festive period the famous Bucks building is set to be transformed into a fairytale world with an Alice in Wonderland theme.
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Waddesdon Manor has announced a host of Christmas displays and projects that will be open to the public this year.

Its famous lights display has been created by Jamie Shiels an artist whose previous credits include working at Buckingham Palace and the 2012 London Olympics.

During the festive period the famous Bucks building is set to be transformed into a fairytale world with an Alice in Wonderland theme.

Alice in Wonderland Christmas tree © Waddesdon,  Photo by Megan LongAlice in Wonderland Christmas tree © Waddesdon,  Photo by Megan Long
Alice in Wonderland Christmas tree © Waddesdon, Photo by Megan Long

Organisers also say it will resemble the famous Neverland, associated with JM Barrie’s Peter Pan.

Waddesdon Manor wants visitors to discover the Mad Hatter’s tea party, the magic mirror from the Snow Queen and Captain Hook’s treasure cave. The fictional iconography will be brought to life through soundscapes and light displays by Jane Le Bon, and sculptures designed from paper, brought to life by artist Nathan Ward.

A kaleidoscopic light display will be visible from the manor’s gardens, as a new visual trail has been commissioned. Shooting stars have been created to light up the gardens, by using tens of thousands of twinkling LED lights.

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White Drawing Room © Waddesdon, photo by Megan LongWhite Drawing Room © Waddesdon, photo by Megan Long
White Drawing Room © Waddesdon, photo by Megan Long

For 2023, Waddesdon is offering interactive tap boxes to visitors, meaning guests can turn the whole manor into whatever shade they want.

Joana Vasconcelos’s Pavillon de Thé, a five-metre-tall wrought iron tea pot, newly arrived at the Manor, will be illuminated in homage to the Mad Hatter’s tea party.

The trail includes another specially commissioned piece of light art by Robert Fung, who has been designing and building for festivals across the world for more than a decade.

Waddesdon Manor is also opening its Bachelors’ Wing for the first time since 2019.

Christmas events at the manor are set to begin next Wednesday (22 November) and run up until the New Year. Information on timings and pricing can be found on the Waddesdon Manor website.

Pippa Shirley, director of Waddesdon, said: “I really hope that this year there is something to surprise and delight everyone, from first-time visitors to one of the many who tell us that their Christmas begins at Waddesdon. It’s a place where memories are made.”