Visit Chawton House this Winter and travel through time to discover Christmas traditions of times gone by.

Learn how the Austen and Knight families celebrated the festive season and soak up the atmosphere in the house, which will be adorned with traditional decorations and our special Christmas installation – The Twelve Knits of Christmas.  

There will be a series of events running throughout the festive season and activities for children and families inside the House to enjoy. The Old Kitchen Tearoom will have a special festive menu and our Shop will be open, helping you to find the perfect Christmas gifts for your loved ones.  

Don’t miss the chance to explore the Gardens once the sun has set and enjoy our exciting new Glimmering Gardens light trail.

Book Your Christmas Visit

The Twelve Knits of Christmas  

On the first day of Christmas…  

You know how the carol goes, but this December discover The Twelve Knits of Christmas at Chawton House. 

With decorations lovingly handcrafted by a team of Chawton House’s very own volunteers, The Twelve Knits of Christmas celebrates homemade, traditional craftwork including knitting, crochet, woodwork, paper craft, and flower making, and will both delight and inspire visitors of all ages.   

Spot the Christmas trees in each room, participate in one of our Christmas trails, and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

We’re sure that you will leave Chawton House feeling festive and inspired, with lots of fun memories to look back on.   

Literary Gifts: Books Given as Presents  

When a book is given as a gift, a message is often written inside.

Our library collection was brought together to tell the story of early women writers, but inscriptions show that many works were originally given as presents.  

This display brings together these books given as gifts, offering a tantalising glimpse into past relationships and reading habits. They often reveal as much about the giver as the recipient. Instructive works are presented by a father to a daughter; an aunt gives a gothic novel to her niece; Jane Austen’s sister Cassandra gives a book of plays to her niece. 

Alongside are gifts between siblings and between friends, gifts given in thanks and as Christmas presents. The names and dates in their inscriptions lead us to wonder about the lives and interests of their first owners. 

You can find this display in the Long Gallery.

The Glimmering Gardens

As the sun sets, wrap up warm and enjoy the Gardens after dark with our new Christmas lights trail.

After you have enjoyed the beautiful decorations in the House, explore the Gardens as they come to life in twinkling lights and spot the woodland creatures that call Chawton House home.

Discover the Elizabeth Blackwell herb garden in the Walled Garden, inspired by Blackwell’s work A Curious Herbal, one of many botanical works on display in our Botanical Women exhibition, enjoy the glimmering lights and listen to the wind through the trees in the Wilderness. 

Don’t forget to stop for a moment on the South Lawn and enjoy undisturbed views of the night sky and the shining stars. 

The Glimmering Gardens opens from Wednesday 15 December and runs till 2 January. 

Looking for something different to do this Christmas?

From Festive Suppers to Christmas Workshops, we have lots of exciting events coming up this festive season.

Explore Our Festive Events Today