12 Days of Christmas at Mottisfont Abbey

We’ve had lots of adventures this year but haven’t used our National Trust membership as much as I wanted to. This week I decided I would set that right and J and I made the trip over on Wednesday for their 12 days of Christmas event. I remember my dad reading the 12 days of christmas with my sister and me when we were children, us two really emphasising the 5 golden rings part and not really remembering the rest so I was quite excited to do this with my girl

Straight away she was given a map, she’s definitely mine as she got super excited and kept hold of it, with her duty being to cross all of the numbers off as we got to them. We visited every part of the trail in the correct order, singing the days as we got to them and I completely relived my youth singing along as we went round the grounds

This picture shows J as my mini me, camera, map, hat, satchel bag, love this kid!
A partridge in a pear tree



Two Turtle Doves


Three French Hens

Initially J didn’t understand the link between the song and the walk but as we got to three french hens she started singing along with me and got lots of comments from passers by. I love that the National Trust run these events, the items on the trail were made by volunteers and the materials were recycled and reused

The route wasn’t massive, although we struggled to find 4 calling birds (up high) and 9 ladies dancing (in the house), but it was great fun. We were there for 4 hours which is quite a long time, but J wanted to do all of the items a second time as she had enjoyed it so much. I was probably more excited about the 5 golden rings element than J, and the items they had put there really did it justice, it was quite a feature!

On the hunt for the calling birds
If you look closely there is a wire foot which leads to the outline of a bird, Four Calling Birds


Five Golden Rings

We then moved to the Six Geese are Laying part of the trail and the halfway mark. We actually spent quite a while there and it was the area J kept asking to go back to, the geese had wandered off and left their eggs and we had to relocate them back to the basket. She loves seeing things where animals and elves have been naughty and we rearranged the eggs so that there were 2 per basket before heading over to the swans. The pictures just don’t do it justice

Six geese are laying. I purposely left the shot at this angle, I really love it
Seven Swans a Swimming (the other 4 were behind us)

We then went towards the house, and played in the puddles, looked at the grumpy swan that was telling off the laughing ducks in the river and even found a butterfly that was still going strong on the sun in the lime trees in mid December

Eight maids a milking was pretty to see and we asked each other what they might do with the milk, before heading into the house for 9 ladies dancing. It was very artistic and had the biggest indoor, real christmas tree I have seen in a long time, simply stunning


Eight Maids a Milking
Nine Ladies Dancing
Gigantic Christmas tree

Next stop was lunch and Ten Lords a Leaping and a nice craft activity. I have to say, the decorations were beautiful, and a lot of time and thought had gone into them. My mum is huge on crafts so no doubt she’ll be taking some of these ideas for next year

We spent some time making our own leaping lord, although J kept telling me it was a girl with her name before heading back outside

Ten Lords a Leaping

img_1904img_1978We decided to have a bit of a play and a walk around before heading to the combined 11 and 12 days of Christmas, the robins were out in force and some were singing as we looked at them. There were still some leaves that had fallen but not turned to mulch and we stood and played for a bit before heading into the walled garden for the first time. I love that I have been to Mottisfont Abbey 5 times now and each time I am finding a new walk or route

Even though I took photos as we went along we had some real quality time. We played, we held hands, we walked and talked, and just had the most wonderful day. It was much needed, work has been long and hard and I am fast running out of steam in general this side of Christmas, but you really cannot beat some quality one on one time with your favourite person to put things into perspective


Eleven Pipers Piping
Twelve Drummers Drumming

At the end of the day J and I sat on a bench, a little robin joining us while we watched the sunset and I had this overwhelming feeling of content, it’s been my most favourite day in such a long time and finally gave me a hint of that Christmas cheer I feel I have been missing in recent weeks. It was also nice to be there later in the day and to see the beautiful golden winter sun against the bare trees as opposed to first thing in the morning when it is busier

As we walked out holding hands I looked over the field and saw the most beautiful sunset. I asked J if she minded me walking over there with her to take a photo because it looked gorgeous, she was more than happy to oblige and stood there patiently whilst I captured the end to my favourite day with her. Mottisfont Abbey we will definitely be back.


Linking with Fiona’s great  Country Kids feature

Country Kids

10 thoughts on “12 Days of Christmas at Mottisfont Abbey

  1. mydangli

    Wow that’s such a great idea with the 12 days of Christmas! My little guys favourite song at the moment, we’ve been singing it a lot, as every time we drive he needs distraction to be happy. Anyway sounds like you had a lovely day, beautiful photos too! #countrykids

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Coombe Mill

    Wow this looks like the best Christmas trail I’ve seen. A great theme using the 12 days of Christmas song and do well done. that must have taken Mottisfont forever to put together but it looks so effective from your photos. Sounds like you made it into a very special Christmas outing with some precious Christmas moments together.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

    Liked by 1 person

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