Festive Fun At Shugborough Hall

In the run up to Christmas, I always like to do things to get me in the festive spirit. This year in particular I needed it after my operation, and it was really nice to be able to visit a few places with some lovely decorations. Last week I wrote about Tamworth castle being dressed for Christmas, and this week Shugborough Hall was no different.


About Shugborough Hall

Shugborough Hall sits in roughly the middle of England – in the county of Staffordshire. It was owned by the local Bishops of Lichfield until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1540. It was later purchased by the Anson family in 1624 and remained in the family for over 300 years! In 1960, after the death of the last heir, it passed to The National Trust.

William Anson’s son, George, funded a lot of the changes in the house still seen today due to a very lucrative and successful Naval career. Both he and his brother Thomas travelled extensively, including to Italy, Greece, and on a round the world trip in the 1700s. In that era, travel would have been dangerous and treacherous, but they dedicated their lives to it bringing back lots of treasures and dying without children (you can see why I quite liked them). That said, the house deals sensitively with the topic of colonialism and Empire which helped fund the brothers’ fortunes, which I also think is important to highlight.


What to see

There is so much to see at Shugborough. We easily spent 3 hours in the main parts of the house and grounds and if you wanted to do a walk as well it could be a full day trip.

The biggest draw, of course, is the mansion house itself. Inside you can see some of the treasures brought back from the Anson brothers’ travels including vases and pieces of eight. Many of the rooms are also open, and the cosy library is my personal favourite. The Christmas trees were just so festive as well.

In the House

There are also some lovely formal gardens which include a fountain and nice landscaped gardens in front of the river which make for nice views of the house. As well as the formal gardens, there’s also a big walled garden. Whilst visiting in winter meant we didn’t see all the flowers, we did find a fun Christmas trees decorated with carrots for the reindeer!

The formal gardens

You can also walk around the river, visiting the Asian bridge and pavilion with some lovely views back over to the house.

Strolling the parkland

The House of the Winds (not quite the same as the one in Athens), is also situated in a nice corner of the grounds, and it used to be a dairy. The building itself is closed, but in the sunshine it looked beautiful from the outside.

Finally, you might also like to take the short stroll up the hill to Hadrian’s Arch (another Greek inspired piece), which sits imposingly on top of the hill and looks lovely in silhouette as you walk up.


How to get there

Shugborough is only really accessible with a car, as there is no public transport to the Estate. The closest major city is Birmingham. Stoke, Leicester, Nottingham and Derby are also close – about 30mins-1hr away from the estate.

That said, if you don’t have a car then the closest major train station is Stafford, which you can reach from London Euston in 1hr 20 minutes, and then get a taxi to Shugborough which would take around 15 minutes, so it can make for a good half day trip from the capital (and a very off the tourist track one too!).


What do you think of Shugborough at Christmas? I thought it was beautiful and perfect for a festive day trip. I think England is lucky to have so many historic homes run by The National Trust and open to the public; it means lovely places all over the country to visit all year round. How is your count down to Christmas going? Hope you’re feeling festive and stay safe everyone.

32 Comments

  1. Shugborough looks very festive and I loved the idea of the garden decorations with their trees adorned with carrots and baubles. So pleased you are managing to get out and about more now, it must really help Hannah. I’ve not been to Shugborough but will now add it to my ever growing list!

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  2. I found it interesting that the adventurous brothers brought back from their travels not just the common souvenirs, but architectural inspiration as well. I mentioned that to Sladja and she said that in one of the nearby villages someone built a mini Eiffel Tower in their garden. Apparently the owner of the house spent the better part of his life working in Paris and admired the tower so much he built a replica in his own yard. Love all the rich array of free places that one can visit in England. Great piece Han.

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    1. I totally agree, they literally replicated things they had seen as best they could in the garden! That’s crazy about the Eiffel tower, but I guess at that time seeing other places was a really difficult thing to do so the intrigue and fascination with other places must have been even more so than we are today!

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  3. This is definitely a post with the real feeling of Christmas! Someone must put a lot of effort into those lovely Christmas trees … and how amazing is the garden decorations (I like that one with Christmas balls streaming out of a treasure box 😊).
    I was laughing when looking at their treasures they brought from their travels … I just bought a little Christmas goat made from wire and beads and they brought home a magnificent vase!

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    1. Aww so glad you think so, thank you! haha that’s so funny on the treasures brought home – I bring back garish baubles for the tree while they’re building a replica of Hadrian’s Arch!!! I’m sure the Christmas goat is cute though πŸ™‚ Thanks as always for reading and have a good day.

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  4. Shugborough Hall is gorgeous! Great way to spend a colorful and cozy holiday season visiting, especially with the Christmas trees up. All the better that it’s very accessible from London! Happy holiday season to you and your loved ones, Han. πŸ™‚

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  5. What a beautiful place to soak up Christmas vibes. I love Christmas and I have spent many afternoons dreaming of strolling around the cosy, wintery towns of my favourite Hallmark Christmas movies! One of the things we like to do at this time of the year is visit different cities and towns around Ireland to see festive decorations and magical light displays. I’ve already seen some spectacular window displays and gorgeous homes. Thanks for sharing and I hope all is well πŸ™‚ Aiva xx

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  6. Oh I just love all those beautifully decorated Christmas trees! I’m one of those people who like to put a tree in every room in my house too…of course mine are not nearly up to the stunning artistry of these! And I love how they still create festive spaces outside in the gardens even though there are no flowers! Another beautiful place to get in the festive season πŸ™‚

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    1. They’re so pretty aren’t they……I’m exactly the same as you, we always put 2 trees up (our house isn’t big enough for any more, but if it was I’d have 5 haha!). Thanks very much for reading and have a lovely day πŸ™‚

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  7. Thanks for sharing your Christmas visit to Shugborough Hall, Hannah. I also appreciate the impressive historical facts you impart. Awesome treasures and decorations in the mansion house, not to mention the wonderful architecture. Judging by the beauty of the formal gardens, there must be a full-time staff on hand to manage the grounds. Lovely! So, too, Hadrian’s Arch. Season’s greetings, my friend! πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸ•―οΈ

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  8. Shugborough looks so festive for the holidays. It’s definitely a great way to get you in the Christmas spirit. I love that there’s things to see indoors and outside. I laughed at the picture of the tree with the carrots. That’s too cute.

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  9. Would be happy to train it to Shugborough Hall, sitting here in Newark-on-Trent as I am, but we’ve decided that it’s best to stay put and focus on family this time over, things being what they are with Omicron and our need to test negative to get back to the States. Happy Christmas to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh I hope you’ve had a lovely time in Newark, I’m waving from down the A1. I think it makes sense to stay put and just be with family, rather than risk anything like you say. Hope you have a safe journey back and had a wonderful Christmas in England πŸ™‚

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