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Thursday, 30 November 2017

Animal magic and winter lights at Waddesdon Manor

Christmas is always a magical time to visit Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire. The theme for this year's decorations, Enchanted Menagerie, celebrates the weird and wonderful animals that can be seen throughout Waddesdon's collections, from zebras to colourful birds and mythical beasts. There's even an elephant parade inspired by a 18th c musical automaton (below).
This dramatic dragon is one of many light art installations by American artist Lauren Booth which line the winding path from the Aviary to the Stables.
If you're wondering how to dress the festive table, there's inspiration in the manor's dining room, where exotic birds can be found stalking among the china and the candles.
From dusk, a new light and sound show, Waddesdeon Imaginarium, created by video design students from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, is projected onto the Manor's ornate facade.
Visitors will be delighted to find that Waddesdon's Christmas Fair has returned, with 80 decorated chalets set against the floodlit facade of the North Front (top). There are unusual gifts, decorations, crafts and delicious food, much from local producers. The Wigwam Cafe is also back, with street food, homemade cakes, hot chocolate and mulled wine.
Enchanted Menagerie runs until January 2; the Christmas Fair until December 10.
Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP18 OJH