We were lucky to visit Waddesdon whilst there was a light exhibition by Bruce Munro - not usually a fan of this sort of thing, but the river of lights (6,500 bulbs) was stunning, and the other installations were a lovely surprise - I'm so glad we stayed long enough to see it. The house itself is spectacular - especially when you think this was just a weekend cottage! Most of the house was closed for the winter so what we saw was I think just the east wing. Every room had a beautifully decorated christmas tree and the whole tour was most enjoyable. One of the first things we saw was a beautiful clockwork elephant (automaton) crafted in the 1700s - it is absolutely stunning .The gift shop is not packed with the usual "Gift from..." rubbish, but contains some lovely items which are actually worth having. Make sure you visit the stable - set with tables and chairs in the courtyard, where the chairs are covered with clean sheepskins so your bottom doesn't get cold - a lovely touch, and you can relax with a hot chocolate with Baileys in the winter. There is also a delightful Christmas exhibition - predominantly for the children but equally charming for the young at heart. And make time to watch the video presentation at the Power House where you can see film of the stunning clockwork elephant working. And don't miss the wine vault. Oh, and the aviary is a must see too. In fact, don't take my word for it - just go! We have already decided to make a return trip in the summer to see the rest of the house and the stunning gardens in bloom.
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