London – Ham House Christmas Fair
The annual Ham House Christmas Fair takes place over three consecutive December weekends in a heated marquee in the gorgeous landscaped grounds of this fine Stuart mansion on the banks of the River Thames near Richmond. Local traders man the stalls, selling arts, crafts and artisan foods, while the Orangery is open all day for refreshments. Theres plenty to keep younger members of the family entertained while parents shop with face painting, balloon modelling and storytelling all laid on in the grand basement of the house as well as a Christmas trail and a mini carousel in the garden. Stay on after the fair on Saturdays from 4.30pm-6pm, and (for an additional fee) you can also enjoy the lighthearted one-hour sing-along Family Carol Concerts featuring young vocal group Apollo 5, (Childrens tickets include a trip to see Father Christmas in the Great Hall). On Sundays from 5pm-6.30pm and 7pm-8.30pm there are a series of concerts of festive music from 17th-century London performed on authentic instruments by specialist ensemble The City Musick in the Great Hall. Booking is essential – tickets to the musical events include entry to the Christmas Fair.