A magical Grimm Christmas at National Trust’s Killerton

Today we visited Killerton House, if you have read my 23 Christmas-tastic things to do in Devon post or my feature in Devon Life this month, you will have read that the theme this year is the stories of the Brothers Grimm.

For those of you who aren’t aware (I’m sure that isn’t many of you) the Brothers Grimm collected and published folktales in the nineteenth century. Some of the often macabre stories they published were used during the twentieth century by the likes of Walt Disney to bring to the big screen some of the most popular modern day fairytales, Sleeping Beauty, Hansel and Gretel and Rapunzel (to name but a few).

More often than not, the Grimm brothers versions didn’t have the happy ending that Disney envisaged – there were no handsome Princes – the reality was much more shady. In the original story of Sleeping Beauty, for example, the girl was  put to sleep because of a prophecy (not a curse) and is woken up after nine months having given birth to twins (you can use your imagination about how they got there).

Killerton did a great job of dabbling in the macabre without terrifying the children, each room took on a different story, there were gingerbread men to find and plenty of sparkles and magic.

I took a few shots of our tour around the house to share with you:

The Hansel and Gretel room was complete with a child cage, books on how to cook children and sausage fingers – macabre indeed.

We passed Sleeping Beauty and her fairies.

And discovered Little Red Riding hood, I particularly loved her Klimt-esque cloak, it was just gorgeous.

The wolf made us jump!

And Rapunzel’s beautiful hair ran through the wall and down the staircase through the house.

But the magic didn’t stop inside the house, we took a walk through the grounds, the morning mist made the wicker deer seem ethereal.


We visited Killerton last year too and can highly recommend it, we had a great morning, it was a perfect way to kickstart the Christmas holidays.

For dates, times and bookings head to their site here.

We’d love to know your thoughts if you’ve visited or you plan to please drop us a line below.



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