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Where better to celebrate Christmas or New Year than a Scottish castle or English country house? For centuries families have been families have been gathering to have fun together over special vacations in them.

The size of these homes is perfect for multi-generational groups with lots of space for guests to relax and enjoy different pursuits, allowing families to come together under one roof.  LTR offers wonderful, luxurious large houses to rent for Christmas & New Year, all are fully staffed and we lay on a full concierge service so all the stress is removed from the host and hostess.  All these houses have roaring log fires, comfortable rooms to sit in and unwind as well as magnificent dining rooms to celebrate Christmas or New Year’s Eve in style.  The only thing families need to do is show up, LTR will do the rest! We have some inspirational luxury ideas for New Year’s Eve here.

We have put together a list of houses with availability for Christmas & New Year 2024.  The list is not exhaustive and we do have other country houses and castles with availability so please do email on or call us on + 44 (0) 1835 824642 for other suggestions as we would be delighted to help.

The Moult - pool at night

The Moult, South Devon, England

The Moult, once owned by the Earl of Devon, is one of the finest private houses along the British coast.

  • Accommodation for up to 24 people in 11 bedrooms with ensuite or private bathrooms.  1 further bedroom has access to a shared family bathroom.
  • Variety of reception rooms for both entertaining or relaxing.
  • Outdoor heated 22m long swimming pool.
  • Great for entertaining with cinema room, games room/gym, croquet, table football, table tennis, trampoline and outdoor giant chess set.
  • Lots of activities with great walks nearby, watersports, golf, clay pigeon shooting, boat trips, fishing, crabbing, lobster potting, caving or beauty treatments.
  • 35 minutes drive from Totnes Train Station.
  • 75 minutes drive from Exeter

Farleigh Wallop, Hampshire, England

At the heart of a private 4,000 acre estate, down an ancient tree-lined avenue, set back from the road and hidden by woodland, you will find this luxurious English home in the Hampshire countryside.

  • Accommodation for 21 guests in 11 elegant suites and bedrooms with 10 bathrooms.
  • Extensive private gardens include: a 3 acre walled garden, rose garden and glass houses.
  • Michelin starred chefs (POA).
  • Wine cellar.
  • Cinema and billiards room.
  • Activities including horse riding, foraging, yoga, cookery lessons and deer stalking can all be arranged.
  • Game shooting during the season.
  • One hour from London Heathrow.
Farleigh Wallop at night
Newton Surmaville from the walled garden

Newton Surmaville, Somerset, England

This house only gets better with time and has been lived in by the same family for nearly four hundred years.  Jeffrey Bilhuber, one of Architectural Digest’s Top 100 Interior Designers, has recently given the house a complete re-design ensuring 21st Century comforts as well as preserving the history of this imposing mansion.  Newton Surmaville is featured in Galerie Magazine show casing how elegant modern decor is cleverly combined with old world charm.

  • Accommodation for up to 20 people in 9 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms.
  • 5 impressive reception rooms with generous proportions and wonderful period features including fine oak panelling, open stone fireplaces, flag stone flooring and excellent ceiling heights.
  • Beautifully restored throughout to combine classic period features with modern benefits.
  • The surrounding parkland allows for plenty to explore with ponds and a section of the River Yeo.
  • There is a wonderful outbuilding which offers space for events and parties.
  • A wide range of available activities in the surrounding area including a golf club at the border of the grounds.
  • Close to Dorset AONB.
  • 2 hours from London Heathrow and 2 1/2 hrs from central London by train.

Knowlton Court, Kent, England

Knowlton Court, a Grade I listed manor house near Goodnestone in Kent, is a much loved family home dating back to the Elizabethan period.  The Queen Anne style front facade which you can see in the photograph was added in 1715.   There is a magnificent tree lined sweeping drive leading up to the house which has been described as a ‘timeless work of Tudor history’.

  • Accommodation for 38 people in 19 luxury ensuite bedrooms.
  • Formal reception rooms including the grand Dining Room, Drawing Room, Billiard Room, Boudoir and Great Hall.
  • Family-style kitchen, catering kitchen, pantry and bootroom.
  • Surrounded by wonderful countryside with walks and cycling routes for all abilities.
  • Country pursuits by arrangement.
  • Additional and staff accommodation available within the Estate.
  • Short drive from the coast with family beaches, water sports and wildlife.
  • Heritage sites such as Dover Castle and Leeds Castle.
  • Vineyards and winery tours locally.
  • Ten miles from the historic city of Canterbury.
  • 15 minutes’ drive from Sandwich and its three championship golf courses.
  • Under one hour by train from London.
  • Under two hours by car to London’s Gatwick, Stanstead and Heathrow airports.
Knowlton Court in Kent
Ebrington Manor

Ebrington Manor, Cotswolds, England

The house has been in the current owners family since 1476. Having undergone significant alterations in both the 17th and 19th centuries, it is full of history and charm and offers an exceptionally comfortable base for families or groups wishing to explore The Cotswolds.  Although very private and cut off from the world outside the gates the Cotswolds has plenty of antique shops, gastro pubs, farm shops full of delicacies and other delightful places to explore.

  • Accommodation for up to 16 people in 8 bedrooms with ensuitebath/shower rooms.
  • Wonderful oak panelled hall, dining room (seats 16), drawing room and sitting room/tv room.
  • Acres of parkland to explore along with the Rose Garden and the Tortoise Garden.
  • Fabulous walks through the rolling countryside.
  • 2 1/2 hours drive to Central London.

Ballynatray, County Cork, Ireland

This 18th century Georgian mansion set within a beautiful, privately owned, Irish Estate is a fine architectural example of a great Irish country house.  Set in 850 acres with century old noble trees and breathtaking views over the Blackwater River, it is hard to find somewhere more private and secluded.

  • Accommodation for up to 18 in 9 double bedrooms.
  • Snooker room.
  • Indoor swimming pool.
  • Jacuzzi, massage room and fitness room.
  • Simulated clay shooting.
  • 7 acre trout lake.
  • Cork, Ireland’s second largest city is close by.
  • Helicopter landing facilities.
  • Exclusive private access with CCTV.
  • Sophisticated security wireless broadband.
  • 45 minutes from Cork airport, 2 hours from Shannon airport.
Euston Hall in the summer

Euston Hall, Suffolk, England

Set in 11,000 acres of landscaped gardens, parkland, ancient broadleaf woodland and agricultural farmland, Euston Hall is home to one of the most extensive private collections of Royal Stuart portraiture and notable equestrian paintings in the United Kingdom.

  • Accommodation for 18 people in 8 double bedrooms and 2 single rooms.
  • Wonderful entertaining space; drawing room, library, large & small dining rooms, billiard room and games room.
  • Extensive private collection of Royal Stuart portraiture and noble equestrian art.
  • Tennis court, croquet lawn and badminton.
  • Traditional sporting estate activities.
  • Situated on 300 acres of private grounds and parkland on an 11,000 acre farming estate.
  • 2 hours drive from London and 40 minutes from Cambridge.
  • Superfast Broadband (300 meg).

Birkhill Castle, Fife, Scotland

Nestled in a 2,000 acre estate on the shores of the Tay Estuary, the castle is steeped in history and also has great charm and style, reflecting the family’s diverse interests and lively spirit.

  • Accommodation for up to 28 guests.
  • Billiards room.
  • Both game and clay pigeon shooting can be arranged on the estate.
  • Private Beach.
  • Local Attractions include the many local golf courses.
  • Edinburgh with shopping, museums & galleries.
  • Kellie Castle.
  • The charming East Neuk of Fife fishing villages with excellent fish restaurants.
  • 60 minutes from Edinburgh & 20 minutes from St Andrews.
Birkhill Castle from the air
Churchtown House

Churchtown House, County Kerry, Ireland

Sympathetically restored three storey Georgian country house that serves as a magical base from which to explore the picturesque coastline of the west of Ireland.  About 50 miles west of Cork, the house was built in 1740 by Sir Roland Blannerhassett and has been in the same ownership since 1860.

  • Accommodation for up to 12 guests.
  • Games Room and Media Room.
  • All weather tennis court.
  • Private golf course on the estate and 5 renowned golf courses within an hour’s drive.
  • 60 minutes from Cork City, 15 minutes from Killarney.
  • Local attractions: beautiful beach at Dingle Bay, Killarney National Park for walks, cycling, horse riding and outdoor pursuits.

Auchterarder House, Perthshire, Scotland

One of the most impressive family homes in Scotland.  With plenty of open fires and being very warm and cozy, Christmas and New Year are perfect times of year to spend at Auchterarder House.

  • Sleeps 20 people in 10 double ensuite bedrooms including one ground floor bedroom & bathroom which are fully equipped for disabled access.
  • Electric gates and security cameras offer a high level of security to the property.
  • Set in 20 acres of stunning gardens and grounds surrounded by tall trees and shrubbery so very private.
  • Additional accommodation available in the Lodge Cottage.
  • Fabulous entertaining space; drawing room, library, dining room, inner hall and reception hall.
  • Cinema room, gym, sauna, shoot room, conservatory & billiard room.
  • Beautifully kept small lochan.
  • Hard wired fibre providing excellent wifi.
  • Glasgow and Edinburgh International Airports under 1 hours drive.
Auchterarder House

Kinross House, Kinross-shire, Scotland

Described as Scotland’s ‘noblest classical country house’ this Grade A listed mansion is also a stunning home.  In spite of the size of Kinross House, it is surprisingly warm and cozy and looks wonderful at Christmas offering perfect space for entertaining.

  • Accommodation for 28 in 14 exceptional restored and decorated en-suite rooms.
  • Further accommodation in 10 double bedrooms in adjacent coach house.
  • Formal dining for up to 32 guests under a stunning painted ceiling.
  • Library, gentlemen’s sitting room and ladies’ sitting rooms, drawing room.
  • Home to an important collection of Scottish art.
  • Access to a variety of seasonal country pursuits including loch fishing, deer stalking, and salmon fishing.
  • Cycling, archery, falconry and driven bird shooting.
  • Golf at the championship courses of Gleneagles and St Andrews and on two courses two minutes walk from the house.
  • Helipad.
  • 25 minutes drive from Edinburgh airport.

Ashby Manor House, Northamptonshire, England

Guy Fawkes planned his infamous Gun Powder Plot at Ashby Manor House in 1605.

Ashby Manor has a tapestry of British history under its vaulted roof – Guy Fawkes, royalty and Edwin Lutyens all have connections to this striking manor house.  Available to hire for exclusive use over New Year, this family home of the aristocratic and colourful Guest family has a striking mix of period and contemporary styles with every detail of the highest quality and comfort. Children will love the former medieval kitchen-turned-play area complete with pirate’s shack as well as the games in Viscount Wimborne’s study while adults will fall for the panelled dining room and south-facing Lutyens Hall, with its stunning views and feather-soft Rose Uniacke seating.  Ashby Manor, always welcoming, can accommodate up to 23 people and has everything needed for a magical festive houseparty in the most stylish of surroundings.

  • Sleeps up to 23 people in 10 bedrooms (but in spite of the size it is very comfortable and cosy for one family).
  • Tennis court.
  • A lake for boating on.
  • Fabulous tree house for children.
  • 1 hour 50 minutes from London by car.
  • Beautiful grounds and gardens.
Ashby Manor - great hall
Candacraig from a drone

Candacraig, Strathdon, Aberdeenshire

Candacraig is an immaculately presented Scottish mansion situated within the breath taking scenery of the Cairngorms National Park.   A perfect retreat at Christmas or New Year after blustery walks in the Cairngorms.

  • Sleeps a total of 24 guests in 12 sumptuous bedrooms with their own bathrooms.
  • Fabulous dining room that seats up to 24 guests.
  • Large elegant drawing room and adjacent paneled whisky library with a selection of Scottish whiskies and gins.
  • Within easy reach of several golf courses including Balmoral, Royal Aberdeen, Cruden Bay, Moray, Stonehaven and Trump International.
  • 1 hour to Aberdeen Airport.

Gilmerton House, East Lothian, Scotland

Designed by Robert Adam this magnificent Grade A listed house has been the home to the same Scottish family for 12 generations.  A large family home which comes alive at Christmas with all the festive decorations and warmth of the open fires.

  • Sleeps 20 guests in 10 luxurious bedrooms and suites.
  • Gilmerton Lodge, a 3 bedroom detached period property just outside the gates to the main house provides further luxury accommodation for up to 6 guests.
  • Helicopter landing area.
  • A golfer’s dream location with many courses nearby such as Gullane, Muirfield & North Berwick, 1 3/4 hours by car to St Andrews.
  • The East Lothian coastline is very attractive with boat trips out to the Bass Rock to see the magnificent birdlife, also at the Scottish Seabird Centre.
  • 40 minutes from Edinburgh International Airport.
Gilmerton House in the snow
Broughton Hall at Christmas

Broughton Hall, Yorkshire, England

Situated at the heart of a 3,000 acre estate with beautifully landscaped gardens, woodland and open countryside the grounds are the perfect paradise for nature lovers alike.  This grand house retains the traditions and grandeur of bygone eras yet the facilities are bang up to date with 21st century style and levels of comfort.

  • Accommodation for 6-24 guests with a maximum capacity of 32.
  • Acres of estate grounds to explore.
  • Extensive wine cellar.
  • Ideal for very grand house parties.
  • Avalon –Wellbeing centre.
  • Bike track within the grounds.
  • Close to the market town of Skipton.
  • Within easy reach of Leeds (30 miles) and Manchester Airport (55 miles).

Langley Park, Wiltshire, England

A gloriously restored example of a classic English stately home, filled with modern art and every modern comfort this house is truly luxurious.

  • Sleeps 21 guests in 10 double/twin bedrooms and 1 single bedroom.
  • 8 bathrooms and 1 separate shower room.
  • Separate House Keeper’s accommodation.
  • Basement nightclub and media room.
  • Spa room, gym & hot tub.
  • Local attractions include the City of Bath with the famous Roman “baths”.
  • Tetburywith HRH Prince Wales’ “Highgrove” Shop.
  • Marlborough and it’s many antique shops.
  • 90 minutes drive from London.
Langley Park


“The Hall was absolutely captivating – the best Christmas party ever. Toby and Jennie were so lovely and so accommodating too! My Chairman and Creative Director have said it was one of their favourite venues for a Xmas party and haven’t stopped saying “thank you” since they got back! That has certainly earned me a bank of brownie points. You have also been a marvel and really saved the day!”

The vacations can be a complicated time for families coming together from all over the world and fraught with potential emotional pitfalls for larger families with many different egos involved. The joy of neutral ground is that generally everyone is on their best behavior and hopefully out for a good time. LTR is meticulous about selecting the estates we work with and share with our clients, all of them offer a truly warm welcome and a very friendly atmosphere carefully nurtured by the owners over many generations. Roaring log fires, cozy four poster beds, large comfortable sitting rooms and attractive dining rooms make for a special few days as families relax and unwind in the most lovely of settings. For younger guests many houses and castles offer games rooms, large dens with televisions and nearly always a billiard table, enjoyed by guests of all ages.

Outside there is often thousands of acres of private land owned by the estate to explore. Although Christmas and New Year is not suited to swimming, tennis and some other outside pursuits, wonderful walks across windswept countryside blow away the cobwebs after a large lunch and prepares guests for an even more sumptuous dinner, after they have recovered from full afternoon tea of course. We ensure that all the homes are all fully decorated for the festivities with Christmas trees, holly and other baubles to make sure guests can truly get into the Christmas spirit. Our chefs can prepare the full yuletide menu and any other seasonal favorites which guests might enjoy from their homeland. Some local attractions may be closed over the festivities but we find families like to make their own fun and take great pleasure in just being together.

New Year or Hogmanay as we call it in Scotland is a major celebration and one for which the scots are famous, taking great pleasure in entertaining their friends with huge dinners, a lot of dancing and usually a few drams of Scottish water (whiskey). A popular tradition is the ceilidh band which plays reeling music which guests can dance to. Reels like the Duke of Perth and the Dashing White Sergeant are a great way of bringing together guests of all ages and create a very joyful atmosphere. Many a romance has started on New Year’s Eve and Hogmanay heralds a new start as guests raise their glasses when the clock chimes midnight and we slip into a new year. There is nowhere more fun than a Scottish castle to bring in the New Year and LTR arranges for many families and groups of friends to experience this.

We can offer you, an unparallelled opportunity to spend Christmas or New Year in the very castle where the filming for Downton Abbey’s Christmas Special in 2012 took place!

Calling all Downton Abbey fans, if you would like to spend Christmas in the magnificent Scottish Castle that played it’s part in a Christmas episode, call Jonathan on + 44 (0) 1835 824 642 or email now. Don’t miss this ‘one off’ opportunity.