Get ready for a world of hurried white rabbits, croquet, tea parties and red queens. Celebrating the set of Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ National Trust’s historic Antony House in Torpoint, Cornwall will transform into a real Alice-style fantasyland just how Lewis Carroll imagined.
As the only ‘real’ site for the filming, the 18th-century mansion, garden and woodland, in collaboration with the Dodgy Clutch Theater Company, will showcase key elements of the stories of Alice. Visitors will enjoy imaginative installations set amidst the lush Antony gardens, Alice-inspired events, and extended hours, says press materials.
“One of the reasons Antony was chosen was because it’s a hidden gem,” said Rebecca Miller of the National Trust. “It’s one of the trust’s lesser known properties and they felt this fitted in very well with the feel of the film.”
Don’t be late for these very important dates:
Alice and Alistair Day
When: March 6
What: Any child named Alice, or the rare male equivalent of Alastair (American boys might be at a slight disadvantage), or anyone decked out as a character from Alice in Wonderland, will be admitted free. Can’t make it to Antony? Check out the 13 other participating sites across Devon and Cornwall.
Mad Hatter’s Tea Parties
When: March 6 to 7, every weekend, and Bank Holidays
What: Families will enjoy workshops, games, and dressing. Take time for tea and snacks in the tea-party marquee on Antony’s vast Cork Oak Lawn. Cost is an additional £5 per person.
Antony House Opening
When: March 16
What: Begin at the beginning and go on ‘till you come to the end: then stop. Heed the King’s expert advice and explore Antony House for a sneak peek of the rooms appearing in scenes of the film, including Alice’s bedroom.
The White Rabbit Easter Trail
When: April 2 through 9
What: Follow the trail of the elusive White Rabbit throughout Antony’s magnificent landscaped gardens. (Attention chocoholics the trail is hosted by Cadbury so it has to be good!) Cost is an additional £1.50 per child.
Explore Your Own Wonderland
When: May 29 through June 3
What: I’ve often seen a cat without a grin; but a grin without a cat! It’s the most curious thing I ever saw in my life! Make friends with the Cheshire Cat and the rest of the Alice in Wonderland gang with a week of Alice themed children’s activities. Seek out the giant chessboard and become a queen, king, or knight in your own life-size game of chess.
Weird and Wonderful Tea Parties
When: June 27
What: Look for special tea parties being held all across Devon and Cornwall at the following participating National Trust properties: A la Ronde, Castle Drogo, Killerton, Lydford Gorge, Park Estate, and many more.
When: July 21, 28; August 5, 19, 25
What: Learn how to play croquet on the lawn at Antony (but without a flamingo as your mallet!) Let off some steam in a Caucus Race – no rules or instructions just run at random per Lewis Carroll’s direction.