The traditional Christmas tree is now in place outside the Houses of Parliament in London

The traditional Christmas tree is now in place outside the Houses of Parliament in London

The traditional Christmas tree is now in place outside the Houses of Parliament in London after a 330 mile journey from Kielder Forest in Northumberland, supplier of the Westminster Christmas tree for the last 15 years. The forest also provides smaller Christmas trees for Westminster Hall and the Speaker’s State Rooms.

Westminster Christmas Tree

The 52ft high Sitka spruce weighs about two tonnes and was cut specially for the honour. The base of the tree has to be specially shaped to fit the hole outside Big Ben. Putting it in position is a demanding job, with decorations placed from a crane: placing the star on top is not a job for the faint-hearted!

Installing a real Christmas tree in your own home is a much easier task, thank goodness! There’s still plenty of time to come down to the garden centre here in Poynings and choose your perfect specimen: Sitka spruces like the Westminster tree tend to be rather larger than average, but a traditional Norway spruce gives the same look on a smaller scale. Or you could go for a non-drop Nordmann Fir, fragrant Noble fir or pretty steel-coloured blue spruce. Pop down and see which grabs your fancy – and don’t forget to pick up the decorations while you’re here!