Wreath watch in the South West

Admiring doors and festive wreaths in England’s South West

I know that Christmas, and indeed December, has been and gone now, but I couldn’t resist sharing with you some of the charming Christmas and festive wreaths I’ve spotted over the last few weeks. In December I travelled home to the UK for the first time since leaving in March 2020, and it has been so lovely to be back. Getting to catch up with family and friends has of course been the highlight, but I’ve also been enjoying looking at the wonderful old buildings – and their doors! Anyone who has followed me on Instagram since my Oxford days will know that I have something of a soft spot for a picturesque door. I love how many different styles there are, and what they reveal about the architecture of an area, and the personalities of their owners. This is only enhanced by the presence of a wreath! So here are some of my favourite decorated doors from a cosy Christmas in England.

A large back door in a white wall, with grey decorative surround summited by a light grey pediment. The wreath is made up of greens, yellows and golds, with a base of fir and conifer ornamented with dried fruits and leaves.
An imposing door and generous wreath only slightly let-down by the presence of Halloween’s pumpkins!
A light grey door set in a Bath yellow stone wall, with a rectangular window above, and a low letterbox. The wreath is small and largely made up of red and browns, with a big red and silver ribbon at the top.
A classic but simple Georgian style door in Bath.
A grey/blue doorway set in a very grand entrance, with three stone steps leading up to it, ionic columns either side, and a semi-circular window above, and lanterns either side. The wreath is very traditional, with large pieces of fir tree complemented by dried fruit and plants, with a single yellow ribbon at the top.
Once upon a time this would have been my dream door, but I think it’s possibly a bit grand for me now!
A mustard yellow door set in a Bath stone wall, with decorative surrounds and a large pediment above. The wreath is massive, taking up about half the door, and made up of fruits and dried flowers on a base of large green leaves. There is a single yellow bow, matching the colour of the door, at the bottom.
I admire the ambition of this one, and the matching with the lovely door colour!
A duck egg blue door with two small rectangular windows in the top of the door, and a small porch top, set in a rustic stone wall. The wreath is small and at the top, with lots of red bows and some cinnamon sticks on a green base.
This is maybe more what my ideal door looks like these days!
A pair of Victorian doors, one on the left in dark grey, that on the right in a light navy. Both have long, rectangular stained glass windows in them, and small windows with their house numbers on them above. The left hand wreath is almost entirely green, with dried grasses and flowers, that on the right is more traditional, made up of fir, dried oranges and plants, with a bright red bow at the top.
Pairs of Victorian doors were my favourites back in Oxford – I like to imagine what the respective colours say about the relationship between neighbours.
A pair of cottage doors, both with large square windows in them. The right hand door has green and orange checkered stained glass, in a light turquoise blue door, while the left has a leaf patterned frosting clear window, in light blue door. Only the right hand door has a wreath, which is small and made up of holly and fir, with a dark green bow.
A more rustic pair. A bit of a hectic display on the right – not sure how I feel about all the different colours, but it is more visually stimulating than the simplicity of the left hand door.
A tall, narrow cottage door in light blue/lilac, with two small windows on either side, a small porch overhang, and plants growing all along the top. There is a small diamond shaped window in the door, around which is the wreath, made up of blue, purple, green and gold baubles.
I’m not generally a fan of these more contemporary styles of wreath, but I think this one nicely matches the cheerful tone of the house.
Another pair of Victorian doors, this time with rounded archways above, which each feature a decorative carving with their house numbers in, which are different to the modern numbers on the doors. The door on the left is black with a traditional wreath of green with some red highlights and a gold coloured bow at the bottom, while the door on the right is a sage-grey colour with a wreath of brightly coloured gold, orange, pink and green baubles on a base of fir.
Another modern wreath that has won me over – bringing some much needed liveliness to this rather formal pair of doors!
Very small black door, almost hobbit-sized, in a 16th or 17th century wall, with a very chunky but bare creeper growing around it. The wreath is made up of first with orange and gold baubles.
Finally, perhaps my favourite of the bunch! I try to photograph this door whenever I see it, but it is on rather a busy road with a narrow path, so it’s not usually possible. I’m glad to have finally got one, especially in its festive attire! It’s so charming, almost hobbit-sized, and with that wonderful plant growing all around it it really does look like something out of a book!

There you have it, a brief tour around some of my favourite doors! Having spent the last two Christmases in Australia, I really appreciate the point and purpose of Christmas celebrations and decorations now. The winter is so glum and grey, it makes sense to liven up one’s door with lovely decorations and bring a bit of colour to the dreary days. We don’t really need to do this Down Under, when all of our plants and flowers are at their best (albeit often rather thirsty in the hot weather!).

Which door is your favourite? Do you share my love of cute old doorways? I’d love to see your pictures and Instagram accounts if so, please share them in a comment!

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