National Trust venue Hinton Ampner near Bramdean welcomed more than 2,000 visitors on its first weekend of Christmas opening.

Visitor experience manager Michaela Saunders-Hall said: “We sold nearly 800 tickets in our first four hours of box office opening, which has never happened before.

“I think this year, more than ever, people want to escape into something magical and joyful.”

Those who came enjoyed a re-telling of J M Barrie’s Peter Pan, with each room featuring a sparkling Christmas tree.

The entrance hall was the nursery for the Darling family children, and the dining room was transformed into Captain Hook’s treasure trove.

Highlights included Peter Pan’s flying shadow flitting across a room and a life-size ticking crocodile. Outside were mermaids in the pond and Nana the dog’s kennel where visiting pooches could have their picture taken.