Christmas at Castle Howard

Christmas at Castle Howard is simply magical.  We love Christmas, in fact we love the lead up to Christmas more than the actual day, so when we had a free rainy Tuesday afternoon in the middle of November there seemed like no other option than to head to Castle Howard to soak up the festive atmosphere.  We were excited before we even got our of the car driving up the Christmas tree lined driveway to the car park.

Our three year old son has a bit of an obsession with the infamous Castle Howard tractor so he was delighted when it showed up pulling carriages of visitors back from the house.  You can walk to the house very quickly and easily however if you have children with you or are less able on your feet then its a fun way to be escorted to the entrance of the house.

We quickly ran in from the cold and rain and into what felt like the set of a Christmas Carol, think roaring open fires, candlelight and live festive music.  This years theme is The twelve days of Christmas and has been designed by the very talented theatrical designers Charlotte Lloyd Webber and Brette Gereke.  As you would expect you discover the characters from the well known song as you journey through the house's grand state rooms.  The displays and installations are breathtakingly magical and would soften even the coldest heart of a certain Ebeneezer Scrooge. 

The tour takes you through the Great Hall and the magnificent 25 foot traditional Christmas Tree, decorated with no less than 3000 baubles.  Most people stop here for a while by the roaring open fire and wonder to themselves how many people and how much time it must have take to decorate.  The long gallery signals the ending of the tour but offers a beautiful finale with lords leaping and ladies dancing to the live music of a small orchestra.

Castle Howard are holding twilight evenings on the 15 and 16 December where you can enter the house after hours and enjoy live music from the New York Brass Band and magic from WonderPhil - we've also heard a rumour that the big man will be in attendance! Maybe we might go again without children in tow to enjoy some mulled wine and a mince pie - and some peace and quiet!

The twelve days of Christmas at Castle Howard is open daily until 31 December 2018.  The house and gardens open at 10am with last entry to the house at 3pm on weekdays and 4pm on weekends.  Admission prices apply see here for more details.