The countdown to Christmas has begun with festive preparations in full swing across Yorkshire. Our luxury holiday lodges at Abbots Green are the perfect base from which to enjoy the celebrations. With so many magical events taking place, we’ve cherry picked a few of our favourites here that are sure to appeal to everyone.
Until December 31st
Visit Castle Howard near York and see the house dressed for Christmas with magnificent decorations and a ‘stunning array of flamboyant displays and installations.’ It’s a magical day out for all the family, and there is an indoor trail to entertain the children. Don’t miss the 25-foot Great Hall Christmas tree!
For a day of Christmas celebrations, the picturesque market town of Helmsley is hard to beat. Join in the nutcracker trail, take a selfie in the giant inflatable snow globe, visit Santa’s Grotto and enjoy all the live music and food & drink tastings. The popular Christmas Tree Festival will be underway (it runs in All Saints Church from December 1st to 16th), and Helmsley Arts Centre will launch its 2018 pantomime, Little Red Riding Hood, with a matinee and evening performance.
Weekends until December 16th
Step back in time at Nunnington Hall and discover how Christmas celebrations and decorations have developed over the centuries. A community exhibition, ‘Arts for Christmas’, will showcase the best arts and crafts of Yorkshire and beyond. And a special visitor and his elves will be taking time out of their busy schedule to stop by the Hall (1.12.18-16.12.18, weekends only)! And if you fancy a treat, the lovely tea-room will have plenty of festive foods on offer.
Explore the Sounds of Winter across Beningbrough’s gardens as ‘whispering sounds and voices echo past histories and nature’s secret activity.’ The Hall is open at weekends throughout winter from 11am-3.30pm. There is also storytime with Father Christmas in the library in the hall and you can take photos at the elfie-selfie board, write a letter and have a go at the elf present spotter trail. Check times and phone the elves to book your place. For more information click here.
Until January 6th
A festive day out for all ages, Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland is home to the North of England’s largest outdoor ice rink, The Ice Factor. It enjoys a magical setting, giant Christmas tree and rinkside Alpine-themed café. We love the unique collection of vintage funfair rides and games stalls dating from as early as 1933. Why not enjoy a warming mulled wine or hot chocolate in between your ice skating or go for a spot of Christmas shopping at the York Designer Outlet.
Step onto York Castle Museum’s recreated Victorian Street, Kirkgate, with its twinkling Christmas tree and decorated shops. Discover how Christmas was celebrated 150 years ago. Children will enjoy the Christmas trail: the Lost Letters – A Christmas Mystery (Saturday and Sundays until December 24th).
Visitors and locals dress up in traditional Victorian costumes for this annual event as the old smugglers’ village is decorated with lights, trees and festive wreaths. Everywhere, music is playing: bell ringers, carol singers and story tellers all add to the sense of occasion making this event a highlight in the festive calendar.
Until January 7th
A magical adventure awaits at Stockeld Park. Winter activities include the real ice rink, nordic ski trail, fun filled maze, adventure zones and the illuminated enchanted forest. The park is lit with thousands of twinkling lights and the atmosphere is festive and fun. Enjoy the outdoor activities, visit Santa’s Grotto or stop off at the woodland café for a treat. You can also pick up a Christmas tree on your way home.
Until December 29th
See the beautiful RHS gardens sparkle with special lighting effects and an illuminated trail around the magnificent trees. Visitors can enjoy the ‘glow’ of the winter illuminations every Thursday-Saturday from 4.30pm-8pm, with last entry at 7pm.
The ancient Cathedral is a stunning venue for a superb theatrical production of the Christmas story. The guest narrator will be Chris Chittell from Emmerdale and the performance will include dancing, music, and singing from Ripon Cathedral Choir. Purchase tickets online or from the Cathedral gift shop.
Every weekend from December 1st-23rd
There is nothing quite like the experience of joining Father Christmas and his special helpers onboard a special steam train, the Santa Express. Travel through the heart of the North York Moors for a truly festive journey.