English Heritage Christmas Events
Celebrate Christmas in style with English Heritage’s dazzling events
Enter a fairytale landscape this festive season as six of English Heritage’s most breathtaking historic sites are transformed into a sparkling wonderland. Our Enchanted series of events will see stately homes across the country spring to life with colour and sound, their illuminations shining against the evening sky.
Don’t miss the opportunity to experience England’s story in the most mesmerising of settings this yuletide as we celebrate the season with carols, festive food and a traditional Victorian Christmas with the jolly man himself.
Looking to give an extra special gift this year? Visit our on-site shops or pick up something extra special for loved ones from the comfort of your own home on our online shop (www.english-heritageshop.org.uk/). Deck your halls with our winter decorations or even give the gift of membership to over 400 historical places as you celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.
Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, Derbyshire; Brodsworth Hall and Gardens, South Yorkshire; Audley End House and Gardens, Essex; Eltham Palace and Gardens, London; Walmer Castle and Gardens, Kent; and Witley Court and Gardens, Worcestershire
5 – 30 December, Thurs – Sun – see website for individual site dates and prices
Make the most of winter evenings this December with an enchanting experience of light, colour and sound as six of English Heritage’s most stunning historic properties are transformed into illuminated worlds. New for this year, Walmer Castle in Kent will showcase its gardens in a new light as visitors follow the charming trail to discover a winter fairytale of colour and sound. Afterwards, treat yourself to a mulled wine and mince pie, enjoy a fairground ride and browse for Christmas presents in the gift shop.
Christmas at the Castle
Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire
Sat 7 – Sun 8 December
£11.80 adult | £10.60 concession | £7.10 child | £30.70 family
Christmas is coming to Kenilworth Castle! Step back in time to a nostalgic family Noel complete with festive storytelling and toy making. Enjoy some yuletide cheer with the castle jester, indulge in a treat in the tearoom, and hand deliver your Christmas list to Father Christmas.
Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire
Thurs 19 December
Join in the Christmas celebrations at Bolsover Castle with carols sung by Chesterfield Philharmonic Choir in the stunning surroundings of the Riding School.
An Audience with Father Christmas
Brodsworth Hall and Gardens, South Yorkshire
Weds 30 November – Sun 8 December
£11.80 adult | £10.60 concession | £7.10 child (plus £5 per child to see Father Christmas) | £30.70 family
Have you been on your best behaviour this year? If so Father Christmas is waiting for you at Brodsworth Hall. Gather round for Christmas tales by the tree and take the chance to get a photo with the big man himself. There’s a gift in store for every child too. Each session lasts 60 minutes and booking is essential.
Rievaulx Abbey, North Yorkshire
Sun 1 and Sun 8 December
£10.40 adult | £9.40 concession | £6.20 child | £27 family
Get into the Christmas spirit by enjoying some carols in the nave at Rievaulx Abbey. Join the Bilsdale Silver Band as they play all of your favourite traditional tunes in the atmospheric abbey church. Stop by for some festive cheer as you explore the ruins, or grab a song sheet and join in. The abbey gift shop will be open to meet all your present needs and there will be mead tasting too. So wrap up warm and come along for an afternoon of festive fun.
Preparing a Victorian Christmas
Audley End House and Gardens, Essex
Weekends from Sat 30 November – Sun 22 December
£14.30 adult | £12.90 concession | £8.60 child | £37.20 family
Over this festive season Audley End House’s historic kitchen will be a flurry of activity as the staff make their preparations for a Victorian Christmas dinner which would have been fit for the Braybrooke family. Come and meet the staff as you inhale the spices and smells from the seasonal dishes which would have filled the family’s Christmas table and discover how the servants’ Christmas meal would have been different. Watch as the kitchen prepares well-known festive staples including mince pies, Christmas pudding and gingerbread biscuits, or be inspired by the more unusual Victorian recipes such as Nesselrode Pudding, a concoction of chestnuts, cherries and cream.
Framlingham Castle, Suffolk
Sat 28 – Sun 29 December
£11 adult | £9.90 concession | £6.60 child | £28.60 family
Witness graceful hawks and glorious falcons in flight as expert falconers reveal how our ancestors trained, exercised, and hunted with their birds. Hear how food was caught for the Christmas dinner table whilst these amazing creatures swoop overhead.
An Audience with Father Christmas
Wrest Park, Bedfordshire
Weekends from Sat 7 – Sun 22 December
£11.50 adult | £10.40 concession | £6.90 child (plus £5 per child to see Father Christmas) | £29.90 family
Have you been on your best behaviour this year? If so Father Christmas is waiting for you at Wrest Park. Gather round for Christmas tales amongst the festive decorations and take the chance to get a photo with the big man himself. There’s a gift in store for every child too. Booking essential.
Osborne, Isle of Wight
Sat 30 November – Sun 1 December
£15.39 adult | £13.86 concession | £9.27 child | £40.05 family
From turkey and crackers to figgy pudding and Father Christmas, the festive season as we know it today has its roots in the Victorian era. This December, take a trip back in time at Queen Victoria’s treasured holiday home Osborne to celebrate a traditional Victorian Christmas. As the sounds of music and the smell of roasting chestnuts fill the air, get stuck into traditional games and toy-making or take a ride on the carousel before marvelling at the daring jesters and their breathtaking fire performances. Then head indoors for an audience with Father Christmas as he tells yuletide tales amidst the festive decorations of Osborne’s spectacular ground-floor rooms. Also on offer will be carols, Victorian ghost stories and the opportunity to purchase any last-minute festive gifts, before you gather around after dark to watch Father Christmas throw the switch on the festive lights and gain a new perspective on the beauty of Osborne as you sip mulled wine and wander among the softly lit grounds.