A Christmas Wonderland at Castle Howard

By Julia Parry | 18th November 2016


Castle Howard during the festive season is a joyous, warm celebration of Christmas time with crackling open fires and decadently decorated trees. The sound of music and choirs echo throughout the majestic rooms.

One of the many highlights to a festive visit to Castle Howard this year is an inverted Christmas tree displayed in the North Yorkshire stately home’s Long Gallery: the tree, resplendent with gold roots, is suspended upside down in the Octagon in the Long Gallery, providing a stunning centrepiece. However, at 18ft, the Long Gallery tree is not the largest in the house; that honour goes to a tree in the Great Hall, which stands at 20ft tall and is dressed with around 2000 baubles.

Also new for 2016 is a literary tree that needs neither decorating nor watering. The tree is constructed entirely out of a mountain of books and is itself a work of art.

Alongside the many wonderfully decorated rooms is a stunning gingerbread replica of Castle Howard created by food architects Bompas & Parr. A delightful gingerbread toy train journeys its way throughout a Howadian winter wonderland with the magnificent gingerbread stately home stood centre stage.


There is an indoor Christmas market running daily and visitors will be able to enjoy a newly-created Christmas Afternoon Tea, in the intimate setting of the Grecian Hall. Throughout the season, visitors to Castle Howard will enjoy daily live music from choirs, classical musicians and other musical guests, and younger visitors can enjoy a festive trail woven throughout the decorated house.

A special ‘Twilight opening’ on 18 December will enable families to experience the house as darkness falls, with the house illuminated with hundreds of candles and a festive sing-along in the garden; for the Twilight opening; last entry to the house will be 7.00pm. Castle Howard is open daily from 19 November to 23 December from 10.00am (last entry to the House 4pm, 5pm at weekends) with admission prices of £18.95 for adults with concessions available. Under 4s get in free, and family tickets (two adults and up to three children) are available for £47.85.

Visitors are advised to book early for sessions with Father Christmas, and the Christmas Afternoon Teas, as availability is limited and they are expected to book up quickly.

For more information on all of Castle Howard’s Christmas events, or to prebook, click the link below:

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