Spend Christmas in Britain in 2015

Chatsworth House at Christmas. Credit: Chatsworth House Trust
Chatsworth House at Christmas. Credit: Chatsworth House Trust

This year, why not holiday in Britain over the festive period, with our seasonal tours and special Christmas events to make your trip memorable.

Chatsworth House at Christmas. Credit: Chatsworth House Trust
Chatsworth House at Christmas. Credit: Chatsworth House Trust

Christmas in Britain is a really special time – think snowy walks in ancient forests, roaring fires in cosy inns, and pretty light shows at some of our grand stately homes. Here is our round-up of some of the best ways to celebrate Christmas in Britain this year.

Celebrate at Chatsworth

Few English estates draw such delight as this one in the heart of the Peak District (pictured above), which is recognisable to many as Mr Darcy’s home of Pemberley in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. This year the Christmas theme at Chatsworth is Kenneth Grahame’s classic The Wind in the Willows, which you can enjoy into the evening on Thursdays and Fridays from 26 November-18 December when it’s open late. Entrance is included in the general admission price but Chatsworth does get busy at this time of year so you will need to book tickets in advance. Chatsworth is closed on 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January.

Old Swan Minster, Cotswolds. Credit: Tony Murray Photography
The are lots of cosy inns to discover in the Cotswolds, like the Old Swan & Minster Mill. Credit: Tony Murray Photography

Take a Christmas Day tour

Escape the crowds at some of our most popular attractions by visiting on Christmas Day. Viator offers a Christmas Day tour setting off from London on 25 December that takes in views of Stonehenge (from nearby Salisbury Plain), and visits Bath and the Cotswolds, and Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon. The tours costs £115 ($175) per person and includes a two-course Christmas lunch, with turkey and all the trimmings, in an Elizabethan inn.

Premium Tours offers a range of Christmas Day tours, including a vintage open-top double-decker bus tour of London offering views of Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, starting at just £29.

Hever Castle at Christmas
Hever Castle at Christmas

Twilight Christmas at Hever Castle

At Anne Boleyn’s childhood home, in Kent, you can wrap up warm for a magical moonlit walk past the enchanting castle and around the gardens, all decorated with twinkling lights and festive colours. Bring your torch and wear your wellies and look out for the camels ridden by three wise men bearing gifts for the ‘new born king’ at the nativity scene before going to the Husky Hideout.

Afterwards enter the fairytale Hever Castle to find out about how Christmas is celebrated around the world or play vintage games in the castle forecourt.

Twilight Christmas will only run on 11, 18, 22 and 23 December and limited tickets are available for £15 ($23) per adult (discount for annual members) so book early.

Sutton Hoo. Credit: National Trust Images/Joe Cornish
Burial mound at Sutton Hoo. Credit: National Trust Images/Joe Cornish

National Trust Christmas fairs

Where better to soak up the atmosphere Christmas than at the hauntingly beautiful estate of Sutton Hoo – home to one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time.

From 11am-4pm on 13 and 14 November, a traditional Christmas ‘fayre’ will be held here, with some lovely crafts and gifts on offer, alongside local Suffolk produce and some merry music. Adults £3, children £2 – price includes entrance to the site.

There are also Christmas fairs being held at lots of other National Trust properties throughout November and December.

Bretherdale Hall sitting room, the Lake District, Cumbria
Bretherdale Hall sitting room

Escape to the Lakes

Few places are more romantic than the Lake District and it has a special allure in winter as the leaves fall away and the visitors dwindle, leaving you more space to take in the landscape that William Wordsworth called “the loveliest place on earth”.

Situated in the Bretherdale Valley, within an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Bretherdale Hall, is a beautiful example of a traditional Lakeland Farmhouse that sleeps eight people in four bedrooms (one en suite). It has period features, such as an inglenook fireplace in the sitting room, alongside more modern luxurious touches, such as a sauna and steam room.

A week from 20 December is priced at £1490 ($2256), equating to £186 ($280) per person.

Related articles

Five of the best tours of the Cotswolds
Take a video tour of the Cotswolds
Win a luxury stay at Hever Castle
Beautiful photos of the Lake District

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