Get the most out of your Christmas visit to Calke

Christmas trees at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire

There's something for everyone during Christmas at Calke Abbey. Whether you want to create family traditions, find festive gifts and treats or enjoy a crisp winter walk, we can help you get the most out of your Christmas visit.

On the first day of Christmas…

…Father Christmas comes to Calke! Watch Father Christmas arrive at Calke with his magical reindeer, then join the lantern-lit parade up to the twinkling Stableyards. 

Find festive cheer at the Christmas Market in the Riding School, where you'll find inspirational gifts and seasonal food and drink. Kids can get crafty in Squirt's Stable, and if you're feeling the winter chill, warm up with a hot chocolate and mince pie in the cosy restaurant.

This event takes place on Fri 29 Nov from 5pm–8pm. Father Christmas will be arriving at the house at 6pm prompt, so arrive early to make sure you don't miss him! 

Create family traditions this Christmas

Christmas is a magical time for the family, and we’ve got lots of ways to create wonderful memories and festive traditions.

Unfortunately our pre-bookable Father Christmas events are all sold out (he's a busy man at this time of year!), but there are plenty of festive crafts in Squirt's Stable to keep the kids entertained. 

Squirt's Stable is located in the Stableyards, open every weekend from Sat 30 Nov to Sun 22 Dec, 11am–6pm. Keep scrolling for more ideas for family days out. 

Follow a festive trail of kindness 

Have you ever seen Calke all lit up in festive lights? As darkness falls, let the lanterns lead the way to the candle-lit church, and see the Pleasure Grounds soaked in colourful lights. The Entrance Hall will be open so you can warm those fingers and toes by the fire, and don't forget to explore the twinkling tunnels for a truly magical experience. 

Discover small acts of kindness along this year's festive family trail and be inspired to share a little joy this Christmas. Pick up a trail map from the Ticket Office or Squirt's Stable to get started.

The festive trail is open every weekend from Sat 30 Nov to Sun 22 Dec, 11am–6pm. Please note that the lights will be switched on after dark (around 4pm). Click the link below for full details. 

Calke Abbey, Midlands, tunnels at Christmas

A trail of Christmas kindness at Calke Abbey

Experience Calke in all its twinkling glory this Christmas and be inspired by small acts of kindness on a new festive trail.

Discover festive food and craft fairs

‘Tis the season to stock up on festive gifts and treats! Get set for Christmas at a range of food and gift markets in the Riding School, where you'll find traditional and handmade gifts, local food and lots of festive cheer.

There's a market on every weekend from Sat 30 Nov to Sun 22 Dec (except Sat 21 Dec); visit the What's On page for full details. 

Where to refresh and refuel

Once you’re all stocked up, treat yourself to a hot chocolate or mince pie in the restaurant, or enjoy in a three-course Christmas lunch, lovingly prepared by the Calke chefs. Click the link below to find the festive menu (booking in advance essential). 

The restaurant is open weekdays 10am–4pm and weekends 10am–6.30pm (closed Christmas Day), and the café will be open at weekends and peak times. The Food and Beverage kiosk at Calke Explore is open every weekend in December from 10am–3pm.

Escape the Christmas crowds 

With over 600 acres of stunning parkland to explore, there are plenty of places to escape the crowds. Pick up a park map to find a range of walking routes, or download our best seasonal walks from the website.

Calke Explore is open throughout winter for woodland adventures, crisp winter walks and moments of reflection in the wetlands. The Tramway Trail is a great route for those wet-weather days – download the route below. 

We love meeting your four-legged friends at Calke, but please be considerate to other visitors and bring a lead and plenty of poo bags, just in case!

A waterfall along one of Calke Abbey's trails, Derbyshire

Winter Walks at Calke

Enjoy crisp, winter walks at Calke and explore seasonal highlights around the estate.

Winter opening and admission

The house is closed from Mon 4 Nov for the winter season while the house team undertake vital cleaning and conservation work, but there’s still plenty to see and do at Calke Abbey.

The gardens are open over winter from 10am–4pm, offering a chance to explore the bare bones of the garden and Pleasure Grounds. Dogs on short leads are welcome in the gardens during the winter, but please bring the poo bags, just in case.

We charge a per-person park admission charge for non-members, which allows you access to 600 acres of parkland, the winter garden and the facilities in the Stableyard. If you’re a member, don’t forget to bring your membership card – every time we scan it Calke Abbey receives a ‘member credit’ which enables us to continue our essential conservation work.

Traditions that last a whole year

Looking forward to a family day out at Calke Abbey this Christmas? Why not make the fun last all month? It costs £10.50 for a family ticket into the parkland, but for £10.50 a month, you can enjoy unlimited magical moments this Christmas!

Ask a member of the park entry team for details about a National Trust family membership when you arrive, and start making long-lasting traditions this Christmas. Don't forget we also do gift memberships, if you're looking for an extra special gift this Christmas.

Your support this Christmas means that we can look after special places like Calke Abbey for generations to come. Thank you.