A christmas of make-believe

A child and mother enjoy looking at the theatrical themed trees at Chirk Castle

8 to 23 December 2018. Enter a world of make-believe at Chirk Castle this Christmas. Follow the footsteps of the six children of Lord Howard de Walden in the 1920s as we decorate Chirk Castle as a fantastical castle of theatre and fairytales.

From 8 to 23 December visit our Christmas of make-believe. Imagine if you grew up in your very own fantasy castle… for the six children of Lord and Lady Howard de Walden at Chirk Castle in the 1920s that was exactly what happened. 

John, Bronwen, Elisabeth, Priscilla, Gaenor and little sister Rosemary grew up playing make-believe, putting on Christmas pantomimes, and playing dress-up in a castle full of imaginary dragons and knights, princesses, and stories.

From 1923 to 1931 Lord Howard de Walden wrote six pantomimes, based on popular tales, for his children and their friends to perform at Chirk Castle. Inspired by these pantomimes, and the photos we have of them being performed, volunteers and staff have spent hundreds of hours handmaking decorations, costumes and props for a fun family Christmas.

Join us for a family Christmas... with a twist
Lord Howard De Walden and his family putting on a pantomimen in the 1920s
Join us for a family Christmas... with a twist

This year at Chirk Castle see the beautiful decorations inside the State Rooms themed on the De Walden family pantomimes. Explore our fairy-tale trail on the estate and gardens, and see how many traditional fairy-tales you can name.Watch the family cinefilm, dress-up and recreate a scene from the De Walden family album in the Chapel.

Try some festive favourites in the cafe, or pick up a special present for someone from our Gift Shop. On weekends we also have special storytelling, with our favourite local storyteller Andy Harrop-Smith, and on Sunday afternoons festive music from the Chirk Hand-bell Ringers.

Enjoy pantomime themed decorations through the castle.
A boy enjoys the Reluctant Dragon decorations on one of the themed trees
Enjoy pantomime themed decorations through the castle.

Christmas opening is 8 to 23 December, 10am to 4pm. The State Rooms also open an hour earlier, so entrance to view the decorations is from 11am to 4pm (last entry 3:30pm). The shop and cafe are both open as normal, with some great gifts to buy and a special Christmas menu.

Admission is free to National Trust members, or please see admission prices on our website.

Father Christmas will also be in his traditional grotto each weekend. Tickets for the Grotto are now SOLD OUT. For more details on the grotto please see the Father Christmas Grotto article.