It wouldn't be Christmas without...

Christmas is a time to relive treasured traditions and discover new and exciting ways of celebrating the festive period. It’s a chance to spend time with loved ones, sharing in activities that will entertain and delight. Here's a taste of what's on at our places this season...

Lady purchasing an item from a stallholder

Christmas markets

Finding that perfect present to go under the tree for someone you love is one of the real joys of the festive season. You’ll find our Christmas markets and winter fairs full of unique and high quality gifts as well as the sights, sounds and smells of the season – the perfect antidote to the stresses of the high street.

A father and son do some Christmas baking

Tasty festive treats

There’s no end to the gastronomic delights on offer during Yuletide and it’s even more fun to get stuck in and make some yourself. Our kitchens will be opening their doors for seasonal cooking events with the chance to stir up a Christmas pudding or make festive goodies to take home and enjoy. You’ll find more delicious treats in our gift shops and online shop.

Father Christmas hands over a present to a young girl

A visit to Father Christmas

Father Christmas will be paying some very special visits to places we look after this festive season. Little ones (and the young at heart) can come and visit Santa in his grotto to tell him their Christmas wishes, hear magical stories and share in the good cheer. Father Christmas will also be bringing some of his friends from the North Pole along to help.

Festival of Light at Mount Stewart - reflections in the lake

A touch of sparkle

See the places we care for transformed with Christmas lights and winter illuminations. These impressive light shows will see gardens and houses all aglow, adding colour and shine to those long dark evenings. Take a wander through the twinkling lights as night falls and discover a truly magical winter wonderland all around you.

A winter walk at Ickworth

A crisp walk

If you’re in need of an invigorating walk to burn off the mince pies, are looking for somewhere for the kids to let off steam or simply want somewhere quiet to escape to from the festive hustle and bustle, a refreshing walk in the landscapes we look after is the ideal tonic during the Christmas period. Wrap up warm and enjoy the fresh winter air.

Tyntesfield Christmas

Experiencing old traditions

Every year the places we care for celebrate Christmas throughout the ages with houses transformed to reflect the way the people who once lived and worked in them observed the season. From Tudor and medieval traditions to the festivities of the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras, step back in time and experience a slice of history.

A pine cone being used to make a mouse Christmas decoration

Homemade decorations 

As well as adding a touch of creative flair to your Christmas displays, making some homemade decorations is a great way to entertain the little ones over the school holidays. We’ve got some great ideas for making decorations from natural or recycled materials with step-by-step how to guides and helpful videos for you to follow.

Carols by candlelight at Fountains Abbey

A jolly sing-a-long

As well as being decked with boughs of holly, the places we care for will be alive with festive music this Christmas. Join in with much-loved traditional carols and songs in surroundings beautifully dressed for the season. We’ll also be welcoming local choirs and musicians to our halls and courtyards for some special Christmas concerts.

Mince pies
Cakes and bakes

Last-minute preparations 

It’s easy for time to run away in the lead up to Christmas but never fear – you can create an impressive Christmas cake for the whole family to savour in no time with our easy to follow last-minute quick-mix recipe. We’ve also got lots of other festive dishes for you to try at home from gingerbread and mince pies to Christmas pudding.