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Christmas at Calke Abbey

Image shows two people taking a photo of the house lit up in different colours.
Christmas lights at Calke Abbey | © National Trust/Rod Kirkpatrick

Christmas at Calke 2023 has now finished. We loved welcoming you for another festive season and look forward to doing it all again next year. The following information refers to Christmas 2023. More information about Christmas 2024 will be released later in the year.

Christmas at a glance

Christmas at Calke is open every Saturday and Sunday in December until Saturday 23 December. Calke Abbey is closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Here’s a round-up of all things Christmas at Calke this year, so you can get the most from your visit:

  • Join the festive fairs in the Riding School from 10am – 6pm.
  • Bump into Father Christmas and Mrs Claus on your travels from 2pm – 6pm.
  • Explore the icy tunnels from 11am – 6pm.
  • See Calke lit up in festive lights from 3.30pm – 6pm

Christmas trail at a glance

Go back in time on the Christmas with the Tudors trail every day from Saturday 2 December – Sunday 7 January, excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

The trail will be open from 9.30am – 4pm, Monday – Friday and from 9.30am – 6pm on Christmas at Calke weekends. The trail will then re-open on Boxing Day until 7 January from 9.30am – 4pm.

Christmas lights and illuminations

As darkness falls, see Calke lit up in festive lights around the Stableyards, Pleasure Grounds and St Giles Church.

Take in scenes of a dreamy Christmas Eve, inspired by the state bed in the House or pose for a photo on Santa's chair in the Pleasure Grounds.

Don’t forget to stop by the Stableyards for more festive fun. Enjoy a ride on the carousel, play in the shadow puppet theatre, and then grab something warming from the refreshments pod.

We'd love to see your favourite moments this Christmas. Share them with us, using #MyCalkeChristmas on social media.

To provide this event without an additional ticket cost, we rely on the support of National Trust members and all our visitors. If you’ve had a great time, please help us by making a small donation before you leave, so we continue to bring Christmas to Calke for years to come.

Children waving wands in the light up willow tunnel
Join us for a magical Christmas | © National Trust/Annapurna Mellor

The icy tunnels

The festive lights continue through the inner courtyard of the House and into the icy tunnels, new for 2023.

Travel underground and take in frosty scenes and showers of snowflakes. Look out for the Northern Lights as they dance across the walls and then emerge from the chilly depths in the warmth of the Brewhouse.

The icy tunnels open at 11am – perfect if you’re visiting with little ones or looking for a quieter Christmas lights experience.

Christmas markets

Get into the festive spirit with a trip to the Christmas fairs in the Riding School with our friends, Curly Magpie.

With handmade crafts, local food and festive drink, you're sure to find something extra special to gift your loved ones this Christmas.

For enquiries about stalls at this event, please contact Curly Magpie directly via their website.

Image shows two visitor exploring the indoor Christmas market
Find last-minute Christmas gifts at the market | © National Trust/Annapurna Mellor

Christmas with the Tudors trail

Ever wondered how the Tudors celebrated Christmas? Find out on a festive family trail around the Stableyards, Pleasure Grounds and St Giles Church.

Bookable events

For those seeking an exclusive Christmas experience, book onto one of the events listed below and enjoy an early Christmas treat, while making memories with loved ones.

Meet Father Christmas

Join Father Christmas for breakfast at Calke. Enjoy a hearty breakfast in the café before meeting Father Christmas in his grotto. He’ll be bringing gifts for all good boys and girls.

Booking is essential for both children and accompanying adults.

Meet Mrs Claus

Join Mrs Claus for a coffee morning, where families with little ones can enjoy stories, crafts or singing.

Booking is essential for both children and accompanying adults.

Festive afternoon tea

Take a break from Christmas planning and treat yourself and a friend or loved one to an afternoon tea in the café.

Booking is essential per person.

Where can I bring my dog?

Dogs are welcome to enjoy the lights, Christmas markets and the family trail, provided they're on a short lead.

Only assistance dogs are allowed in the tunnels.

Please be respectful of others when visiting with your furry friend this Christmas, as we want everyone to have a magical time.

For more information about visiting Calke with your dog at other times, please look at our dog article below.


To help you plan your visit this Christmas, take a look at the access statement below.

Buggy service available over winter

The buggy service will be available daily from November – February from 10.30am – 2.30pm (subject to volunteer availability), providing visitors with mobility needs or wheelchair users access to the house and gardens from the ticket office.

A view of the west side of the house and  a glimpse of the Pleasure Grounds through trees on a sunny day at Calke Abbey

Discover more at Calke Abbey

Find out when Calke Abbey is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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