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Sat 28th November 2020 to Thu 31st December 2020
An Illuminated Christmas at Castle Howard:
Event Type: Event for all

Join us for something truly magical in the Gardens of Castle Howard this Winter.

'Wish Upon A Frozen Star'

Jack Frost has cast an icy spell and turned the Walled Gardens into a beautiful winter wonderland. As twilight falls, journey through this enchanted world lit up by festive illuminations and immersive soundscapes. The only way to thaw the frosty spell and bring good cheer back in time for Christmas is to make a wish under Yorkshire’s starry skies and step out into a golden landscape of warmth, joy and wonder.

Your journey will climax with an epic story, projected as a light show onto the iconic facade of the House. Will the trees be decked this year? Will the band strike up and the dancing in the Great Hall begin? And most importantly, will Father Christmas make it in time to save Christmas?

Experience a festive evening like no other as we take to the great outdoors this Christmas season to produce a spectacular lighting extravaganza for all ages to enjoy.

This year, instead of Christmas being designed by our fantastic in-house team, we will be working with a partner company, ‘The Projection Studio’ led by Ross Ashton, who will bring their expertise of delivering magical illuminated outdoor events to Castle Howard. Ross is an acclaimed projection designer, whose work is known to be exhilarating and thought provoking. Karen is an audio artist and designer; whose layers of sounds enrich the whole sensory experience. They have created many spectacular installations around the world, from Northern Lights at York Minster, to Buckingham Palace and the famous Edinburgh Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle.

We are delighted that Leeds based theatre company ‘tutti frutti productions’ will be working with the creative lighting and sound team to bring to life the characters you’ll discover as you adventure through the light trail. On your journey though Jack Frost’s frozen kingdom you’ll meet the live action animals who have fallen foul of the icy spell and who will need you to wish for Christmas and warmth to return to their world. The animal characters will interact with audiences on the walk through the Walled Gardens, in a socially distanced way, both keeping the flow of visitors moving and telling some magical and humorous stories along the way. The live action will be written by Olivier Award Winning playwright, Mike Kenny and directed by tutti frutti’s Artistic Director Wendy Harris, with Costumes Designed by Catherine Chapman.

We will have a range of artisan food and drink vans along the light trail route so that you can enjoy a full evening out. Plus a Christmas shopping outlet with decorations and gifts available.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic the House will not be open this Christmas as per previous years.

The health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and visitors has been central to all of our event planning processes. We are working closely with the district Council and Safety Advisory Board on a full event management plan. For the light show event, timed ticketing, limited capacity and careful management of the visitor flow will form the basis of our mitigations. Social distancing will be monitored by event stewards on the trail route and we have mapped out the space available on the large South Front lawn to ensure visitors stood watching the projected light show can remain distanced in their own bubbles. Tickets will be limited to parties of 6. Hand sanitiser will be placed around the route and at any catering or retail outlets. For the Father Christmas event inside the Long Gallery we have measured the space and will be working on the same basis as a theatre, where each family bubble will be seated, a distance apart from the next bubble. Adults accompanying children into the Father Christmas show will be required to wear a mask. We will be updating the COVID advice on this page as the event planning develops over the coming weeks.

Tickets are now on sale!

Full priced tickets range from £21 - £17 per adult and £15 - £12 per child, with discounts for Friends of Castle Howard.

Save with our Early Bird booking offer on the Light Trail! Save £2.00 off all full price and member 'Wish Upon a Frozen Star' tickets booked on or before Wednesday 21st October.

All bookings for both 'Wish Upon a Frozen Star' and Father Christmas must be made via SeeTickets.


MAX card holders and members of Yorkshire's Great Houses, Castles and Gardens are entitled to 10% discount on Light Trail tickets. Please contact Castle Howard on the telephone number below for the discount code, a valid membership card will be required upon entry to Castle Howard when using the discount code.

For ticketing queries please contact SeeTickets Customer Services

If you need to contact Castle Howard please call 01653 213213, please note we have a small team answering this general enquiries number so please bear with us.