Castle Howard, Historic House North Yorkshire
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Christmas at Castle Howard

Traditional Twig

Each year Castle Howard is transformed when the house is hand decorated for the festive season.

Open daily from Saturday 18 November to Saturday 23 December.

Download our 2017 Christmas leaflet now.

Angelic imagery found in historic artworks will provide heavenly inspiration for this year’s festive spectacular at Castle Howard.  ‘Angels on High’ will watch over visitors experiencing the North Yorkshire stately home’s elaborate Christmas decorations.

Bringing the angelic theatre to Castle Howard are creative producer and co-director of Oxford Shakespeare Company and Lamplighter Drama, Charlotte Lloyd Webber, and award-winning Canadian theatre designer, Bretta Gerecke.  They will join the Howard family and site team to transform the house into a remarkable Christmas experience that feels like a theatre performance – but without live performers. 

Seasonal favourites including live music, a cosy Christmas market in the courtyard, audiences with father Christmas and twilight visits return in 2017, visit our What's On pages for more information.

Returning for 2017

The architectural gingerbread model of Castle Howard by foodsmiths Bompas & Parr. Inspired by Vanbrugh's original design, the 2.5m x 3.5m model will depict the house with dome and gardens plus a range of other architectural features including the Temple of the Four Winds, Mausoleum and 7th Earl's Monument (On display in the High South, which we regret is not wheelchair accessible.)

Our indulgent afternoon tea in the elegant Grecian Hall is perfect for a festive get-together with friends; treat yourself to this sumptuous tea of dainty finger sandwiches, a selection of cakes and scone and a duo of savouries. A perfect end to a Christmas visit, Afternoon Tea Festive Tickets (which include admission and afternoon tea) must be booked online in advance and are available on selected dates only.

Our range of cafes and shops, including farm shop and garden centre, offer the perfect opportunity to stock up on all you need for your own magical Christmas. Visit our Tickets and Admission page for full details on opening times and prices.

New for Christmas 2017

Santa is taking up residence in the cosy Boathouse Grotto.

In addition to our popular sold out Father Christmas events in the House, we’ve persuaded the big man himself and one of his cheeky elves to see even more children than we’d originally planned. Due to huge demand we are creating an extra opportunity for children and young people to visit Santa in his magical lakeside grotto, down by the Adventure Playground.

Book a timed slot when you arrive at the Ticket Office, hop on the Christmas Express that runs between the Courtyard and the Boathouse, enjoy some elf entertainment and perhaps a hot chocolate and a festive treat from the cafe whilst you wait. Make sure you have your Christmas wishes and cameras at the ready when you enter Santa’s magical grotto!

All children can choose a small gift from Santa’s workshop store at the grotto as they leave.


Saturday 2nd Dec
Sunday 3rd Dec
Saturday 9th Dec
Sunday 10th Dec
Saturday 16th Dec
Sunday 17th Dec
Saturday 23rd Dec



10.45am – 11.45 slot
11.45am – 12.45 slot
12.45pm – 1.45 slot
1.45pm – 2.45 slot
2.45pm – 3.45 slot

Each session will open at the specified time on your ticket (eg queue opens at 10.45) You can drop in any time within your hour time slot. Your meeting with Santa will take place within the hour session time slot, but please do dress for the weather and expect to queue outside. 

Price: Tickets: £5 per child (additional to usual admission for non-members and children over 4), available on the day from the Ticket Office.

Tickets available on the day at the Ticket Office. No pre-booking online available.

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