Yorkshire is a fantastically diverse county, filled with glorious scenery, crumbling castles, stately homes, vibrant cultural city centres and more. Many of these places look even more beautiful with a bit of snow or they might just put on premium events in December. So, get out and about this festive season and explore the best this county has to offer, with our guide to the most exciting Christmas events in the Yorkshire area.
Stately Homes & Gardens
Every December, dozens of Yorkshire’s largest and most impressive manor houses, deck themselves out for Christmas and open their doors to the public. First off we have Nunnington Hall in North Yorkshire, who this year have decided to put on a ‘Christmas through the ages’ exhibition. Featuring Crimbo dinner spreads from the 1920’s and through all the decades up to the modern day, as well as examples of period fashion and more.
Also going back in time for inspiration will be York’s Castle Howard, who are pulling out all the stops this year. Featuring 12 days of traditional Christmas celebration, including choir singing, a 25-foot-tree in the great hall, a replicated 18th century kitchen and a final raucous feast – this is not to be missed!
Other Yorkshire country houses also running themed attractions during December include Brodsworth Hall near Doncaster and Burton Constable Hall.
If you’re willing to brave the Winter Chill, there are also many parks and gardens that light themselves up and have parades and other attractions during this season. Examples include Royal Horticulture Society Garden, Harlow Carr in Harrogate and Stockeld Park, near Wetherby in North Yorkshire.
Both of these have some truly spectacular sights to see and the Christmas illuminations are something to behold – and that’s without mentioning the costumed actors and parades!
If you fancy something a little warmer and more urban, there are plenty of Christmas themed attractions in Yorkshire’s cities every year. Not least, Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland in York city centre. Activities here include the North of England’s largest outdoor ice rink (The Ice Factor), a massive Christmas tree and a range of stalls to buy Christmassy beverages such as warm mead, mulled wine or a creamy hot chocolate.
For a little bit of festive culture sure to warm the soul on a cold night, you could do worse than check out the extremely popular York Minster Christmas Carols Concert. Hosted in the amazing surroundings of the historic York Minster, carols are sung by the professional York Choir. And with readings and speeches by celebrity guests, this is a festive event like no other in Yorkshire.
This last one’s for the adults amongst you – The Ivy in Harrogate has set up a winter botanical garden bar on its rooftop terrace. Complete with a real log fireplace, specially chosen flowers and plants and, of course, a range of Christmas inspired cocktails created in collaboration with Slingsby Gin. Something tasty to warm the belly after a Winter Wonderland day out with the kids, and maybe help you get a good night’s sleep too! What more could you want?