GHOSTS OF CHRIST­MAS PAST

The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Front Page -

PE­RIOD PAR­TIES, UK-WIDE

Many his­toric houses of­fer the chance to ex­pe­ri­ence Christ­mases past. In North­ern Ire­land, you can see a Ge­or­gian party at Cas­tle Ward in County Down; in At­ting­ham Park, Shrop­shire, visi­tors will wit­ness the man­sion cel­e­brat­ing as if it were the For­ties. Buck­land Abbey in Devon will de­pict a Tu­dor Christ­mas, while Foun­tains Abbey, in North York­shire, has sto­ries about the boys it helped dur­ing the Great De­pres­sion. En­try from £8.60; var­i­ous dates; na­tion­al­trust.org.uk

SS GREAT BRI­TAIN, BRIS­TOL

Brunel’s 1843 ship cel­e­brates a Vic­to­rian Christ­mas over a sin­gle week­end. Cos­tumed char­ac­ters, in­clud­ing Charles Dick­ens and Brunel, will chat to visi­tors out on the dock­yard, which will have been spe­cially dec­o­rated and cov­ered in re­cently fallen snow. Chil­dren can de­sign a Vic­to­rian Christ­mas card, and brave over-10s can climb the rig­ging. En­try £16.50 (five to 16-yearolds £9.50); Dec 8-9; ss­greatbri­tain.org

MIS­CHIEF-MAK­ING AT CORFE CAS­TLE, DORSET

Fol­low the 17th-cen­tury Lord of Mis­rule as he in­sti­gates games and mis­chief about Corfe Cas­tle (left). The lord presided over fes­tiv­i­ties in late me­dieval times, ar­rang­ing balls, plays and feasts. The ru­ined hill­top cas­tle makes a strik­ing pic­ture at Christ­mas time, when its bea­cons and bra­ziers can be seen for miles. Wishes can be left on Christ­mas trees, and craft ses­sions take place at week­ends.

WAR­WICK CAS­TLE SCAV­ENGER HUNT, WAR­WICK­SHIRE

The foul his­tory of War­wick Cas­tle will be laid bare for chil­dren, who can also learn about the stranger side of Christ­mas on a hunt based on the Hor­ri­ble His­to­ries books. Clues about the cas­tle’s past will be hid­den about the grounds, with chil­dren en­cour­aged to wrap up warm and dis­cover them. Father Christ­mas will also be telling sto­ries at week­ends (above). En­try £16.50 in­clud­ing a Santa story; var­i­ous dates; war­wick-cas­tle.com

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