Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine
Christmas is always a big deal at Castle Howard and this year the country estate near Malton isn’t holding back with its festive display which includes a 28ft tall real Christmas tree – believed to be the largest decorated indoor tree in the country.
An estimated 1,500 metres of fairy lights wrap around the giant spruce tree, which stands in the Great Hall (apparently it is too large for its usual spot by the staircase).
“We believe that this is the largest real indoor Christmas tree in the country, standing around eight feet higher than the impressive tree normally installed in Buckingham Palace,” says Nicholas Howard, the current guardian of Castle Howard. “It is certainly the largest we have had.”
The tree is one of the centrepieces of the Christmas in Narnia display. The Long Gallery has been transformed into a winter wonderland inspired by the classic CS Lewis book series The Narnia Chronicles that reimagines some of the places encountered by Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy.
“For our displays, visitors don’t just step into the world of Narnia, they retrace the steps of the Pevensie children from their familiar surroundings at the home of Professor Digory Kirke into the world of perpetual winter ruled over by the White Witch,” says creative director Charlotte Lloyd Webber.
As well as being visually stunning, there is an accompanying soundscape, created by Karen Monid, that evokes both the 1940s and the magic of Narnia.
■ Christmas in Narnia runs to Jan 2. For more information and to book, visit www.castlehoward. co.uk.
Sir William Constable’s old stately pile, between Bridlington and Beverley, reopened its doors last month in time for the festive season.
The Elizabethan mansion offers visitors the chance to meander through 30 rooms filled with fine art and furniture that have been transformed with seasonal floral displays, decorations and garlands.
Also making a welcome return is the popular behind-the-scenes tour Cobwebs & Cream Teas, where expert guides grant you access to the cellars, attics, rooftops and the various nooks and crannies in between – all of which is followed up by a festive afternoon tea in the Stables Kitchen. ■ Cobwebs & Cream Teas runs until Dec 19. For ticket prices, opening times and how to book, visit www. burtonconstable.com
Following the success of 2019’s award-winning A Night at the Mansion, created by acclaimed multimedia artists Davy and Kristin McGuire, the country estate near Leeds returns with another impressive show.
This year’s festive striking visual display at Harewood is called Upon a Christmas Wish, created by the self-styled “connoisseurs of make-believe”, Lord Whitney.
The Leeds-based artistic studio specialises in immersive stories and experiences and the show created for Harewood revolves around the story of a young girl who is granted a festive wish to experience a Christmas like no other.
It includes festive-themed theatrical sets, starlit rooms, shadows dancing and moving set-pieces, as well as poetry and a cinematic soundtrack.
This weekend sees the final Festive Gift Fair, plus there is a Winter Walk and Talk with Harewood’s head gardener (December 9), Calligraphy Workshops (December 11) and a Winter Bird Watching event (December 15) to look out for.
■ Upon a Christmas Wish runs to Jan 3. Tickets are available to pre-book at www.harewood.org