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North Yorkshire | Castle Howard at Christmas

North Yorkshire | Castle Howard at Christmas

All year, adults and children alike are understandably spellbound by Castle Howard from the moment you enter past the gigantic gatehouse information boards that offer useful information for the day ahead. Each day spent here feels both educational and fun with plenty of exhibits to enhance your experience. ​However, it also offers one of Britain’s most atmospheric Christmas experiences to get you in the festive mood

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Castle Howard’s construction began in 1699 in the area now known as the Howardian Hills (a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). Not completed until 100 years later, the design of the house has changed over time from elaborate Baroque style to classical Palladian style. It also houses an amazing Venetian inspired painting inside of the dome of the house with a magnificent depiction of the Greek myth The Fall of Phaeton. Making it the perfect place to house a Christmas tree nearing Trafalgar Square proportions….
Previously only visited by royalty and gentry, Britain’s stately homes are now a popular daytime outing for families in the lead up to Christmas. Bathed in the glow of Christmas lights and surrounded by architectural elegance, Castle Howard offers a sumptuous Christmas atmosphere that kids will love (ours certainly did!!). Songs and entertainment, festive food, and the sparkle of illuminated baubles stalls await, not to mention the chance to drop into the shop for gifts of all kinds to keep your friends and family happy.
But before you dash inside to get festive with the ‘Angels on High’ theme…. Spare the time to enjoy the amazing photographic opportunities outside. The impressive facade matches the quality of the undulating grounds. With views across the rolling Yorkshire countryside, it’s the perfect place to relax; either enjoy a woodland walk or a stroll along lakeside terraces before you get your arm twisted by the kids to visit the brilliant adventure playground beside the lake.
But these views might have been impossible had the house not been saved from a terrible fire in 1940. The actions of the fire service, along with schoolgirls from Queen Margaret’s School, who had been evacuated to the house following the outbreak of the Second World War, helped save Castle Howard for future generations to enjoy…. especially at Christmas!!

Halloween at Castle Howard – our first visit this year

With more than it’s fair share of castles and old stately homes, Yorkshire’s a great place to spend Halloween… just like you’ll find if you also make your way to the home of Bram Stoker’s Dracula at Whitby Abbey.

But we were equally impressed with the fantastic narrative used at Castle Howard’s Halloween event…. set in an abandoned, fire damaged wing of the house, you’ll walk through a chamber of horrors linked to a story about the spider obsessed owner of the house….

Although we’ve never stayed in one of these ‘bungalows’ / ‘villas etc… we have had a decent look around one in Croatia (see this article for full internal/external pictures) and we can certainly see why it’s a growing sector for campsites. Especially when you consider the ease of access by cheap low cost flights and the amount of facilities on site…

Maybe one day we’ll really consider it for our family, but for now we love the freedom that our motorhome offers….. But for those without motorhomes, we can see why you’d happily wake up to the view above each morning of your holiday!

On the surface of it, the quality of the campsite facilities and shops aren’t huge factors in a choice of campsite. Most opt for fantastic views or amazing water parks… but having great facilities just seems to make any stay go that little easier… Especially when you consider the quality of their supermarket, on site bakery, newsagent, fishmonger…. plus those shower blocks are some of the best designed ones we’ve seen so far in Europe!
As for the rest of the year, as you can see from the above, Castle Howard is an equally interesting place to visit without the festive decorations…. In particular, both girls loved the clever information boards that allow you to easily learn about the artefacts on display…..

There’s so much to like about Castle Howard, we might just have to add our ‘cherub’ treasure hunt to the entry box and see if we can win a year’s family pass for 2018!!!

castle howard

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About The Author

Richard

Ever wanted to pack your bags, just jump in a motorhome and go off and explore Europe as a family? Well, that’s exactly what my family has done since September 2015. Visiting 35 European countries, travelling over 54,000 miles and grabbing over 450 family experiences on the way… enjoying Bobsleigh in Norway, Climbing into Mt Etna in Sicily or Kayaking the River Dordogne.

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