WITH the nights drawing in and Christmas just around the corner, people are beginning to make their festive plans.

For anyone looking for ideas, there’s plenty to do at Castle Howard over the next few weeks.

Earlier this year the North Yorkshire stately home was crowned Large Visitor Attraction of the Year at the Visit York Tourism Awards 2023, and it’s set to deliver another action-packed itinerary of events.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Castle HowardCastle Howard

This Christmas, get lost on a magical adventure as Castle Howard invites you to a Christmas experience like no other. Christmas in Neverland allows youngsters to fly into a land awash with fairies, mermaids, and pirates.

Vast ships will cruise into Castle Howard’s great galleries, laughter from Peter Pan’s lost boys will echo through its halls and beautiful rooms will transform into tropical lagoons.

Follow the boy that never grew up into a fantastical festive world that will re-ignite your belief in fairies. Expect to see beautiful theatrical installations, stunning projections and immersive soundscapes bringing JM Barrie’s much-loved story and characters to life.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The drive up to the houseThe drive up to the house

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A wintry viewA wintry view

If you're feeling creative, spend an afternoon at Castle Howard and take home your own hand-crafted Christmas wreath. This practical workshop is led by Laura Newby from Belle Blooms Florists in York and Castle Howard’s expert Christmas team.

Enjoy Laura’s expert guidance and craft a beautiful wreath in time for Christmas using materials foraged from the Castle Howard Estate. A glass of Nyetimber Classic Cuvee is included to add some sparkle to your experience.

For youngsters, there's a chance to make magical memories and meet Father Christmas, Mrs Claus and the mesmerising magician WonderPhil. Watch a jolly performance bursting with jingle bells and Christmas spirit, sing Christmas songs together and enjoy a special moment with Father Christmas himself.

There's an opportunity to share a laugh and photograph with Santa in Castle Howard’s Courtyard Grotto this Christmas. Enjoy a short show by Story Craft Theatre bursting with puppetry, energy, and Christmas joy, before that all-important meeting with the man himself. All children take home a gift.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The house will be magically decorated at Christmas. Picture Pete SewardThe house will be magically decorated at Christmas. Picture Pete Seward

For outdoor adventures, Skelf Island, Castle Howard’s legendary Adventure Playground, is the place to be. Named after the historic site Castle Howard sits on, Henderskelfe it is accessed by a rope bridge, the playground is a web of ingenious treetop nests in the woodland canopy connected by slides, nets, and climbing equipment, allowing young visitors to go on an adventure like no other.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Skelf IslandSkelf Island

*Christmas in Neverland runs from November 11 to January 7. Adult: £19 - £32 subject to booking fees, depending on the date of your visit. Child: 50 per cent of the adult price.

Children aged two and under are free. Booking is still required. Tickets include access to the main House and Gardens. Link: castlehoward.co.uk/whats-on/christmas-at-castle-howard

*Wreath-making: November 27 and 28. Cost: £95. Pre-booking required Link: castlehowardchristmas.seetickets.com/timeslot/wreath-making-with-castle-howardchristmas-florist

*Father Christmas in the Castle: Date/times: November 25 - December 24; Cost: Child tickets £55, Adult tickets from £19 to £33. Tickets include Father Christmas in the Castle, access to Christmas in Neverland in the main House, and access to the Gardens. Link: Visit: castlehowardchristmas.seetickets.com/timeslots/filter/christmas-at-castle-howardfather-christmas-show

*Santa’s Grotto: Date/times: December 1 - December 24; Cost: £22. Tickets include access to Santa’s Grotto with Story Craft Theatre in the Stable Courtyard. Visit: castlehowardchristmas.seetickets.com/timeslot/castle-howard-santa-s-grotto

*Skelf Island is open daily, 10am – 5pm and is free with a House and Gardens ticket. Pre-booking is advised, and will secure a 10% discount on walk-up tickets. Link: castlehowardchristmas.seetickets.com/timeslot/castle-howard-gardens-only-admission

For details of other winter events visit castlehoward.co.uk

*Castle Howard, York YO60 7DA (A64 from York).