Five historical events happening this Christmas

by Melissa Brobby

Category: Things to do
October 20 2016

Christmas often brings feelings of nostalgia, and this winter you can step back in time to some festive periods from England’s past.

If you're thinking about what to do this Christmas, we've rounded up some historical days out, including a Victorian Yule at a beloved palace, to an emotional holiday experience from war time England, you’ll soon be getting into the true Christmas spirits at these heritage attractions. Words by Danielle Jones.

Find more festive events in England

1) Christmas at Castle Howard, North Yorkshire

Christmas at Castle Howard

See Castle Howard decorated to the nines with glittering baubles, wreathes festooned with winter berries, flickering candles, and this year, a gingerbread replica of the stately home created by Bompas & Parr.

Why not treat yourself to a Christmas-themed afternoon tea in the grand Grecian Hall where you can indulge in festive cakes and treats by a roaring fire.

For the kids there’s a chance to meet Father Christmas and his wizard, while a visit the Christmas Market in the Boar Garden Marquee is also a must. (19 November to 23 December)

Find more things to do in the North York Moors

2) Christmas Leave, Watercress Line, Hampshire

Watercress Line platform

Christmas means spending time with the ones closest to us, however for many in the 1940s, this wasn’t an option. However, in true British Bulldog style, people made the best of what they had and enjoyed the time they could with loved ones.

This December you can experience the joy of those reuniting with loved ones at the Watercress Line’s Christmas Leave event. 

With civilian and military reenactors you can have celebrate a  feel-good and thrifty Christmas, with wartime songs and 1940s dancing, plus a ride on an authentic steam train. (26 and 27 December)

Visiting Hampshire?

3) Christmas at the Royal Pavilion, Brighton

Brighton Pavilion

Get into the Christmas spirit – Georgian style – at the Royal Pavilion, with opulent decorations inspired by the iconic building, crackling fires and traditional Christmas trees.

You can see the banqueting room adorned ready for Christmas dinner and take part in family-friendly activities and trails for the kids.

While adults can book an evening banquet and enjoy a three-course meal under the glow of chandeliers in the lavish Banqueting Room.

(Christmas at the palace runs from 19 November to 4 January 2017 and the banquet takes place on selected dates between 9 and 16 December.)

See what else is on in Brighton

4) Victorian Christmas at Osborne House, Isle of Wight

Osborne House © English Heritage

The beloved home of Queen Victoria has experienced some of the most amazing festive periods in English history. In fact, the Victorian era saw the start of many Christmas traditions we still mark to this day, thanks to Prince Albert’s German roots.

Osborne House will be transformed into something out of the pages of a Dickens novel this year, with chestnuts roasting, a glittering carousel and Christmas trees adorned with beautiful decorations.

There’s plenty of entertainment for the family including jugglers, falconry, traditional board games and a certain man in a red suit. (3 and 4 December)

Find things to do on the Isle of Wight

5) Medieval Banquet at Coombe Abbey, Coventry

Medieval Banquet at Coombe Abbey

If you like to wash down your festive fayre with a goblet of wine or a beaker of ale, then an evening at Coombe Abbey will definitely fit the bill.

Be transported back to a medieval Christmas Feast fit for a king, in fact the king will be in attendance as he hosts this festive spectacular.

With four courses of medieval-themed food, drink and singing, you can really get into the party spirit.

Dress code for the banquet is smart, but full medieval garb is also encouraged. (Various dates from 25 November to 29 December)

Find things to do in Coventry

Find more festive events in England

Melissa Brobby

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