There’s nothing like a visit to a stunning National Trust site over the festive period to get you into the Christmas spirit.
Yorkshire has beauty and splendor in abundance, and has a fabulous selection of National Trust properties to explore inside and out.
To get you fully season-ready, here are seven established firm favorites to spice up your visit, across God’s Own County and beyond.
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, Ripon
What is there in: See Fountains Abbey sparkle this Christmas with the return of Music and Lights. As twilight falls, head to the abbey, watch for twinkling fairy lights in the trees, and stroll through the ruins bathed in rainbow colors. Walk under the vaulted ceilings of the cellarium, under the great columns of the nave, and stop to watch live choirs and bands fill the ruins with festive music.
Do not miss: During the day, brush off your cobwebs on a wintery hike through the World Heritage site, explore the family trail, do some holiday shopping and rejuvenate with a cup of hot chocolate. You can also indulge in some family Christmas crafts at Swanley Grange, perfect for the little ones to get dirty with natural materials and create festive decorations to take home.
Booking: Music and lights is on the weekends in December and every day from December 19 to January 3 (closed on December 24 and 25). On certain evenings when there is no live music there will be recorded songs. Join the Christmas crafts every weekend in December and every day from December 19 to January 3 (except December 24 and 25).
What is there in: Come make cherished holiday memories this December at Nostell. The house will be decorated with the best foliage in the Nostell landscape. The bonfires will be lit, seasonal music will play and there will be Christmas crafts to entertain the little ones in the workshop. In addition to magic, the exquisite dollhouse will also be decorated with miniature Christmas decorations. Santa Claus is expected to visit the house on most weekends during December, so you might catch a glimpse of him as he walks through the house or you might catch a glimpse of him taking a cheeky pre-Christmas nap by the fire.
Do not miss: Outside, the park and gardens make the perfect backdrop for a winter walk and there is a winter trail for families to follow, before calling into the cafe for hot chocolate and a slice of cake to recharge. .
Booking: The house is open on certain days in December, while the park, gardens and tea room are open every day (except December 25). Visit the National Trust website for more information.
Nunnington Hall, Nunnington
What is there in: Visit Nunnington Hall this Christmas for a festive journey back in time. Explore the house to see how Christmas celebrations and decorations have evolved over the centuries, from indulgent banquets with the Georgians, the advent of the Christmas tree with the Victorians, to the glitz and glam of the 1920s. Every Sunday there will also be a different choir singing in Oak Hall, adding to the festive spirit.
Do not miss: At the gallery, the much-loved ‘Art for Christmas’ community art exhibit has returned, giving you the chance to see the work of local artists covering a variety of topics including local life, landscape, nature and culture. wild life.
Booking: You can explore the house and gallery Friday through Sunday from Friday, November 25 to Sunday, December 18. Enjoy a festive evening at Nunnington Hall on Saturday 3rd December from 6pm to 8:30pm. There will be caroling by the campfire, a chance to grab a bite to eat from The Bistro Guy (sourdough pizzas) and Van Chaud’s, and then enjoy the house dressed for Christmas through the ages. Who knows, you might even see the great man in person!
What is there in: The stage is set for a pantomime Christmas at Ormesby Hall this year. Step inside the house to discover a theatrical atmosphere, with rooms festooned with sparkling lights, pantomime-inspired decorations, and winter foliage from the garden.
Enjoy seasonal food and hot drinks from the cafeteria and warm up by the fire pit in the garden. There will be some festive treats to sample, from gingerbread cookies, mince pie brownies, festive blueberry scones, and orange, blueberry, and almond cake.
Do not miss: On weekends, join the cute elves for kids’ Christmas crafts and add to the growing paper chain.
Booking: On Friday 9th December, spend a festive evening at Ormesby Hall. Visit between 6 and 8 pm for the evening opening with festive music, food and drink booths to enjoy by the fire pit, and a chance to see the house decorated for Christmas in the evening. Please note that the garden will be closed. The house is open from Friday to Monday November 25 and from December 19 to 22.
Treasurer’s House, York
What is there in: Explore the beautifully decorated house at Christmas and escape the winter bustle of York. Celebrate the rich history of Treasurer’s House with this year’s decorating theme, The Gift of Giving, which uncovers the stories of past residents and reveals more about Frank Green’s incredible gift of his home and collection to the National Trust. Beautiful and unique decorations in each room will tell a small part of the Treasurer’s House story, from astronomer John Goodricke’s great discovery to the literary soirees of literary champion Elizabeth Montagu.
Booking: Visit us from Saturday to Wednesday, from 11 am to 4 pm, from November 19 to December 18, without reservations.
Wentworth Castle Gardens, Barnsley
What is there in: Explore the beauty of winter and give nature a gift this festive season at Wentworth Castle Gardens. Embark on a brisk walk through the park, listen to the seasonal birdsong and enjoy views of the Conservatory and gardens decked out in all their winter finery. Stop at the Long Barn Café to warm up with a hot drink and a slice of cake.
Do not miss: Get creative in making your own handmade decorations: there are wreath-making workshops for adults in November (November 21 and 24), using greenery from the gardens, and winter decoration-making family workshops in December (November 10 and 24). December 17), which give you the opportunity to make decorations with natural and recycled materials.
Other must-see moments: On December 1 and 2, hit up a community swap shop and trade those used toys your kids no longer have for new gifts they’ll love. Those who bring a toy on the day of the exchange will receive free admission to explore the gardens. No need to book, just drop by for the day.
And between December 19 and 23, join the Indigo Moor Theater for a magical puppet show or head to the Interactive Outdoor Shadow Puppet Space to put on your own shadow puppet show. It is from Monday, December 19 to Friday, December 23, from 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. and from 2:15 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The show will take place in the Blackbourn Room and this event is recommended for children aged 5 and over. Tickets are £2 and reservation is essential.
From December 19 to 23, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. projector and create your own stories… Or just sit in front, enjoy watching the screen transform and experiment with puppets and torches to create your own world of shadows.
don’t miss the Wreath making workshops Monday 21 and Thursday 24 November, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Enjoy a creative day making a seasonal wreath with the Wentworth team using greenery, such as holly and yew, from the gardens. All materials will be provided, and the workshop also includes hot drinks and a light lunch.
This workshop is suitable for people over 16 years of age. These workshops take place in the Blackbourn Room. £45 per person and admission to the gardens and parks is included in your ticket. Reservation is essential – click here to guarantee your place.
And on Saturday the 10th and Saturday the 17th of December, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Winter decoration workshops
Join artist Sally Storr to make your own handmade seasonal decorations. This workshop celebrates recycling and upcycling, taking inspiration from the nature that surrounds us. We’ll show you how to use natural and recycled materials to create wonderful decorations that you can hang inside or even tie to a tree outside. All materials will be provided. This workshop is suitable for ages 5 and up. Tickets are £2 per participant and reservation is essential; click here to book.
Riddlesden East Hall, Keighley
What is there in: This Christmas, take a step back in time to hear more about the history of the people who once lived in East Riddlesden Hall and the impact they had on the hall we see today.
Do not miss: Every weekend in December, you can join a tour of the house to learn more about the history of the room and the collections it houses, before exploring the frozen garden that surrounds it. Browse traditional Christmas food and beautiful handmade decorations and everything else in the shop or warn over a cup of tea in the tea room.
Booking: From Saturday 17 to Wednesday 21 December, families can step back in time to 1647, when festive Christmas celebrations were banned, and join James Murgatroyd, a former resident and staunch royalist, as he celebrates a secret Christmas. Learn about 17th-century traditions, enjoy storytelling, festive crafts, and receive a special gift. Reservation recommended.