Last minute Christmas trip ideas for your group

‘Christmas at Harewood: A Night at the Mansion’.

For those groups still looking for festive ideas for the coming season, the Christmas at Harewood: A Night at the Mansion event at Harewood House near Leeds, promises gossiping paintings, singing crockery, and hustle and bustle above and below stairs, in addition to festive making workshops with leading artists, children’s craft activities and trails, and two market weekends. For six weeks, the West Wing of the State Floor and Below Stairs will be transformed into an enchanting trail based around the house’s own fascinating stories and collections. Across the fairy-lit grounds, visitors can get hands-on with crafts and enjoy seasonal food and drink amongst other bookable activities. Christmas at Harewood: A Night at the Mansion runs from 23rd November 2019 to 5th January 2020 (closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day). Save 10% when booking online at harewood.org

‘Christmas at Castle Howard’. Photo credit: Charlotte Graham

Castle Howard near York is keen to highlight its Christmas at Castle Howard: A Christmas Masquerade walk-through experience. The public rooms will be beautifully dressed for this themed event in the style of a Venetian masquerade. Displays include a special collection of masks, hand-created by Venetian master craftsmen, a 26-foot real tree covered with 3,500 baubles in the Great Hall and the Garden Hall’s traditional bare twig tree, which this year features candle-lit decorations of brightly coloured Venetian Glass to create a kaleidoscope effect in the room. Castle Howard: A Christmas Masquerade runs from 16th November 2019 until 5th January 2020 (closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). Pre-booking is strongly recommended with 10% off tickets booked online in advance.

An ‘Enchanted Christmas Kingdom’ at Hatton Adventure World.

Hatton Adventure World in Warwickshire welcomes back its popular Enchanted Christmas Kingdom from 30th November to 24th December 2019. Children can visit Father Christmas in his Grotto and family groups can enjoy several new activities including a ‘Reindeer Flying School’ – a fun and interactive sing-along show – and the ‘Christmas Magician Show’. Other activities include ‘The Owl and the Orient King’ falconry show, festive fun fair rides, ‘Zoobee’s Festive Friends Puppet Show’, Gingerbread Decorating with the Elves, and the chance for children to make reindeer food and write letters to Father Christmas. Plus, there will be Christmas in the Farmyard & Guinea Pig Village, Festive Scales & Tails, Indoor Soft Play and Adventure Play. The ‘All Day Festive Entertainment Package’ takes away the worry of finding any hidden extras as all the activities are included. Timed slots to visit Father Christmas need to be pre-booked via the website. Discounted group weekday visits are also available throughout December.

‘A Candlelit Christmas’ at Stonor Park.

At Stonor Park in Oxfordshire, the doors will open from 25th November to 15th December and the family will welcome visitors from all over the world. The decorations change each year and 2019 will see Stonor decorated for ‘A Candlelit Christmas’ with stylists from Country Homes and Interiors Magazine closely involved in the decoration of The Blue Dining Room, showcasing their interpretation of the Candlelit Christmas theme. Groups will see Stonor ready for a wonderful Christmas candlelit evening party with roaring fires, candles glowing and a magnificent 20-foot Victorian decorated Christmas tree in the Gothic Hall, laden with sparkling decorations gathered from the family’s travels around the world. Soak up the jovial atmosphere and enjoy an array of indulgent winter warmers in The Stonor Pantry, enjoy a glass of Champagne, Prosecco or warm mulled wine, accompanied by mince pie, Christmas cake, winter soup, Stonor Venison sausages, and other festive delicacies. And complete your Christmas shopping in the Gift Shop.