Castle Howard Christmas 2021 – Christmas in Narnia

Christmas at Castle Howard – for us, Christmas would not be Christmas without a trip to Castle Howard!  This year’s theme is Narnia and runs from Saturday 13th November 2021 until Monday 3rd January 2022.

 

christmas castle howard

 

We were lucky enough to go along to the press launch and I have to say, the decorations are seriously stunning!  I definitely think that this is the best Christmas yet at Castle Howard – really fabulous and immersive theming.  There is also very clever use of technology with sound and projections.  They have saved the best till last – all I can say is, remember to look up (it’s magical!).

 

Christmas at Castle Howard

 

I took lots of photos for you (and considering how dark it often was, I think they turned out ok!).  My favourite room was this one with a woodland table set out for a feast!

 

Christmas Castle Howard

 

I loved these floating candles (in fact, I loved them so much in between writing this, I went over to Amazon and bought some!).  

 

castle howard at christmas

 

And keep an eye out on the table for this cheeky little fellow!

Xmas at Castle Howard

 

As always the Christmas tree in the Great Hall was utterly gorgeous and covered in snow.

 

 

The official press release is below but I’ve included more of my photos too.

 

Christmas at Castle Howard

 

The most magical furniture in the world has been installed in North Yorkshire this winter, as Castle Howard invites visitors to step through their wardrobe to explore a world of festive adventure when the house re-opens for Christmas In Narnia on Saturday 13 November 2021.

 

 

Inspired by the classic CS Lewis book, the Narnia Chronicles, visitors can leave our world behind to explore a remarkable interpretation of the places familiar to Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. 

 

 

“For our displays, visitors don’t just step into the world of Narnia, they retrace the steps of the Pevensie children from their familiar surroundings at the home of Professor Digory Kirke into the world of perpetual winter ruled over by the White Witch,” explains Charlotte Lloyd Webber, who returns to Castle Howard for a fourth year of stunning displays running through the house.  “Taking our explorers through the bedrooms of the children gives a hint of the character traits that become amplified in the magical world, before we step out of the wardrobe into the frozen lands.”

 

 

A fantastic soundscape, created by Karen Monid, accompanies the trip around the house, with sounds that evoke both the 1940s and the magical world, adding an extra dimension and atmosphere to the visit.

 

 

Once back on the China Landing, the imposing door of the mirrored wardrobe awaits – the traditional entry point to Narnia.  Stepping through a tunnel of fur coats, once through the wardrobe, icy fingers of frost have touched every part of the path with a blizzard of white!  In the distance, the lamp post marker surrounded by Mr Tumnus’s abandoned presents beckons you forward into a frozen world, where the enemies of the White Witch have been turned to stone.  The Antique Passage is filled with frozen animals, twigs and icicles.

 

 

Normally known for being one of the warmest and most welcoming places in Castle Howard’s Christmas displays, even the Great Hall has not escaped untouched by the White Witch’s icy gaze.  The normally magnificent and colourful evergreen tree – standing at 28ft, and probably the largest real indoor decorated tree in the country – has been caught in a snowstorm, every branch covered with snow and thousands of icicles, and a constellation of tiny white lights, glistening and sparkling.  The tree stands proud in the centre of the Great Hall – as if growing out of the floor – beneath Castle Howard’s famous dome, where visitors can walk right around it.

 

 

Stepping from the Great Hall into the Garden Hall, visitors enter the heart of the self-proclaimed Queen of Narnia’s domain – and find the White Witch, larger than life, frozen in time and covered in hundreds of icicles, on board her sleigh.  Projections and sounds bring the scene to life and continue into the White Witch’s palace.  An icy passageway through the Cabinet rooms leads out of the land of snow.

 

Having felt the chill of the White Witch’s magic, visitors return to perhaps the warmest and most comfortable place in the whole of Narnia – Mr Tumnus’s house, where the snow has started to melt, and elements of the forest have taken refuge – winter evergreens growing over the fireplace with its roaring blaze, and real trees creating a wonderful woodland atmosphere.

 

The re-emergence of Christmas comes with the Fox’s dining room, set out for a magnificent feast with his woodland friends beneath a arbour dressed in glittering red to create a wonderful canopy above the table.  Celebrations continue next door with the colours of the ocean in the Turquoise Dining Room providing the perfect backdrop for Narnia’s mermaids, singing at the coronation of the Pevensie children!

 

Always the highlight of Christmas at Castle Howard, the 2021 presentation of the Long Gallery will leave visitors marvelling as they mark the return of Aslan – and Father Christmas – to the magical kingdom.  Stepping through another wardrobe door, there awaits a feast of visual wonder with suspended rainbow wooden Christmas trees and dancing lights as visitors wend their way to the Octagon at the heart of the gallery where the four thrones of the Pensive Kings and Queens await – a perfect photo opportunity for children.

Brand new for 2021 and located directly above the four thrones is a remarkable display in the ceiling of the Octagon.  Through the magic of projection, the ceiling itself will open to reveal a starry sky above with an animation that captures the very essence of Christmas.  Created by Ross Ashton and Karen Monid – the team behind ‘Northern Lights’ at York Minster – the unique display is a breathtaking highlight of the visit.

 

Of course, Narnia would not be the same without its noble lion.  A giant model of Aslan, created from pages from the novels painted gold, stands proudly overseeing the long gallery, surrounded by sculptures of other woodland animals.

 

A visit concludes with the Castle Howard Chapel, where a nativity scene has been laid out by the main altar, and where Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s donation tree stands, dressed with wooden ornaments decorated by children from Slingsby Primary School.

 

“We are incredibly proud of this year’s displays, and very grateful to our friends at Harper Collins for permitting us to tell the Narnia story in Castle Howard’s unique way,” comments the Hon Nicholas Howard.  “The displays look marvellous at any time of the day, but I am particularly fond of the late afternoon and evening, as the light fades outside making the glow of all the lights and candles inside the house seem just that little brighter.  Even when you step back outside of the house into the winter evening, the avenue of illuminated trees running the length of the drive looks picture perfect.”

 

Tickets to Narnia at Christmas are priced from £19.50 for adults and £12.50 for children off-peak, and £25.00 for adults and £15 for children at peak times.  To book, or for more details, please visit www.castlehoward.co.uk.  Tickets include timed access to the house, full access to the gardens and adventure playground.

 

Castle Howard at Christmas

 

castle howard at Christmas
Castle Howard at Christmas

 

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