AS the country slowly reopens in time for Christmas, Trisha Harbord looks at some of the festive attractions for families and the hotels and cottages ready to welcome you for a cheeky break . . .
Walk almost a mile of musical light effects and animated installations in the grounds of historic Stockeld Park Estate, near Harrogate, North Yorks.
Walk almost a mile of musical light effects in the grounds of historic Stockeld Park EstateCredit: © 2018 Richard Walker/ ImageNorth
Open until January 3. Tickets £16. See stockeldpark.co.uk.
The Alnwick Garden, Northumberland, has its own spectacular sound and light display. One-way route. Tickets £11, under-fours free. See alnwickgarden.com.
See the famous Wookey Hole caves near Wells, Somerset, draped in 100,000 twinkly lights for an underground magical adventure.
Guided tour followed by meeting Santa, the Wizard, dinosaurs and more above ground. Open December 12 to January 3. Tickets £14.50. See wookey.co.uk.
Santa’s grotto is back at Blackpool Pleasure BeachCredit: Ian Georgeson
Chatsworth House, Derbys, looks even more magnificent at Christmas with rooms lit by candlelight and a 24ft tree decorated in gold and cream in the chapel. Open until January 3. Adults £25, kids £15. See chatsworth.org.
Stroll among 100 trees decorated with 1,000 baubles and 19,000 lights at The Winter Village at South London’s Battersea Power Station until January 3.
Includes food and wine stalls, heated outdoor pergola, shops and a panto. See batterseapowerstation.co.uk.
Beautiful Christmas decorations adorn Jane Austen’s House, where she wrote her treasured novels, in Chawton, Hants.
COSY UP IN A COUNTRY COTTAGE
Festive audio, including carols and extracts from her novels read by actress Emma Thompson, accompany you as you wander round. Adults £9, kids £4.50, under-sixes free. See janeaustens.house.
Cosy up in a country cottage. Coinage Hall in Lostwithiel, Cornwall, has rustic wooden beams, castle-like doorways and a woodburner and is surrounded by stunning Cornish scenery.
Five nights, sleeping four, from December 23 costs £794. See sykescottages.co.uk.
IF you need a bigger bubble for your three households, how about Mounton Brook Lodge, a 300-year-old coaching inn near the historic town of Chepstow on the Welsh border. It sleeps 12 to 14 people.
The Montagu Winter Terrace is an outdoor Alpine retreatCredit: WONDERHATCH
Explore the Wye Valley and the picturesque Forest of Dean, filming location for Harry Potter. Two nights costs £1,400. Five nights £3,000. See mountonbrooklodge.co.uk.
Enjoy Christmas in the New Forest. The 4 star Balmer Lawn Hotel in Brockenhurst, Hants, has a three-night break with all the festive food and trimmings you could want.
Prices from £775 per person. Discounts for children under 15 and the under-fives are free. See balmerlawnhotel.com.
Head to one of the cosiest bars for a romantic tryst. The Montagu Winter Terrace, launching on Monday, is an outdoor Alpine retreat serving up fondues, toasties and mulled wine in a wintry setting.
The Mounton Brook Lodge is perfect for a cost retreat
Located at the 5 star Hyatt Regency London The Churchill hotel, the bar is outdoors but heated. See hyatt.com.
Santa’s grotto is back at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Families will be guided by elves through the North Pole every weekend until December 20 and then every day until Christmas Eve. Tickets £13.99 per child.
The park’s Globe Theatre also has a Covid-secure panto of Aladdin from December 17 to January 3. Tickets £8. See blackpoolpleasurebeach.com.
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Meet Father Christmas live online from your home.
He will be prepared with personalised information about each child and address them by name.
Sessions for up to six children from £54. See santaathomeofficial.com.
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