Spend Christmas in Yorkshire for a fun filled festive season.
It's the most magical time of the year… Christmas in Yorkshire!!
The big day is just around the corner and most of us will be working our way down a long list of things we need to do before Santa arrives.
Christmas is brilliant and Yorkshire is the best place in the world to spend it.
Here are five ideas for places you can go across God's Own Country during the festive period.
Castle Howard's Christmas Masquerade
Castle Howard has been turned into a festive wonderland for the Christmas period.
A Christmas Masquerade has been created by Charlotte Lloyd Webber and Bretta Gerecke to celebrate the theatrical roots of the house itself.
Suitable for all ages, a grand masked ball that has been inspired by the Venetian Carnival is the cornerstone of the event, while a massive Christmas tree is almost worth the trip in itself.
The event runs until January 5 so there is still plenty of time to go along, though if you want the little ones to have the chance to meet Father Christmas himself you better make it quick!
There is plenty to do so plan to spend the full day at Castle Howard – you won't be bored!
December 21 is the latest of the Castle Howard Twilight Evenings for this year. The last Harlequinade Troupe performance, which takes place in the Boar Garden Marquee, is at 7pm. Take a look at the full seasonal guide to What's On here.
There is an excellent farm shop on the Castle Howard site so you could even pick up some of the food you need for the all-important Christmas lunch during your visit.
A Night at the Mansion
Tickets are still available for A Night at the Mansion, a superb event taking place at Harewood House right up to January 5, though it is not taking place on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.
Davy & Kristin McGuire, an acclaimed duo from Studio McGuire, have put together a soul-stirring show with the pair also performing in a quite unique interpretation of Christmas.
Christmas at Harewood is always special and there is a lot to do for all the family. The Bird Garden is a beautiful space – although it closes early in the afternoon when the light fades – while Terrace Cottage will be hosting a very special couple – Father & Mrs Christmas!
Children are sure to love Music & Merriment with Father Christmas, with each guest receiving a freshly baked treat along with a musical workshop that is a whole load of festive fun.
Though Christmas at Harewood is still going to be open on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, it will be closing at around 4pm on those three days of the festive period.
Visit wintry Whitby Abbey
Whitby may feel like more of a summer destination but that does not have to be the case!
Sure, the weather is perhaps not quite right for long walks on the beach but the town has plenty to offer even outside of the traditional tourism season in the area.
Whitby Abbey, for example, is a gothic masterpiece that can be appreciated at any time of the year. The Abbey itself is open right up until December 22nd, when it closes until Boxing Day.
If you are planning to say in Whitby for Christmas itself, you should head down to the beach for the traditional Whitby Lions Boxing Day Dip.
For decades, people have been running into the sea to shake off the excesses of Christmas and this year will be no different. Many do the event to raise money for charity and others take part simply for the fun of it – it is a must-watch, anyway!
Get there early as the event starts at around 10am. If you are tempted to take part, you will need to pick up a registration form in advance to join in the madness.
Join carol singers in Dungworth
Yorkshire has some wonderful Christmas traditions and a public carol-singing at the Royal Hotel in Dungworth, near Sheffield, will melt the hardest of hearts.
This tradition has been going on for around 200 years and seems to be getting even more popular each year, with more and more people heading to the hotel to join in the songs.
Carol singing is held at noon, for two hours, every Sunday from mid-November to Boxing Day, so there is still a chance to go along and make the most of the Christmas spirit.
Forget everything you think you know about carol singing. Cherubic, rosy-cheeked youngsters on the doorstep singing old favourites everyone knows? None of that is for the Dungworth event.
It is said that some of the carols sung at the Royal Hotel each weekend are not heard anywhere else in the world, so it certainly promises to be a unique experience you will never forget.
A lot of local pubs join in with the tradition but it is the Royal that is the most famous of them and that pub usually draws the biggest and loudest crowds.
A day out in York
Not far away from our first entry at Castle Howard is the grand old city of York, which is always worth a visit at this special time of the year.
St Nicholas Fair is one of the most famous Christmas markets in the country, drawing people from far and wide to soak up the festive spirit.
The nearby Ice Factor at Winter Wonderland offers families the chance to put their skates on while there is the chance to tackle some last-minute shopping at York Designer Outlet too.
Of course, cities like Sheffield and Leeds have their own Christmas markets but even people who live there would struggle to argue that they match up to York's – the jewel in the crown.
*Recommended reading – 21 Things to do in York*
Couples should head to Clifford's Tower where an old tradition has been revived. The kissing bough is exactly what you would guess from its name, so pucker up with your loved ones!
York's nightlife is particularly lively at this time of the year, so a day out in the city can easily turn into a night to remember. Here's our guide to the best Pubs in York.