I’m always looking for festive events to suit the whole family. Having done years of queuing to meet Santa, coming home with MORE plastic rubbish, cold, wet and hungry, I now want my Christmas events with a little side of luxury. That’s why Chatsworth House at Christmas is such a magical experience. Chatsworth House in the Peak District does not disappoint!
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Each year the creative folks at Chatsworth House choose a theme and transform the house from its usual stately home splendour to a magical world of make believe.
This year (2019) the theme is “In a land far, far away” leading you on a festive adventure around the world, following in the footsteps of famous adventurers such as Amelia Earhart and Phileas Fogg.
To give you an idea of the standard of decorations without ruining the surprise, I’ll be sharing pictures of last year’s theme “Once Upon A Time” which was all about fairy tales.
My 8 year old daughter absolutely loved all the story book characters and features such as the Princess and the Pea room and the kids bedroom from Mary Poppins but she also loved looking at all the other sparkly decorations. And the absolutely huge trees dotted around.
To make it even more engaging for little ones, Chatsworth creates a kids trail around the house, last year we had to find the hidden dragon eggs in each room.
For 2019, Chatsworth have introduced quiet days which I feel is a wonderful addition. Lights will be subdued, music turned off and there will be no queuing for timed tickets. Making the magic of Chatsworth House at Christmas even more accessible for all.
The Chatsworth Christmas event is hugely popular and can on occasion feel a little busy. I highly recommend booking a timed ticket online, as early as you can to secure your preferred timeslot. Adults are £25 and children are £15. A family ticket is just £69 and covers you for 2 adults and 3 children. Great value for a larger family. All prebooked tickets include free parking, entrance to the house, gardens, farmyard and fantastic kids playground.
Twilight Evenings at Chatsworth House
If you are visiting with slightly older kids then the Twilight evenings are really special. These are held on Thursday and Friday evenings between the 5th and 20th December and include entrance to the house, a glass of wine and mince pie and live music from a string quartet playing all your Christmas favourites.
Adult tickets are £30 and children are £18. You’ll need to book online for a timed slot but be quick, two nights are already sold out.
Other festive events at Chatsworth
To add even more festive fun to your visit, Chatsworth holds an annual Christmas market just outside the house. This year it is running from 15th November until 3rd December. The market houses over 100 stalls selling everything from unique Christmas gifts to delicious food and drink.
Piper loved having her face painted and indulged in a sweet hot chocolate, perfect for warming up in the brutal winter weather. I definitely recommend wrapping up and wearing some decent wellies or walking boots. Whilst the house is plenty warm enough, if you want to spend time at the outdoor market, you’ll need to be prepared for mud, rain and even snow!
Parking for the Christmas Market
If you’re arriving by car, parking will cost you £10 on a weekday, dropping down to £5 after 3pm and £20 (gulp) at a weekend, dropping back to £10 after 3. Remember, if you prebook a visit to the house, parking is included in the price of your ticket.
Where to stay when visiting Chatsworth House
To make your visit super special, I recommend staying at a local Inn. Located on the Chatsworth Estate, just a mile from from the House in Pilsley. The Devonshire Arms is an intimate 18th Century inn offering great food and romantic bedrooms. Perfect for a special occasion. Check the best prices for the Devonshire Arms here.
Or you could try Fischer’s at Baslow Hall, a beautiful boutique hotel set in a Grade 2 listed Manor House. It’s less than 2 miles to Chatsworth in the glorious Peak District Countryside. Check the best prices for Fischer’s here
Christmas at Chatsworth House opening times
The festive fun runs at the Chatsworth Estate between 9th November and 5th January.
Twilight evening timed tickets are available from 5.30pm
How to get to Chatsworth House at Christmas
If you’re driving and using a sat nav rather than road signs, the best postcode to follow is DE45 1PN.
The Chatsworth estate is easily accessible from the M1 if you’re visiting from London. Exit at Junction 29 for Chesterfield and follow the brown signs all the way to the car park. The drive from London to Chatsworth will take around 3.5 hours.
From Manchester, take the A6 then the A623 and it’s just an hour and a half.
If you’re traveling by train then the nearest stations to Chatsworth are Chesterfield or Matlock but both are still a considerable taxi ride away. The best option for public transport is the bus. Check here for the best bus route to Chatsworth for your journey.
Due to the recent weather conditions and the crazy amount of rain we have had here in the UK, Chatsworth Car Parks are taking a while to dry out. Therefore, they are operating restricted access over the weekend of 15-17 November to both the house and market.. If you’ve already booked your tickets, you’ll still be able to visit but they cannot allow anyone else arriving by car. Safety first people!
For another amazing Christmas experience for kids further up North, we loved the Aviemore Santa Weekend in Scotland. It’s 3 fun packed days of Santa visits, reindeer feeding and panto visits, all in the beautiful Macdonald Aviemore hotel in the Scottish highlands.
Or for another midlands based activity, National Forest Adventure Farm Christmas event in Burton on Trent has a fabulously festive trail where little ones can get hands on in the Elf post office, decorate some gingerbread with Mrs Claus and get a pressie from the bug guy in red himself.
Make sure you pin for later to plan your magical trip to Chatsworth House at Christmas.