Stately homes in Lancashire with Christmas events

2019 Christmas at Lytham Hall

Christmas at Lytham Hall - Credit: Kirsty Thompson

Many of Lancashire’s historic houses are laying on fabulous festive activities and fun in the lead up to Christmas.

Hear from Florence Nightingale in her bed at Elizabeth Gaskell's House 

Hear from Florence Nightingale in her bed at Elizabeth Gaskell's House - Credit: Elizabeth Gaskell's House 

Women and wassailing 

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House in Manchester is putting on a series of plays and talks to celebrate both the season and Victorian novelist Elizabeth Gaskell, best-known for ‘Cranford’, ‘Wives and Daughters’ and ‘North and South’. 

Festivities start with Victorian Women In Bed: a series of plays by Janet Goddard performed in person in Elizabeth’s Drawing Room on December 2 and 3. Snuggle down to participate in bed adventures with six bold women: The Young Queen Victoria, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Charlotte Brontë, Sarah Bernhardt, Florence Nightingale and Emma Hardy. 

On December 8 the house will host an online talk by Anthony Burton  from the Gaskell Society about Victorian Christmas customs, from wassail bowls and yule logs to mummers and boar’s heads.  


Dasher and Dancer will be in the grounds at Gisburne Park

Dasher and Dancer will be in the grounds at Gisburne Park - Credit: Gisburne Park

A winter wonderland 

This Christmas, Gisburne Park Estate in the Ribble Valley will transform its historic walled gardens into a picturesque wonderland. Reindeers Dancer and Dasher will meet visitors in the grounds and Santa will set up his grotto inside the Grade I listed mansion house. 

See Santa at Gisburne Park

See Santa at Gisburne Park - Credit: Gisburne Park

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Local food and drink will be on offer at a pop-up Christmas market and there will be entertainment and events around the estate throughout November and December. And to make the most of it, you can stay in stylish lodges, cosy cottages and historic houses around the 1,000 acre estate. 


2019 Christmas at Lytham Hall

Christmas at Lytham Hall - Credit: Kirsty Thompson

Art, song and candlelight 

Lytham Hall’s Christmas decorations will be bigger and better than ever before, with twinkling lights inside and out, and beautifully decorated trees and rooms depicting Christmas through the generations in each of the candlelit rooms. After the tour, mulled wine, coffee and seasonal food will be available in a heated marquee and there are early evening openings in the first few weeks of December.  

Lytham Hall will also hold a Winter Art Fair from 11am-4pm on November 20-21 and on November 26 the hall’s general manager and singer Peter Anthony will be in concert, with proceeds going towards a bust of Violet Clifton who lived at the hall until her death 60 years ago. 


Enchanted at Knowsley Hall

Enchanted at Knowsley Hall - Credit: Knowsley Hall

Truly enchanting 

The Enchanted light show will return to Knowsley Safari to brighten the winter evenings on selected dates from November 20-December 30. As the sun sets, the Foot Safari will come alive with music and light with the night-time adventure taking in a range of festive food, magical music, amazing illuminated animals and even some extra special treats, all making for perfect festive fun. You can even add a magical experience to your visit and meet Santa in his living room. 


Create your own festive wreath

Create your own festive wreath at Browsholme Hall - Credit: Browsholme Hall

Get crafty 

With guidance from Helen Addy from Valley Vintage, use a range of seasonal foliage and decorations to make your own handcrafted Christmas wreath at Browsholme Hall’s Cart Shed restaurant on December 11, from 2-4pm. 

Hall together

These five venues are part of Historic Houses, which represents well over a thousand independently owned homes and gardens in the UK. Hundreds of them, including all these, offer free access to members when open. Visit historichouses.org to find out more. 

The best Christmas markets and fairs in and around Lancashire

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The finest festive outdoor and indoor marketplaces are back, filled with good things to eat, give and keep for yourself.

 The best Christmas markets and fairs in and around Lancashire