Recall days gone by at stately homes
THE houses are decorated and the mince pies baked as the National Trust prepares for a magical Christmas at its properties in Derbyshire.
From carol concerts to festive food and craft fairs, the trust's venues across the county are set for their festive celebrations.
Many of the trust's houses have been decorated as they would have been at key moments in their past and younger visitors will be able to say hello to a very special visitor – Father Christmas. The trust's cafés and tea rooms are serving up mince pies and other seasonal goodies, and for those that feel they have over-indulged over the holidays, there are some wonderful winter walks in the spectacular Derbyshire countryside. Information on all events can be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/midlandschristmas.
"Christmas is a time when the spirit of our special places really comes to life," said Beccy Speight, regional director of the National Trust in the Midlands. "Experiencing Christmas as it would have been not only allows us to share the memories of the past but creates new memories that will hopefully last a lifetime and connect a new generation with the amazing places we're so fortunate to care for here in Derbyshire. Whatever you love about Christmas, we hope you'll join our celebrations."
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Calke Abbey: Have a look inside the house and follow a Christmas trail to the church. Enjoy free children's crafts in Squirt's stable and visit Father Christmas in his grotto (£4). Weekends until Christmas, 11am-4pm. Normal admission applies. 01332 863822.
SPIRITS OF CHRISTMAS PAST
Hardwick Hall: The hall will be celebrating with a 1930s house party, illuminated gardens and stableyard on Saturdays and Sundays until December 16, 11am-3pm. Normal admission applies. 01246 850430.
Kedleston Hall: Experience an Edwardian Christmas this weekend, 11am-4pm (last admission 3pm). £1 adults, 50p children. Children's crafts £2, Santa visit £3.
Sudbury Hall: See the hall as it would have been decorated for a Regency Christmas with scenes recreated from Georgiana Vernon's diary. Until Sunday, 11am-4pm. Normal admission applies. 01283 585337.
Kedleston Estate: Enjoy a six-mile Boxing Day or New Year's Day walk around the Kedleston Estate followed by soup and sandwiches in the restaurant. 10am-1pm, £10. Booking esssential on 01332 842191.