A breathtaking world of festive fantasy awaits visitors to the spectacular Chatsworth House as part of the stately home’s incredible Christmas event.
The theme this year is ‘Once Upon A Time’ with rooms at the incredible venue transformed with inspiration from classic stories, old and new — and there is something jaw-dropping in every nook and cranny to wow young and old.
The minute you walk through the imposing entrance to the courtyard marquee you know you’re in line for something special.
And when I visited with my family the gasp of breath from my children, as they were confronted with a giant dragon named Arthur in the first foyer, told me this would be the beginning of a magical journey.
And nor I, my wife or the kids were disappointed.
A simple pamphlet gives you a whistlestop guide for what lies down the halls, stunning rooms and in between the staircases.
But it doesn’t prepare you for the countless twinkling lights and displays that capture the essence of books that have shaped the imaginations of generations.
Spiders webs adorned with crystals and small lights represent Charlotte’s Web and the scale of the room for the Elves and the Shoemaker is subtle as you can imagine.
A fabulous carriage is the centre-piece of the room representing the story of Cinderella and don’t forget to search for the peas in the pile of mattresses that represent the story of the Princess and the Pea — alongside a Christmas tree complete with pea pods hanging from the branches.
Dorothy’s ruby-red slippers are a dead giveaway for the Wizard of Oz display, while projectors and high-tech screens capture the Disney essence of Sleeping Beauty.
A bedroom with a ceiling packed with kites and a window mural perfectly capture Mary Poppins, while mine and the kids’ personal favourite was the giant peach hovering above a double staircase hoisted into the air by a batallion of gulls obviously representing James and the Giant Peach.
And as you leave towards the gift shop you are transported to Arabia alongside Aladdin’s flying carpet and, finally, you are cast into the world of Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman.
Along the way there are countless Christmas trees, swags, garlands and decorations of varying scale and style to turn even the most hardened Scrooge into a lover of the festive season.
A timed ticketing system is in operation at the house so the crowds run smoothly and you can see all the displays up close and in detail.
Entrance to ‘Once Upon a Time’ is included with Christmas admission. Christmas tickets include the house, garden and farmyard and are priced at £25 per adult; £15 per child and £69 per family (2 adults, 3 children). The event continues until January 6.
For more information, CLICK HERE to visit the Chatsworth website where you can also find out about all the other Christmas events, including twilight evenings and Nativities.