Chatsworth looks back on 20 years of magic for Christmas 2021 visitor season as tickets go on sale

As the autumn nights draw in and the festive season twinkles on the horizon, staff at Chatsworth are making plans to mark the 20th anniversary of its first Christmas opening with an extra special visitor experience.

By Ed Dingwall
Friday, 17th September 2021, 5:48 pm

With a different theme each year, the experience has become increasingly grand and more ambitious, involving dozens of specially grown Christmas trees, yards of great garlands, and copious amounts of fairy lights.

The spectacular displays which greet visitors from November 6 to January 9 will reference the variety of themes that have featured in the house over the past two decades, from Victorian traditions and the works of Charles Dickens to the imaginary worlds of Mr Toad and Alice in Wonderland.

Alongside the bustling market, which runs from November 6-24, this year’s standout feature looks set to be the snow installation in the inner court, complete with a lamppost it should feel like stepping straight into Narnia.

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Following its successful introduction last year, there will once again be a festive light installation in the garden so visitors can explore beyond the house and take an atmospheric illuminated walk around a sparkling fountain, rock garden and cascade.

The expected return of visitors this year brings the story of Christmas at Chatsworth full circle, with high hopes for a festive season which recaptures the magic after two years fraught with Covid challenges.

When the public were first welcomed into the house in the winter of 2001, the 11th Duke of Devonshire envisioned it as a one-off to help the Derbyshire visitor economy as it struggled with the impact of the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe theme in 2013.

It proved an instant hit with thousands of visitors and has gone on to become the biggest event in the estate’s calendar, growing in size and scale each year.

Advance booking is required and tickets are on sale now via – £26 for adults, £15 for children, and £70 for a family. Separate tickets for the market only are also available.

Alice's Wonderland at Christmas in 2014.
A Candlelit Christmas in 2009.
The gardens will once again sparkle in the night.