Father Christmas will be returning to his favourite fireside chair in the beautifully decorated Grand Entrance Hall at Raby Castle this festive season.

Join the fun as he recounts a Christmas classic with the help of the sparkly Mrs Bauble the Castle Groom, Elvis the cheeky Christmas pony and his friendly Footmen.

The Grand Entrance Hall will be adorned with twinkling Christmas trees, a roaring log fire and Father Christmas will meet each child and give them a special gift to put under the Christmas tree.

Families visiting Father Christmas will be able to see him from Saturday 30th November and for the first time, he will stay right up until Christmas Eve, before heading off on his sleigh. Also new for this year will be evening sessions at 6pm where the Castle’s candlelit Grand Entrance Hall will really bring the magic of Father Christmas to life.

Raby Castle’s packed festive season will launch with the annual Christmas Shopping Evening in the Stables Shop on Thursday 7th November from 5pm to 7pm. With a free glass of fizz, be the first to browse the new festive season collections of local Christmas decorations, homeware, gifts and treats.

There’s nothing quite like the smell of a real Christmas tree to make you feel festive. Raby’s Christmas trees grown on the Estate by the special team of Foresters will be on sale in the Coach Yard daily from Thursday 28th November.

Festive Afternoon Tea in the Castle will also return this year by popular demand. Dine in the Castle’s impressive Grand Entrance Hall and enjoy a limited edition celebration of all things sweet and festive. Bookings are available for individuals, groups and businesses that are looking for a unique way to celebrate Christmas.

Last year’s Festive Market at Raby Castle attracted over 10,000 visitors and this year’s event on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December is planned to be even bigger and better with FREE entry, extra food concessions and more stalls than ever before. Father Christmas’ reindeer, along with their keepers, are making a special appearance and you can learn about the reindeer and their care.

Other events include Christmas craft sessions; wreath making and willow reindeer decorations, late night shopping, the Enchanted Festive Forest and a range of night skies photography with expert Gary Lintern across November and December.  Further events will be announced as dates are confirmed and the fun continues at High Force which has its own programme of seasonal activities.

For more information, or to book ticket for Christmas events at Raby Castle and High Force visit www.raby.co.uk/christmas