T I S V E E F YO R K S H I R E
Clockwise from top left: A brisk walk on the Marsden Moor Estate on the northern edge of the Peak District. Barnsley’s spectacular Christmas lights switch on event. Festive accommodation at the White Swan in Pickering. Christmas shopping in The Shambles, York.
Welcome ‘Tis the season to be jolly and where better to celebrate to spend a Christmas to remember than right here in Yorkshire. From mulled wine and festive markets to ice rinks and winter wonderlands, the county has it all for every age. Our winter guide gives you a flavour of what there is to do and see across Yorkshire at this wonderful time of the year. Excite the kids, entertain the family or enjoy a festive break away, we can guarantee first class Santa’s Grottos, fabulous foods and Christmas lights. Merry Christmas!
Sir Gary Verity Chief Executive, Welcome to Yorkshire
Cover images clockwise from top left: Staithes under a blanket of snow. Frosty Fountains Abbey © National Trust Images. Relax at Titanic Spa. Jorvik Viking Centre in York. Ice skating at Stockeld Park. Decorating the tree at Forest Holidays. Face painting at Skipton’s Christmas Market.
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He’s behind you As the Christmas season approaches, with it comes the inevitable heckles of ‘he’s behind you’ and ‘oh no he isn’t’, but young or old, the pantomime is an essential part of the festive season and with performances across Yorkshire, rest assured you are guaranteed to experience some of the best. The annual York Theatre Royal Pantomime is one not to be missed. This year they are relocating to The Signal Box Theatre at York’s National Railway Museum while the Theatre Royal receives a £4 million makeover. From 10th December to 24th January, this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the UK’s longest running pantomime Dame, Berwick Kaler and the York Theatre Royal team as you’ve never seen them before. Taking on ‘Dick Whittington (and his meerkat)’, expect stunning sets, fabulous costumes and all your favourite jokes! For a reawakening of a fairy-tale classic, enjoy a visual feast for all the family with Sleeping Beauty at Hull Truck Theatre. Running from 4th December
until 9th January, join the five magical Nannas as they spin the tale of Princess Briar Rose from award winning children’s writer Mike Kenny. Don’t miss the star-studded cast of Billy Pearce, Lisa Riley, John Challis and Jake Canuso at the Alhambra, Bradford as they take on Jack and the Giant Beanstalk in a huge 3D spectacular from 12th December to 24th January. From 11th to 27th December, enjoy a magical retelling of Snow White at Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield. Updated with a fresh new spin and now set in Yorkshire, the show comes complete with trumpet-toting miners. Get ready to boo and hiss the evil stepmother, Mystique Stardust!
Clockwise from left: Berwick Kaler in Dick Whittington. It’s a Wonderful Life. Billy Pearce and friends at the Alhambra in Bradford. A choir performing in Malton. Georgian Theatre Royal stage in Richmond.
For a magical carpet ride to the Far East, head to Harrogate Theatre to see Aladdin from 1st December to 17th January. Join Widow Twankey, the evil Abanazar and of course the lovable Genie of the Lamp for a fun filled adventure guaranteed to entertain the whole family. This year, The Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond will bring to life the world of Jack and the Beanstalk from 5th December to 3rd January. The show will have you on the edge of your seat as Jack tries to escape the giants in time…! For the ultimate Rock and Roll Panto experience, ‘Robin Hood & the Babes in the Wood’ at Leeds City Varieties is a must. From 27th November until 10th January you can expect all the best corny gags and a host of classic pop and soul hits guaranteed to get you singing along not to mention the now legendary Rock Fight. If pantomime isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other theatrical offerings available across the region. Catch Northern Ballet at Leeds Grand Theatre from 16th December to 2nd January as they bring to life the classic Christmas story of The Nutcracker. YORKSHIRE.COM
Join Clara as she is swept away by the Nutcracker Prince into a magical winter wonderland of dancing snowflakes and the Sugar Plum Fairy. On 6th December, The Milton Rooms in Malton will be welcoming a very special production of ‘The Little Match Girl’. Told entirely through puppetry, this beautifully stunning performance will be a fun and festive treat not to be missed. Enjoy a fantastic story of Good versus Evil filled with fun, laughter, music and drama, catch a performance of Dick Whittington at Wakefield Theatre Royal from 26th November to 3rd January. For the younger members of the family, there’s just ‘59 Minutes to Save Christmas’ at The Crucible in Sheffield from 4th to 24th December. Or for something completely different… head to the West Yorkshire Playhouse from 10th to 12th December for the Christmas Cabaret where you are promised an evening of raucous, raunchy and rambunctious fun from some of the UK’s best cabaret acts.
Festive Fairs What better way to enter into the Christmas spirit than with a warming glass of mulled wine and some rich festive fare? From mid-November, Millennium Square in Leeds is transformed into a Bavarian wonderland as the Christkindelmarkt comes to town. Wooden chalets adorned with fairy lights are full to the brim with everything from Christmas decorations to delicious German bratwurst. Make sure you stop by the Frank-furter Scheune and enjoy a stein while singing along with the fantastic Bavarian Party Band! Wander along Parliament Street and take in the atmosphere at the York St Nicholas Fayre from 19th November until 23rd December. Visit traders in traditional Victorian costumes selling gifts, crafts and fantastic local farm produce from wooden huts while the festive smells of roasted chestnuts and hot chocolate laced with brandy fill the air. Retro Recipes in the Chefs Theatre, vegan treats in the Artisan Producers Grotto, Champagne Ski Bar and a Yorkshire Gin Theatre are just some of the festive features food-lovers can look forward to as Foodies Festival brings its winter edition - Foodies Festival Christmas – to Harrogate’s International Centre from 11th to 13th December. While in Harrogate, be sure to stop by the Harrogate Christmas Market, held on The Stray in the town centre and enjoy four days of festive shopping from 19th to 22nd November. Expect to see over 190 stalls selling all sorts of fantastic Yorkshire goodies from delicious cheeses and chutneys to unique handmade gifts and decorations. Enjoy a leisurely Christmas shopping experience within the beautiful grounds at Brodsworth Hall Christmas Market in Doncaster on 12th and 13th December. With a fantastic variety of specialist crafts and unique gifts on sale throughout the weekend, there’ll be plenty of excuses to treat loved ones this festive season. On 5th and 6th December, celebrate the 23rd Victorian Christmas Market at Kelham Island Museum in Sheffield. A warm Dickensian welcome will be waiting with over 120 stalls selling jewellery, crafts, wooden gifts and plenty more. Enjoy some festive food, live music entertainment and even take a ride on the Ferris wheel. There may even be a special visit from Santa and his reindeer…
Clockwise from top: Kelham Christmas Market Carollers. Grassington Dickensian Festival. Leeds Christkindelmarkt. St Nicholas Fayre in York. Millennium Square becomes a Bavarian wonderland.
special visit from Santa as well as some festive traditional organ music and children’s craft-making activities. Head to the picturesque market town of Skipton on Sunday 6th and Sunday 13th December for The Skipton Christmas Market. Sample the festive atmosphere and pick up some gifts for your loved ones and don’t miss the torchlight procession up the high street to Holy Trinity Church, where a traditional carol service takes place to round off a wonderfully Christmassy day.
Clockwise from top left: The Chocolate and Kids Cookery Theatre at the Foodies Festival. Christmas Market Pickpockets at Kelham Island. Face painting at Skipton’s Christmas Market. Visit St Nicholas Fayre in York and discover the city’s incredible atmosphere.
Enjoy the spirit of an Edwardian Christmas at Knaresborough Christmas Market on 5th and 6th December. Stroll through the streets of Knaresborough and discover bustling stalls offering seasonal goods and delicious treats. The perfect place to pick up some Yorkshire specialities. On Saturday 21st November you are promised a festive filled day in Ripon. Ripon Cathedral will host their annual Christmas Gift and Food Fair with over 100 stalls selling gifts for all the family as well as food and wine tastings, home-made Christmas cakes and even a Santa’s Grotto. The festive cheer will continue well into the evening with the official switching on of the city’s Christmas lights. Celebrating the very best of local arts, the North York Moors National Park Christmas Craft Fair on 14th and 15th November has a fantastic array of country crafts and seasonal gifts, from jewellery and ceramics to tree decorations, scented soaps and handmade chocolates. There will also be a
Get in the spirit With festive markets popping up across Yorkshire, they are the perfect place to get you in the Christmas mood whilst picking up a few special treats. Leeds Christkindlemarkt 13th November – 20th December
Images left to right: Lamplighter Festival in Todmordon. The Snow Queen at Kelham Island Museum. Incredible interiors at Sledmere House.
North York Moors National Park Christmas Craft Fair, 14th-15th November
Newburgh Priory Christmas Fair 3rd- 4th December
Bradford Christmas Markets 14th November – 20th December
Sledmere Christmas Craft and Food Fair 4th - 6th December
Harrogate Christmas Market 19th – 22nd November
Festive Fun Day Helmsley, 5 December
St Nicholas Fayre York, 19th November – 23rd December
Christmas Weekend Ryedale Folk Museum, 5th- 6th December
Sheffield Christmas Market 13th November – 24th December
Knaresborough Christmas Market 5th & 6th December
Bedale Christmas Festival 21st November - 28th November
23rd Victorian Christmas Market Kelham Island Museum, 5th & 6th December
Ripon Cathedral Christmas Fair 21st November
Grassington Dickensian Festival 5th, 12th, 19th December
The Hepworth Christmas Market Wakefield 21st & 22nd November
Richmond Town Christmas Market 6th December
Dales Countryside Museum Winter Fair 21st & 22nd November
Skipton Christmas Market 6th & 13th December
Bridlington Old Town Dickensian Festival 22nd November
Foodies Festival Christmas Harrogate International Centre 11th – 13th December
Made Locally With Love Merchants Adventurers Hall, York 22nd November Selby Christmas Market 28th November Selby Abbey Christmas Fayre 28th November Lamplighter Festival 28th November Brighouse Victorian Christmas Market 28th & 29th November Tadcaster Christmas Market and Festival Sunday 29th November
Leyburn Christmas Festival 5th December
Malton Christmas Food Market 12th December Brodsworth Hall Christmas Market 12th - 13th December Beverley Festival of Christmas 13th December A Winter Wonderland Christmas Fair The Garden Rooms at Tennants, 18th & 19th December
All I want for Christmas... Follow our guide to the best shopping spots in Yorkshire and make sure you pick up the perfect present for all your loved ones. With cobbled streets and little boutiques around every corner, York is the perfect place to pick up some special Christmas gifts and enjoy a wonderfully festive atmosphere. Select some of the finest beers and ales from around the world at House of Trembling Madness. With over 600 different ales in stock as well over 1000 rare and interesting different spirits, there is something to suit all tastes.
Give the gift of Yorkshire with a taste of Bettys. With vintage Christmas puddings, Christmas Spiced Tea, Peppermint Creams, Florentines and more, there is plenty for everyone to tuck into for a special treat. Head to the new Vangarde Shopping Park just outside York City Centre and pick up gifts for all the family at John Lewis, Next and Marks and Spencer. Pick up a very special gift for someone small at The Rocking Horse Shop in Fangfoss. Each beautiful rocking horse is painstakingly hand crafted in the workshop on site and you can even commission your own horse, selecting the exact size and style to ensure your horse is one of a kind. Choose some festive fizz at The Jug and Bottle in Bubwith, East Yorkshire and celebrate the season
Left to right: The Oldest Sweet Shop in England in Pateley Bridge. Beautiful, bespoke Rocking Horses in Fangfoss. The Fourth Floor Café at Harvey Nichols. The Garden Rooms at Tennants. Perfect gifts from Bettys.
distance in the city centre. Head to the Victoria Quarter to pick up some extra special gifts for fashion fans at an array of designer stores including Mulberry, Vivienne Westwood and Links as well as a host of others in Harvey Nichols, but don’t forget to take a moment to enjoy the festive season with cocktails at The Fourth Floor Café. with a bang. Need some gift inspiration? Take your pick of some delicious ingredients and fill one of their beautiful hampers; they will even gift wrap it for you. Find a unique gift for coffee lovers from York Coffee Emporium. They have a fantastic selection of gift sets to choose from, all custom made to your exact requirements. Discover some big name brands for less at the McArthur Glen York Designer Outlet and save up to 60% off top designers including Kurt Geiger, Paul Smith and Armani. Find all the latest high street fashion, everyday essentials and fabulous gift ideas at Trinity Walk Wakefield and why not take a trip to Junction 32 in Castleford and pick up a winter coat from Barbour or Berghaus and some tasty treats for the kids from the Cadbury Outlet Store. Leeds has a fantastic array of top brands, boutiques and designers all within easy walking YORKSHIRE.COM
Make a day of it at The Garden Rooms at Tennants in Leyburn and discover some fantastic Yorkshire products from the luxury gift shop or even try bidding for something extra special at one of their live auction sales. Pay a visit to The Oldest Sweet Shop in England in Pateley Bridge to pick up some delicious sweet treats. They have all the old fashioned favourites including Humbugs, perfect if you know someone who is a bit of a Scrooge! Sheffield is a shopper’s paradise, full of independent, trendy boutiques. It’s the perfect place to discover something one of a kind. Head to the Antiques Quarter and discover an eclectic mix of independent traders. A Sheffield institution, The Famous Sheffield Shop have a fantastic range of unique products all made locally. With everything from expertly crafted kitchen knives, to beautiful jewellery and even vintage tea sets, you are sure to find a fantastic, hand crafted gift for someone special.
Great grottos Make Christmas magical for your little ones and take them to meet the man himself. Taking time out of his busy schedule at the North Pole, Father Christmas and his reindeer will be popping up at various locations across Yorkshire. So get your Christmas list ready and come along to say hello and find out if you have been naughty or nice…!
Enjoy an audience with Father Christmas at Brodsworth Hall in Doncaster from 19th to 23rd December. Hear wonderful tales of Christmas past, yuletide stories and poems, perfect to get you and the family in the festive spirit.
For a truly magical Christmas experience, you can’t beat The Christmas Adventure at Stockeld Park in Wetherby during November and December. Nestled within ancient woodland, Stockeld Park hosts a whole season full of festive fun across Christmas. With a real outdoor ice skating rink, an Enchanted Forest filled with interactive sculptures and playgrounds, a huge snowflake maze, Nordic ski trail, award winning Santa’s Grotto, plus a magical gift shop, there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained.
On selected dates from 28th November until 22nd December, jump on board the North Yorkshire Moors Railway this Christmas and embark on an enchanting adventure on the ‘Santa Express’ to meet Santa in his very special Grotto on-board the train. On weekends from 28th November until Christmas Eve, take a magical journey on the Keighley Worth Valley Railway Santa Special in a festively festooned carriage playing all your favourite festive tunes, guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit.
Experience a medieval Christmas at Barley Hall in York where you will be greeted by medieval characters and treated to breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea. There’s festive games to be played in the beautifully decorated parlour, seasonal stories, Christmas crafts and of course, the chance to meet Father Christmas on selected weekends in December. With hundreds of interactive, hands-on exhibits, there is plenty for kids to discover at Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax. Come along on selected dates from 28th November until 23rd December and experience their special ‘Magical Christmas’ event as they welcome Santa and his grotto to the museum. Stop by the National Coal Mining Museum for England from 5th to 23rd December and visit Santa in his enchanting underground grotto. Get kitted out with your helmet and lamp ready to descend 140 meters underground, before you make your way along the festive snowy trail to meet Santa. Visit the picturesque manor house of Nunnington Hall near York on selected weekends in November and December for some special festive sings songs
Opposite clockwise from top left: Santa will be visiting Yorkshire this year. Santa’s enchanting undergroud grotto at the National Coal Mining Museum for England. Santa wrapping presents ready for when you discover a medieval Christmas at Barley Hall. This page clockwise from top left: Experience The Christmas Adventure at Stockeld Park. Santa’s furnace shaft at the National Coal Mining Museum of England.
and storytelling with Santa Claus. Remember he is a very busy man, so make sure you pre-book your space, you’ll even receive a personalised invitation! Santa will be visiting Burnby Hall and Gardens in East Yorkshire on Sunday 6th December. There will be lots of festive children’s activities as well as some fantastic music to enjoy at the bandstand from The Stape Silver Band, perfect to get you into the Christmas spirit. Take a trip to Murton Park, the home of the Yorkshire Museum of Farming on the outskirts of York during weekends in December and take a tour of Santa’s village as well as enjoying steam train ride on the Derwent Valley Light Railway. Come and meet Santa’s helpers and join in some festively fun activities! Head to Tong Garden Centre and meet four of Santa’s favourite reindeer on 14th & 15th December to celebrate the opening of the Magical Santa Experience which runs until Christmas Eve. Come along to the enchanting winter wonderland and see Santa arrive in a very special way and hear a festive fairy-tale read by the man himself.
Fine food Christmas is a time for treats and indulgence. Pick up some fine quality Yorkshire produce and make this year’s your best Christmas dinner yet… Yorkshire is teeming with farm shops offering the best possible local produce. Head to the award winning Blacker Hall Farm Shop in Wakefield for local farm fresh meat, freshly baked bread and cakes, Yorkshire food and drink as well as the allimportant locally reared turkey. If you don’t fancy turkey this year, pick up some fine cuts of beef, lamb and pork from Stepney Hill Farm. The Granary Café and Farm Shop in Leeds prides itself on offering a wide range of home produced food. With a dazzling deli counter stocked with delicious cheeses, cold meats and olives as well as their own farm-raised grass-fed beef and lamb and artisan preserves produced on site, they have all the ingredients to create some delicious meals this Christmas. The Hairy Fig in York sells all manner of fine locally sourced foods as well as the very best of Spanish, Italian, French and Mexican. They also make beautiful bespoke hampers, made and delivered to order. For a whole range of delicious bakery
products including biscuits, plum bread, cakes and pork pies, head to the family run craft bakery of Bothams in Whitby. Don’t forget to keep your guests hydrated with a suitable tipple this Christmas. Yorkshire is awash with local breweries serving up some fantastic beers and ales. Pick up some traditional cask ales from Timothy Taylors Brewery in Keighley, taste some organic brews at Little Valley Brewery at Hebden Bridge and sample the full range of brews at the Black Sheep Brewery in Masham near Ripon. With seasonal, small batch and limited edition beers available, pick up something extra special for the festive season. As well as craft beers from their microbrewery, discover some award winning fine English wines from the Vineyard & Winery at Yorkshire Heart. The award winning Wold Top Brewery offer a fantastic range of all year round and special edition beers. With ‘Wold Top Bitter’, gluten free beer ‘Against the Grain’ and ‘Golden Summer’, you are
Left to right: Betty’s Cookery School. Delicious mulled wine and tasty cheeses from The Granary Café and Farm Shop in Leeds. Mince Pies from Blacker Hall Farm. Traditional Stollen from Bettys.
sure to find something for everyone. Pick up a bottle of Masons Yorkshire Gin for the obligatory pre-dinner gin and tonic and round off your meal with a delicious taste of Blackberry and Sloe Brontë Liqueur. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a cheese board and there are plenty of creameries in Yorkshire ready to serve you. Pick up some traditional Wensleydale Cheese, lovingly handcrafted to a time-honoured recipe, or try the premium Wensleydale Blue for something extra special. Choose from a wide range of local cheeses at Cryer & Stott Cheesemongers in Wakefield, including Ribblesdale, Shepherd’s Purse and ‘The Only Brie Made In Yorkshire’. Or for something a bit different, try their unique Ruby Gold rhubarb cheese and for serious rhubarb fans, they also sell rhubarb sausages, rhubarb pies and rhubarb chutney! Visit the national award-winning Keelham Farm Shop in Bradford for a fantastic range of local, YORKSHIRE.COM
great tasting, fresh and affordable food. With their own award winning Butchery on-site, it’s the perfect place to pick up some of the very best locally sourced meat and poultry. For some tasty, superfresh and homegrown produce, head to the Balloon Tree in Helmsley. They also specialise in Gloucester Old Spot Cross rare-breed pork and their lamb can be seen grazing on the foothills of Sutton Bank. Don’t worry if your cookery skills leave a little to be desired, enrol on a course at Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School and master the art of fine dining or get to grips with some classic baking and intricate pâtisserie with a lesson at Betty’s Cookery School.
Jingle Bells Christmas means party time! Celebrate in style with our guide to the best parties and venues on offer whether revelling with friends and family or colleagues at your annual work Christmas party. Have a party to remember at The National Railway Museum in York and get ready to jump on board the ‘Night Train to Vegas’. With a deluxe four course menu and a fantastic array of entertainment including a magician, Elvis show and Vegas-style Cirque Du Soleil, get ready to dance the night away among the spectacular train carriages.
Celebrate like a star with a ‘Hullywood Themed Party’ at Mercure Hull Grange Park Hotel. Have your picture snapped by the paparazzi as you walk the red carpet, then get ready to enjoy an evening of delicious food, cocktails and music from the resident DJ and live band guaranteed to get you dancing.
If turkey isn’t your thing, head to The Cairn Hotel in Harrogate for a special Christmas Curry Night on 4th, 11th or 18th of December. Enjoy some delicious Indian cuisine followed by a disco to get you in the party mood.
Dine among the sharks with a Christmas party at The Deep in Hull. Indulge in a delicious three course meal and get ready to dance the night away with a fully stocked bar and disco playing all your favourite seasonal tunes. Have a sleepover and enjoy an evening of ‘Festive Food and Flicks’
Left to right: Party through history at the Royal Armouries. Celebrate at the Cairn Hotel. Use the private cinema at Rudding Park near Harrogate. A party in unique surroundings at National Railway Museum in York © Sandra Ciampone. Mercure Hull Grange Park Hotel. Visit York Minster on New Year’s Eve to hear the bells ring out at midnight The Deep in Hull.
at Rudding Park in Harrogate. Sit down to a delicious three course dinner followed by a family favourite Christmas film in the 14 seat cinema. ‘Eat, Bump and Groove’ nights at Magna in Rotherham are Christmas parties with a difference. Enjoy fantastic food, superb music and try your luck on the casino games and fairground dodgems in Magna’s Big Hall. Why not take your party on board a Christmas Party Cruise with YorkBoat in York? Celebrate the festive season in style with friends and colleagues and enjoy a delicious 2 course barbecue buffet, disco and 3 hour evening cruise. Join the Yorkshire Wildlife Park for a Christmas lunch or party night. Throughout December, experience a truly memorable ‘Christmas-do’, in a stunning safari-tent, transformed into a fully heated Winter Wonderland! You’re guaranteed a warm welcome at their Christmas Party Nights, with mulled wine or a chilled glass of sparkling Prosecco
on arrival, followed by a delicious dinner, with a choice of four-courses including Christmas classics and more. After dinner you can dance the night away with a ‘rock and soul’ disco until 12.30am. When Christmas is over, look ahead to 2016 and bring in the New Year in York. Gather around York Minster on New Year’s Eve to hear the bells ring out at midnight and join in the rousing chorus of Auld Lang Syne as the joyful tune rings out across the city. Start the New Year with a bang and enjoy a night as a VIP at the Royal Armouries New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball. Walk down the red carpet where incredible masked stilt walkers will welcome you into the magical Christmas tree lined street complete with magnificent chocolate fountains and a chilled glass of festive fizz to kick off the celebrations in style. Enjoy a sumptuous three course banquet, before The Fabulous Bogus Brothers take to the stage to carry the party into the early hours.
Mistletoe & wine Christmas is the perfect time of year for a spot of indulgence. Treat yourself, family and friends to a special meal out at one of Yorkshire’s finest eateries. Dine in York city centre at The Blue Bicycle and sample award winning food in a relaxed atmosphere. Known for their exceptional fresh fish dishes and scrumptious homemade puddings, pair your meal with a fine wine from the extensive selection and you won’t be disappointed. Leeds is full of fantastic eateries, showcasing food from around the world. Descend into the cavernous basement at Sous le Nez away from the hustle and
bustle of the city for some secluded dining. With French influences, the menu includes delicious favourites as well as an array of new exciting dishes with a modern twist. Visit one of Sheffield’s top restaurants, The Old Vicarage. Located just outside the city centre in a charming Victorian country house surrounded by rolling lawns, enjoy modern and innovative award winning food by Tessa Bramley and her team. YORKSHIRE.COM
Clockwise from bottom left: The Old Vicarage. The Box Tree in Ilkley. Andrew Pern of The Star Inn at Harome. North York Moors Railway. The Blue Bicycle. Pullman dining. The Durham Ox at Crayke.
Treat yourself to something extra special with dinner at East Yorkshire’s first and only Michelin Star, The Pipe & Glass. If you want to get away from the cities, enjoy some spectacular fine dining at one of Yorkshire’s many country pubs and restaurants. The ambience at The Star Inn at Harome is always very special and at Christmas time it is no different. Evocative smells and tastes, warming fires and decorations all come together to create a feast for festive foodies. For first class local food and drink with a friendly Yorkshire welcome, you can’t do better than The Durham Ox at Crayke. With flag stone floors, exposed beams, crackling fires and a menu bursting with local ingredients, this traditional pub will make you feel right at home.
Enjoy the modern French classical menu at renowned eatery in Ilkley, The Box Tree. This Michelin Starred restaurant offers an unforgettable experience as diners are enticed by dishes using only the finest local ingredients. For something a little different, try the Pullman Dining Service on board the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Step into the elegant setting of period carriages with grand seating and lavish decoration and enjoy a hearty meal prepared by the on-board chef. Find The Star at Sancton nestled amongst the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Wolds. Their menu changes regularly, influenced by sourcing the very best local produce as well including some spectacular local micro-brewery beers.
Wintery walks Get outdoors this festive season and explore the countryside. With some stunning scenery on offer, take a wintery walk and work off some of that Christmas pudding… There is a wonderful array of beautiful scenery to explore in The Yorkshire Dales National Park and what better way to discover it than on foot. Marvel at the stunning Aysgarth Falls, one of Wensleydale’s favourite beauty spots made famous by the Kevin Costner film ‘Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves’ and enjoy a pleasant riverside walk linking the Upper, Middle and Lower Falls. If you’re feeling particularly sprightly, why not take on the Three Peaks Challenge? All you have to do is
try to complete the peaks of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in under 12 hours... If that sounds a bit too much like hard work, it’s certainly worth spending a day trying to tackle just one of these hills to enjoy breath-taking views when you reach the top. Discover the dramatic moorland rock formations of Brimham Rocks in Nidderdale. Ideal for families to explore the labyrinth of paths that wind around the fantastically shaped rocks as well as more serious climbers looking for a new challenge.
Take a walk through the Chevin Forest Park located in the Wharfe Valley, overlooking the market town of Otley. Bursting with wildlife, the whole park was designated as a local nature reserve in 1989 to protect species such as the Green Hairstreak Butterfly and the Woodcock. The North York Moors National Park is brimming with scenic walks and fantastic routes to explore. One of the most spectacular features has to be The Hole of Horcum otherwise known as the ‘Devil’s Punchbowl’. Legend has it this 400 feet deep natural amphitheatre measuring more than half a mile across, was formed when Wade the Giant scooped up a handful of earth to throw at his wife during an argument… Whether this is true or not it is certainly worth walking along Levisham Moor to discover this impressive site for yourself! A trip to the Yorkshire Coast is always good, but during the winter months the scenery is transformed. The drama of the ‘Dinosaur Coast’ is best discovered at Staithes where the impressive coastal rock formations shelter a beautifully
scenic harbour. Continue down the coast along The Cleveland Way and take in spectacular sea views at Whitby and Robin Hoods Bay. Roseberry Topping is one of the county’s most distinctive hills. Try and conquer the hill to enjoy the breath-taking views, or simply enjoy the surrounding woods, heather moorland and the open expanse of Roseberry Common. Head to Dalby Forest for a fantastic selection of walking and find something to suit all ages and abilities. With 70km of cycle trails to choose from snaking across 8,000 acres, discover one of the best places for off-road biking in Britain. Explore the landscape and observe amazing species with Wildlife Discovery Tours and experience the ‘Real Yorkshire’ with a guided tour from Yorkshire Guided Tours. Visit one of the many RSPB reserves across Yorkshire and find wonderful places to get closer to the natural world. As well as beautiful birds, you’ll find fascinating flowers, graceful deer and stately trees.
Left to right: Robin Hood’s Bay on the Yorkshire Coast and walking along the beach nearby. Malham’s dramatic limestone pavements in the Yorkshire Dales. The Hole of Horcum in the North York Moors National Park © Mike Kipling/ NYMNPA. Whitby Abbey in the snow. The stunning Aysgarth Falls.
Festive fun Looking for a festive day out this Christmas? Find fun for all the family both indoors and outdoors and enjoy the season whatever the weather. For some extra special festive seaside fun, take a trip to Robin Hood’s Bay for the Victorian Weekend on the 4th, 5th and 6th December. Come and join in with some Carol Singing, hear some festive Victorian storytelling and even have a go at Beach Welly Wanging. Castle Howard at Christmas is an experience not to miss. From 21st November until 23rd December, as you approach the house you are greeted by an avenue of magnificent Christmas trees adorned
with twinkling lights and ornaments. The house itself is transformed into a warming and inviting Christmas wonderland with roaring log fires and traditional decorations of wreaths and garlands. Make sure you stop by the shops & cafés for a Christmas treat or find the perfect gift for someone special. There is a whole host of Christmas activity on offer at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Come and meet Amur Tigers, Leopards, Giraffes and even a Polar Bear! Don’t miss the park’s Christmas fair, jam-packed with entertainment and market stalls heaving with gifts, plus there will be a very special guest flying over the park on 12th and 13th December. The Yorkshire Sculpture Park have a packed programme of festive events. Create something extra special at the ‘Festive Wreath Making Workshop’ on 6th December; book a table for ‘Brass Christmas’ for an evening of food and live music on 18th December, or wrap up warm for a winter walk and enjoy a rare and unique opportunity to see ‘Poppies: Wave’; originally on display at the Tower of London, only at YSP until 10th January. YORKSHIRE.COM
If the weather takes a turn for the worse, there are plenty of options to get in the festive spirit while staying safely covered indoors. Keep the kids busy on Saturday 19th December with a Puppetry Workshop from Opera North at Leeds Howard Assembly Rooms, before settling down to watch Tim Burton’s magical musical fantasy film, ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ in the afternoon. Head to Brodsworth Hall & Gardens on 28th and 29th November for a performance of the classic tale, ‘A Christmas Carol’ in the grand setting of the Victorian house. Or for something spooky, gather in the Entrance Hall to hear ‘Ghost Stories for Christmas’ on 18th and 19th December. Take in the Victorian Christmas Experience at York Castle Museum during December with a trip back in time to Victorian York. Enjoy a festive stroll down Kirkgate and meet the shop owners in all their Victorian attire. Experience a 1920s Christmas at Nunnington Hall on weekends from 21st November until 13th December. Discover the Hall as it would have been dressed for Christmas, with sherry served by the Butler and hear stories of Christmas past. Eat, drink, shop and get creative with all the family this Christmas at The Hepworth Wakefield. Come and have a go at festive wreath-making on 6th December and don’t forget to have a peek at the new ranges for autumn/winter in their shop and pick up some special gifts for Christmas.
Discover incredible lifelike paintings of endangered species and enjoy a complimentary glass of mulled wine at The Robert Fuller Gallery in Thixendale at their Christmas Art Exhibition: Saving Nature Near & Far from 7th to 29th November. Head to the picturesque market town of Helmsley from 5th to 20th December to see a wonderful array of festively decorated local trees as part of this year’s pantomime themed Christmas Tree Festival. This year, the Lamplighter Festival will be back again to light up Todmorden town centre on 28th November, to coincide with the Christmas Lights switch on. Come and enjoy a lantern parade, fire performers, great music and fabulous street theatre. Wander through the picturesque village of Saltaire to enjoy the Saltaire Living Advent Calendar. Running since 2006, homes around the village create wonderfully festive window displays, with one revealed each day from the 1st until 24th December. The design of each window is a closely guarded secret until it is revealed, so wrap up warm and come along to enjoy the unique magical Christmas windows. Christmas is a time for eating, drinking and making merry – unless you are at the York Dungeon that is. This year guests will experience a very ‘Dungeon Christmas’ as the Torturer is sorting the good from the bad from 12th to 31st December. Visit the Torture Grotto this festive period and see whether you are on the “Naughty or Nice” list.
Left to right: York Castle Museum comes alive at this time of year. A Barbara Hepworth Sculpture stands out from the snow at Yorkshire Sculpture Park © Jonty Wilde. Castle Howard © Mike Kipling. Period costume at York Castle Museum. A Tiger cub in the snow at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
Silent night Find your home away from home this Christmas at one of Yorkshire’s finest hotels. Whether you’re looking for something indulgent or cosy, there is something perfect for everyone. Clockwise from left: Keep out the cold in luxurious surroundings at The Grand. The Black Swan at Helmsley. Toasting the season at Cedar Court in Harrogate.
Overlooking the market square and nestled within a row of quaint shops and charming tea rooms, there are few more idyllic places to spend your Christmas break than at The Black Swan, Helmsley. With open log fires and a restaurant offering fine cuisine with the most seasonal produce, you can’t help but feel welcome.
Indulge in pure luxury at Yorkshire’s premier 5* hotel, The Grand. Overlooking the historic walls of one of the UK’s most picturesque cities, The Grand is the very best in traditional English style and service. Sleep in a sumptuous suite, treat yourself in the opulent spa and dine in the award winning restaurant.
Enjoy a relaxing Christmas break at the nearby Feversham Arms Hotel & Spa, also in the picturesque market town of Helmsley. Enjoy magnificent fine dining in the hotel restaurant, then treat yourself to an array of relaxing treatments from the Verbena Spa, guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed.
Wake up in a cosy log cabin surrounded by winter woodland and stunning views of the Yorkshire Dales at The Chevin Country Hotel & Spa. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more scenic setting.
Experience luxury for less in the heart of York at Safestay. A refurbished Georgian townhouse, it still carries magnificent original features including a stone flagged entrance hall, grand sweeping staircase and a few modern improvements for extra comfort.
Stay at the historic Grade II listed Cedar Court Hotel in Harrogate, overlooking the famous 200 acre Stray parkland. One of the town’s finest four star hotels, stunning grand original features are mixed with a stylish modern twist creating the perfect setting for a festive break.
Deck the halls Adorned with lights and decorations, the Christmas tree is undoubtedly the festive focal point in our homes at Christmas. So make choosing the perfect Christmas tree for your home a lovely experience!
A beautiful Christmas Tree in all it’s glory at Castle Howard near York. © Andy Bulmer
Tong Garden Centre have helped families to choose their perfect Christmas tree for years, all from a range of responsibly-sourced and freshly cut Christmas trees that will stay looking great in your home throughout the festive season. Here’s our quick guide to choosing your perfect tree: The Nordman fir Low needle drop makes this a best-selling tree! It boasts a lovely symmetrical shape, good dense branches and glossy, dark green needles that are soft to touch - perfect if you have little ones. Noble fir An exquisite Christmas tree with a beautiful fragrance. This tree offers excellent needle retention and thick, soft, blue-green needles. Norway spruce Known as the original Christmas tree, great for outdoors. The Norway spruce is a beautiful shape with a lovely scent, but won’t hold its needles well, so must be kept cool and watered daily. No-nonsense artificial trees In a choice of colours and sizes with various textures and finishes, artificial trees are the nononsense alternative to a real tree! Invest in a quality artificial tree, be careful to store it well, and you’ll enjoy its beauty year after year.
A quick guide to caring for your real Christmas tree: lace your tree in the conservatory or garage P to allow it to adjust to room temperature gradually before bringing it indoors ut a few centimetres off the bottom of your C tree and place in a stand with a water reservoir eal trees need watering as they can drink R up to a pint a day nce the net is removed, allow your tree to drop O before decorating Arriving in store from 27th November, call in to Tong Garden Centre for an extensive choice of real freshly-cut Christmas trees as well as potted and a wide range of artificial trees.
Festive concerts Embrace the spirit of Christmas with a traditional carol concert at one of Yorkshire’s stunning cathedrals and festively decorated venues. York Minster gets into the spirit early in December with a packed calendar of special Christmas services and concerts. Spread across two evenings, join in with the annual Christmas Carol Concert on 4th and 5th December. On Christmas Eve, the cathedral is filled with a flurry of festive activity. Dress the kids up as their favourite Nativity character for the magical Crib Service at 12pm. Head to Sheffield Cathedral on 5th December and enjoy London Concertante Viennese Christmas by Candlelight. For a traditional service of Nine Lessons and Carols, visit Bradford Cathedral on 20th December.
Leeds Town Hall have a whole host of festive musical treats planned throughout December. Don’t miss the Lord Mayor’s Carol Concert on 17th December as Leeds Philharmonic Chorus and Rothwell Temperance Brass Band perform some spectacular festive favourites. For a ‘Christmas Spectacular’ head to Ripon Cathedral on 19th December to enjoy an evening of festive music for all the family from the St Cecilia Orchestra as they combine with some local groups to present a fantastic Christmas show. Wrap up warm and stop by Brodsworth Hall on the 5th and 6th December to hear seasonal carols sung by some fine Yorkshire choirs in the Entrance Hall. Running from the 4th to the 12th of December, The York Early Music Centre are hosting a whole festival of music to celebrate the festive season. Highlights will include performances from the European Union Baroque Orchestra, Yorkshire Bach Choir as well as Joglaresa with their medley of traditional wassails and medieval carols. Enjoy Carols by Candlelight at Swinton Park with an evening of seasonal entertainment at their fantastic carol concert in aid of the Prince’s Trust on Wednesday 2nd December. Get in the festive spirit with Christmas carol performances at Whitby Abbey, every Sunday throughout December and the last Sunday of November. Come and singalong with some of Yorkshire’s best choirs as they perform seasonal favourites.
Clockwise from top left: Swinton Park. Brodsworth Hall. Carols in York Minster © Duncan Lomax.
Skating Fancy trying out your best Torvill and Dean Impression? Christmas is the perfect time to test your balance and give ice skating a whirl! Wrap up with your hats and gloves and get your skates on at one of Yorkshire’s ice skating rinks. This year, The Ice Factor will return to Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland at York Designer Outlet. Providing a magically festive experience for all the family to enjoy, the North of England’s largest outdoor ice rink comes complete with an apresskate Café & Bar as well as an enchanting Santa’s Grotto. All set within a wonderfully theatrical wintry street of wooden cabins, have a go at ice skating or simply soak up the atmosphere and enjoy a warming Glühwein. For those looking to take their skating to the next level, take a trip to iceSheffield. With two Olympic sized ice rinks on offer, there is plenty of space to practice your arabesques and pirouettes. Don’t miss their special ‘Disco Session’ and skate along while listening to the latest chart music and requests with Ice’s resident DJ. If you want an extra challenge, have a go on the split level ice rink at The Dome in Doncaster, the only one of its kind in the UK! Set within the ice cool environment of the Ice Caps, the two interconnecting ice pads offer skaters of all ages and abilities a unique ice skating experience. Make sure you have something to look forward to in January after the festive season is over and take a trip to ICE Cube at Millennium Square in Leeds and enjoy skating in the open air on one of Europe’s largest outdoor ice skating rinks. Visit the huge outdoor ice rink set in the beautiful parkland of The Christmas Adventure at Stockeld Park, near Wetherby. If you fancy trying something a bit different, have a go at their Nordic Cross Country Skiing. The 1.2km cross country ski trail is illuminated and runs through an Enchanted Forest, winding through woodland and around a lake. It’s perfect to give novices an introduction to the sport, and because the track is artificial, you don’t need to wait for the snow to have go!
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How to get here For more travel information go to www.yorkshire.com/travel Yorkshire By Rail You can get to Yorkshire by train from the North West with First TransPennine Express, who offer direct services into the county from Liverpool and Manchester. Northern Rail also offer direct services to Yorkshire from the North West. Yorkshire’s cities and market towns are also easy to get to from other parts of the country. Travel to Yorkshire with high-speed trains from either London or Edinburgh in less than two hours with East Coast and Grand Central services.
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YORKSHIRE BY SEA Ferry services to Hull and Newcastle link Yorkshire with Holland, Belgium and Germany. P&O Ferries operate overnight services to Hull from Rotterdam and Zeebrugge. YORKSHIRE BY ROAD Britain’s biggest and fastest highways cross Yorkshire from north to south and east to west, making getting here by car or by coach very simple. For details of the quickest (or the most scenic) driving routes see the AA or RAC websites www.theaa.com and www.rac.co.uk YORKSHIRE BY AIR Leeds Bradford International Airport is our busiest air gateway, with UK flights from Aberdeen, Belfast, Exeter, Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Isle of Man, London Gatwick, Southampton and many more. You can also fly into Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield, Humberside, Durham Tees Valley, Newcastle and Manchester airports.
'Tis the season to be jolly and where better to celebrate to spend a Christmas to remember than right here in Yorkshire.