Oh Dickens! It’s Christmas at Chatsworth
11 November 2017–7 January 2018
Last week, I was invited with my family to attend Oh Dickens! It’s Christmas at Chatsworth.
It was a cold, crisp morning, the grounds were stunning and we were able to see all the animals freely roaming the fields on our approach to the house. We arrived around 9.30am which meant we were able to avoid queues in the grounds and in the car park. This also gave us to chance to do a spot of shopping at the Christmas market. There seemed to be a lot more stalls around the market this year and boy were we spoilt for choice. Oh, and we had a lovely breakfast roll on our way round – before heading off to see the house in all its Dickensian splendour.
We walked towards the house and found these amazing Dickens-inspired silhouettes (below). There was everything from Oliver Twist to Scrooge. My son was having great fun trying to emulate them.
There was already a large queue forming but we were fortunate enough to bypass this with our press pass but I do believe that if you become Friend/Member of Chatsworth then you will also be afforded this little luxury.
Once we entered the house, it simply took our breath away and most definitely didn’t disappoint. As we entered the foyer of the house, we were greeted by the stunning ‘book man’. The artwork was made from old books carved, pleated and folded by collections technician, Luke Stones. My son loved this!
Oh, and we can’t forget Scrooge sat shivering in his four posted bed (which was kind of creepy) but my son didn’t seem to mind, he was giggling his head off! This particular scene is where Scrooge is confronted by Marley’s friendly ghost (projected in the room). Similar projections and lighting were also used around the house which really helped bring the story to life.
I can’t even begin to tell you how magical this place is and, dare I say it, it just gets better every year! This was definitely my favourite of all the themes from past events. We were simply blown away just by how enchanting the house looked. The Chatsworth Team have definitely excelled themselves this year.
Arguably the most impressive of all was The Great Dining Room set for Miss Havisham’s wedding feast from Great Expectations. Miss Havisham also had a lovely chat with my son which helped bring the magical theme to life – so he was delighted.
We were also advised on entry to keep an keep an eye out for a little stuffed dog named ‘Bullseye’ from Oliver Twist. My son took great pleasure in spotting these throughout the visit, one of the little canine cuties was also perched on this huge dining table (below). Once we had found them all, we obviously had to purchase one from The Orangery Gift shop on our way through to the gardens.
After I had taken at least 300 photos in the house (and trust me, I could have carried on doing this because there is not one room, not one corner of the house that doesn’t take your breath away) we headed off to the gardens.
Every year, the plan is to look around the market first thing, get into the house around 10am then head to the gardens and farm park, but in previous years my son has been too tired and only managed the first two. We often frequent the farm park as my son loves it and I think it is most definitely one of the best adventure playgrounds in the Midlands. But as he was still full of beans, we only had a quick stroll around the adventure park in order to then explore the gardens – this Christmas was such a treat.
We spent the remainder of the day chasing each other around the garden’s maze, exploring the underground tunnels and climbing the rocks and stairs which are darted around the grounds. I have always loved Chatsworth House and its estate but, after this weekend, I have fallen in love with it even more. Every year we find so many more magical things to do and it is, without doubt, my favourite place to visit.
So all I can really say is, you must visit the house this Christmas! Hopefully my photos will help to tell some of the story but, believe me, I could have added so many more.
The Chatsworth Christmas Market has now finished but if you are planning to visit the house during the festive season and see this stunning Dickensian event then please see further details below:
For ticket information please visit – Christmas at Chatsworth
For more information visit www.chatsworth.org
If you have already visited the house, then I’d love to hear from you and be even more delighted to see your photos, so why not tag me in on social media; @northernnewmum with the hashtag #ChatsworthatChristmas