Christmas Arrives at Bolsover Castle
As winter takes hold and the colder weather sets in, for the first time ever, Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire are putting on Christmas events to keep the whole family entertained this festive season. We were kindly invited along to be involved in the activities and of course meet the big guy. Yes my son was given the chance to be part of an audience with Father Christmas.
This brand new experience for children takes place every Saturday and Sunday until (Sunday) 18th December. Little ones join in with the seasonal fun and crafts before meeting the main man himself as he recounts some magical tales of Christmas past, and hands out festive treats.
We arrived at the castle around 10am and our allotted time to meet Father Christmas was at 11.30am. With it being such a beautiful morning, we decided to go off and explore the grounds – to say my son was excited was understatement!
The castle and grounds are simply stunning! My son had a blast running up and down all the stairs and scuttling off into all the ‘secret rooms’ (as he called them), and his school mascot, ‘Zoomy’, had to come along for this exciting adventure too!
Counting the stairs on each level of the castle was the first game my son had in mind! We also found a room in the house, (I think it may have been the old kitchen), where we found that our voices travelled (echoed) amazingly; so of course we spent the next 15 minutes shouting ‘SANTA!’ and listening to the echo bounce of the walls and ceiling. Amazing what fun a 4 year old can find in an empty kitchen 🙂
And as you can see from my next pictures, the views are simply amazing. I have never visited Bolsover Castle before so it was such as surprise to see it in all its – and to think its only 20 minutes drive from where I live. I did find myself wondering why I had never visited this beautiful, historical site before?!
So it was 11.30am and we were asked to wait in a foyer whilst Father Christmas’ helper explained a little about what we had in store, and asked the children what they had on their Christmas list. There was only a small group of us which was great as it meant both adults and children could either sit of the floor close to Father Christmas or on the regal chairs in the grand room.
Father Christmas proceeded to recount some old tales to the children and involved them in the story with actions and questions (and parents had to do their bit too!)
After the stories had been told, Santa invited each child up to have a little chat with him (and a high five, which my son found hilarious) and he then gave them a little gift to come away with. The present was a cute Santa beanie that also had a little tie on, so you are able to hang this in your house or on your tree as a decoration. My son has been playing hide and seek with this every day since our visit.
As you can see from this next picture, Father Christmas also had a great sense of humour! It was brilliant that we were able to take our own pictures with the main man as some events will only allow their own photographer to take images – and then charge you for them – so we were definitely able to capture the day here!
It was lunchtime and we were all very hungry, so we headed to the café for a spot of lunch, which was very affordable and extremely tasty. In particular, my roast turkey and stuffing roll with all the trimmings (roast parsnip, pigs in blankets and cranberry) was yummy, but there was also a great selection for the children too, including a cute lunchbox selection or hot meal.
I would definitely recommend popping in the café, even if it’s just to warm up with a hot chocolate. You could also bring your own food to eat on the picnic benches near the park. My son had a great time on said park after lunchtime and we played on the swings and slide, and of course his friend, ‘Zoomy’ had to join in on the fun.
Bolsover Castle will also be hosting its first ever Carol Concert on Saturday 10th December at 6.30pm. Visitors can wrap up warm as they get into the festive spirit, listening to carols sung by the Fishpond Choir in the unique surroundings of the Riding House.
For ticket information please visit – An audience with Father Christmas
For more information, visit: www.english-heritage.org.uk/
*Please note I was sent tickets for ‘An Audience with Father Christmas’ for the purpose of this review, but all views are my own*