THE PORTCULLIS gate at Warwick Castle has been raised to let the festive spirit in – and it’s staying open until early in the new year.
The castle and its grounds have been given a makeover for the season.
With an ice rink, a lights trail, beautifully decorated Christmas trees and of course Father Christmas reading stories there’s plenty to bring a smile to the face of even the most Grinch-like person.
It even stunned my toddler, who forgot to ask “why?” 50 times for every single thing we did.
The ice-rink, for those over three, is open in the day and the evening and there are aids to help little ones on their way round along with ice stewards to give a helping hand for those not so little ones.
Beside the rink are some stalls selling hot dogs, toasted marshmallows and mulled wine.
The Castle is open as usual and the Great Hall is bedecked with a 20-foot Christmas tree and presents piled under it.
Even Father Christmas has parked his sleigh in one of the rooms.
For us Stories With Santa was a magical moment.
Before going to meet Father Christmas and Mrs Claus the children are tasked to help the elves sort some presents and fix the magic compass.
This is great for children with bags of confidence to do on their own, but for those who aren’t grown ups will need to give a helping hand.
After spending all day getting over-excitable about meeting the man himself, the moment had finally arrived – we were taken down the hallway where Father Christmas and Mrs Claus were waiting to greet us.
My little one was silent and listening as Father Christmas reminisced about how the reindeer saved him after he fell out of the sleigh one year and Mrs Claus read a letter which had been posted to them.
At the end there’s a chance for children to have a photograph with Father Christmas – but if like mine they choose that moment to turn shy, Father Christmas and Mrs Claus are more than happy to take a moment and say hello.
Back outside the Lights Trail illuminates the grounds and peacock gardens and brought some festive cheer to the rather rainy walk.
Along with the obvious festive trees and reindeer installations there was a piece dedicated to The Queen and her 2020 Christmas speech.
So if you’re looking to find a final sprinkle of Christmas magic, head over to Warwick Castle.
Christmas at the Castle runs until January 2. Visit www.warwick-castle.com for tickets.