Historic Houses This Christmas

3rd November 2023

The season of joy at Historic Houses
Leeds city centre is surrounded by beautiful historic houses, country estates and grand parks bursting with wildlife and natural beauty. Leeds is the merriest destination to visit this year, and the ideal place to brace the crisp Winter air for a festive day out.
With Christmas fast approaching, it’s the perfect opportunity to explore one of our captivating historic houses, or take a stroll through one of our charming country estates or parks. These locations come alive during the festive season. From Christmas light trails to Santa visits and much more, we’ve put together a roundup of the best activities you can delve into. 


Christmas at Harewood - Tom Arber

(Christmas at Harewood – Tom Arber)

8 November 2023 – 7 January 2024
The stunning Harewood House at Christmas is a sight to behold, and well worth a visit this festive season. The historic Georgian property is one of the Treasure Houses of England, and is brimming with a variety of art, culture and heritage. For Harewood’s Festive Season 2023, there’s so much for you to discover. The main event this year, Harewood’s Great Time Travelling Christmas, is an immersive, fun and slightly wild festive experience for all the family! See Harewood House’s State Floor like you’ve never seen it before as you take a journey through time; evoking the nostalgia of Christmas past, celebrating Christmas pop culture and imagining Christmas in the future. For the grown ups, you can enjoy a festive afternoon tea at the on-site Billiard Room, and the little ones can visit Father Christmas every Saturday and Sunday from 25th November-24th December. There are also a variety of art and craft workshops taking place, including winter wreath making, reindeer willow weaving and designing origami festive decorations, so there really is something for everyone at Harewood!  


Lotherton Christmas - Tom Martin for Visit Leeds

(Lotherton – Tom Martin for Visit Leeds)

25 November 2023 – 7 January 2024
A stunning Edwardian estate with an on-site zoo, Lotherton is a popular year-round destination, and is even more special at Christmas. This year sees the return of The Christmas Experience, a magical journey through the enchanting world of Christmas for all the family. Visit Santa in the North Pole, decorate gingerbread with Mrs Claus in the Elf Village, or help the little ones decorate Christmas ceramics in the ‘North Pole’. You can explore the Christmas Traditions Woodland Walk and Fairy Dell, then warm up with a hot chocolate or mulled wine. If you’re visiting on a weekend, don’t forget to have a browse of the fantastic Christmas stalls! If you’re looking for a truly immersive festive experience, look no further than Lotherton. 

Santa at The Mansion, Roundhay Park (c) Dine

(Santa at The Mansion, Roundhay Park (c) Dine)

25 November – 23 December 2023
Roundhay Park is one of the biggest parks in Europe, with over 700 acres of parkland, lakes, woodland and gardens to enjoy. This Christmas, enjoy a festive walk through the grounds followed by the Santa Claus Christmas Experience at The Mansion! Santa and his team will be arriving in Roundhay Park, bringing along all of their post bags and plenty of holiday cheer and you can also see his famous ‘Beatbox Wrap’. Alternatively, you can also enjoy a festive afternoon tea at The Mansion. If you’re looking to instantly get in the Christmas mood while enjoying a brisk walk with your friends and family, this one’s for you. 


Yorkshire Winter Illuminations (c) Stockeld Park

(Yorkshire Winter Illuminations (c) Stockeld Park)

18 November 2023 – 8 January 2024
If you’re looking for Christmas fun for the whole family, Stockeld Park near Wetherby will have you spoilt for choice! See their award -winning Enchanted Forest come to life with their Yorkshire Winter Illuminations, hailed as the most magical light show in Yorkshire. Or, take the little ones to discover Stockeld’s Snowflake Maze, filled with surprises at every turn. You can also take part in other child-friendly activities including visiting Santa’s Grotto on various dates throughout November and December, go ice skating, or watch Grinchilocks & The Three Elves. You can even go home with one of the park’s lovely, homegrown Christmas trees at the end of your visit.  


Temple Newsam, Christmas 2019. Photography by Joanne Crawford

(Temple Newsam – Joanne Crawford)


2 – 23 December 2023
Celebrate Christmas at Temple Newsam, the historic house on the magnificent Tudor-Jacobean estate of Temple Newsam, located in the heart of Leeds. Explore the beautifully decorated house and get into the festive spirit with themed crafts and activities. You can visit Father Christmas and receive a gift, and this year sees a new, relaxed option for baby’s first Christmas. New for 2023 is Festive Storytime with Mrs Claus, where the little ones can enjoy an interactive experience helping Mrs Claus get ready for Christmas at Temple Newsam and get a gift to take home!

For even more festive fun, why not visit Leeds to discover
unforgettable Christmas moments all over the city. From city centre experiences to enchanting shows, shopping to festive food and drink, make it a December to remember in Leeds this Christmas.
Leeds is the merriest place to be this festive season. Discover more with our Ultimate Guide to Christmas!

*This blog was originally published in November 2021 and has been updated for 2023 with new content