The children sat on the floor in a circle, looking up at Santa. Each one hung onto his every word, captivated by his stories of reindeer and jingle bells. The room was decked with Christmas trees and elves stood beside him. Warwick Castle has so many tales to tell about the chequered history of Great Britain. But for today, time stood still as Father Christmas explained how he and the reindeer deliver a present to every child on Christmas Eve.
Stories with Santa at Warwick Castle
The Great Hall at Warwick Castle is decked out for Christmas with a 20 foot Christmas tree taking pride of place. Fairy lights shine from the windows and an array of presents rest under the tree. Along the wall, a queue of excited children forms. They chatter excitedly about meeting Santa himself.
Suddenly, a door opens and an elf appears. Children are led into a room where Mrs Claus sits upon a cosy sofa. The little ones sit on the floor beside her, whilst parents watch and listen. Mrs Claus chats about the magic of Christmas and reads the children a little poem she wrote herself.
Then, another elf arrives to tell everyone that Santa is ready. In the next room, he waits beside a cosy fireplace. Children settle down on cushions in front of him to hear how time stands still on Christmas eve so every child can receive a present. Before they leave, every family has the opportunity to capture a magical photo with Santa. What a wonderful memento to frame for a time when children begin to doubt.
The castle and grounds
The castle itself is open for visitors at this time of year. Looking beautiful with its festive decorations, it is a lovely place to visit. Take a walk around the turrets and take in the views. Look down to the Christmassy Great Hall, or out to the landscape beyond.
As always, the grounds are naturally beautiful. The reflections in the river are stunning, and the last of the leaves on the trees are a beautiful sight.
Winter birds of prey show
The birds of prey show is one of our favourite things about Warwick Castle. The Winter show is lovely, with an in-depth insight into the birds on display. We were delighted to see both a kite and a buzzard flying around during the show that we saw. The handler is very engaging, with lots of fascinating facts about each bird. Visitors can also see birds on display throughout the day.
The Princess Tower
The story of the Princess Tower has been varied slightly for Christmas. Whilst it’s still the old favourite tale of the riddle of Guy and Felice, it has been given a festive makeover. The riddle is based on a Christmas tree and snow falls on the photograph of the happy couple when they finally wed – just a few hundred years late. Children are as enchanted as ever by the magical story and my two loved its festive twist.
Breakfast with Santa and Santa Sleepovers
For the ultimate festive experience, visitors can book in advance to have breakfast with Santa. The dining hall of the Great Hall itself is decked out in festive finery for families to enjoy a feast with Mr and Mrs Claus. Limited numbers of tickets are available for this and you will need to book in advance.
To prolong your Warwick Castle festive experience, you can book in for a Santa sleepover. You can stay in the Knight’s Village or even the Tower Suite. Bookings include a gift for little ones, stories with Santa and a gift from the elves. For more information, head to the Warwick Castle website.
For more ideas for festive events, check out my guide to Christmas days out in the West Midlands.
Please note, we are blogger ambassadors for Warwick Castle. Therefore we accessed this event free of charge using our annual passes. All views, opinions and very lucky children are my own.