Christmas in the Yorkshire Dales

Now that Halloween is over let’s start thinking about Christmas!!! If like me you haven’t been organised and booked all your Christmas events back in the summer then this is the round up post for you. Check out below for what to do this Christmas in the Yorkshire Dales and the surrounding area this year that still have availability. Again I have excluded the large events that are already sold out like I did with the Halloween post.

Here are my recommendations for Christmas in the Yorkshire Dales and surrounding area.

Brimham Rocks Farm Christmas Experience

Last year we did the Brimham Rocks Adventure Farm Christmas Experience and it was the best one we did! Located in Nidderdale near Pateley Bridge, this experience does take a couple of hours as you are whisked off by the elves into the barn to meet Farther Christmas in his grotto before entering his Christmas village. The village is full of activities to do for the little ones helped by the busy elves. They get to decorate gingerbread in the elf kitchen, listen to a story by Mrs Clause, meet Santa’s reindeer and they also get to decorate a plant pot and plant their own Christmas tree to take home! This Christmas Experience is on weekends from the 20th November and then every day of Christmas week.

Christmas in the Yorkshire dales
Meeting Santa at Brimham Rocks Farm 2020

Keelham Farm Shop

This festive season at Keelham Farm Shop in Skipton they have got you covered! You can have breakfast with Santa (on every Sunday morning) where you get to meet the big man and get a gift. You can join Santa for afternoon tea (on every Saturday afternoon). There will also be some special visitors every weekend (Friday to Sunday from 12th November – 19th December). Santa’s reindeer will be stopping by too for some grub which you can purchase in store. The best farm shop around for miles make sure you check out the store whilst you are there.

Lotherton Christmas Experience

This year there is a whole new Christmas Experience at Lotherton Hall and it looks epic! We have been to this event twice before and it has been one of the best in terms of value so I would highly recommend. Located north of Leeds, Lotherton is easily accessible from the Yorkshire Dales and is worth travelling that bit further to.

This year immerse yourself in the new interactive woodland walk, gingerbread decorating with Mrs Claus, get crafty with the cheeky elves and of course meet Santa Clause. You can choose to do all of this or just one. Entry to this event also means you can access the grounds of Lotherton Hall where there is a brilliant playground as well as small zoo/wildlife area. The Christmas Experience opens on Saturday 27th November through to Christmas with the woodland walk on til 2nd January.

christmas at lotherton
Christmas woodland walk at Lotherton 2019

Santa’s Grotto at Ingleborough Cave

Why not visit Santa in his Grotto down a cave! At Ingleborough Caves you can enjoy the nature trail walk then head down the caves to visit Santa. Santa will be there each weekend in December as well as the 22nd and 23rd of December. Not one we have visited before so it was one of the first that I booked. A true Christmas in the Yorkshire Dales experience!

Santa Specials at Embsay & Bolton Abbey Railway

This year at Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway there are lots of different options for their Santa Specials. You can meet Santa on board the train whilst riding from Bolton Abbey as well as receiving a gift. There are breakfast, afternoon tea or picnic with Santa options as well as the chance to upgrade your cabin to first class. Tickets are still available for weekends from the end of November as well as the week leading up to Christmas Day. A fun family day out.

Bolton Abbey Father Christmas and the themed Christmas walk

Our Christmas calender wouldn’t be complete without a winter walk around Bolton Abbey. Luckily this year Santa is back after having last year off due to covid. You can meet him in the Christmas village in Strid Wood, see the elves and take part in some crafts and musical activities before going to visit Santa and receiving a gift. Santa will be there every weekend from the end of November and the week leading up to Christmas.

Seperate to the Christmas village is the Christmas trail through Strid Wood but details have not yet been confirmed for this.

christmas in the yorkshire dales
Bolton Abbey Christmas Walk 2019

Whose Panto is it Anyway? at Skipton Mart Theatre

Did you know there is a tiny theatre in the Auction Mart at Skipton? You can sit amongst the cow pens and watch a show! Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a traditional panto and the sounds of ‘it’s behind you’. I haven’t ever taken my little man to the panto though so I wonder what he will make of this one. I’ve booked here as it’s small but also a shorter duration. Whose Panto Is It Anyway retells the stories of Beauty & the Beast, The Little Mermaid and Sleeping Beauty, with Skipton facing three wicked evil-doer that use an evil enchanted box to capture the magic of True Loves Kiss and rule over Skipton forever. Who will win? Find out over the weekend of 17th-19th December.

The Great Skipton Santa Fun Run

On Sunday 28th November there are a few events going on in Skipton; the Santa Fun Run and the Christmas Light Switch On!

Every year the Skipton Rotary Club put on a Santa Fun Run around the town which is quite the sight early on a Sunday morning! Last year we joined in the fun with the virtual event and it was fab to do altogether as a family. This year we will just be watching and cheering them on. There are still places available though so join in and experience Christmas in the Yorkshire Dales, Skipton style!

Christmas in the yorkshire dales
Skipton Santa Fun Run 2020

Glow at Harlow Carr

Experience the beautiful grounds of Harlow Carr, in Harrogate in the evening following the enchanting trail of lights around and watching the light displays. Betty’s Tearoom has got to be stopped off at too for a warming hot chocolate and a treat. The Glow event is on Thursday to Saturday from 18th November to 18th December then Monday to Wednesday either side of Christmas. We were actually lucky enough to get tickets to this in the week but you do need to pre book so be quick as this will be a sell out.

Magical Santa trips on Skipton Canal

Why not try something a little different and enjoy a scenic canal barge trip with Pennine Boats on the Leeds Liverpool Canal and get to meet Santa on board. This 75 minute boat trip includes a hot drink and mince pie as well as a gift from Santa. You can book for weekends from the end of November. Tie it in with the Christmas Market in Skipton too on the 5th and 12th December.

Christmas Adventure at Thornton Hall Farm

Another spectacular event at Thornton Hall Farm. The main christmas event is jam packed and there are also variations which are SEN friendly, suitable for toddlers as well as a VIP session so everyone is covered. On the main event you get 3 hours of Christmas magic; meet Sprinkle the Elf, have hot chocolate (or mulled wine) with Mrs Claus, write your letter to Santa, watch a short Christmas movie followed by a show, meet Father Christmas himself, meet the reindeers then pick a gift. Last year we did this event which was a little different as it was a drive through experience because of covid, but it was brilliant.

christmas in the yorkshire dales - thornton farm
Meeting Santa at Thornton Hall Farm 2020

Fountains Abbey Music & Lights and Percy the Park Keeper

From 20th November you can see the National Trust property Fountains Abbey all lit up colourfully and hear music played from 2-3pm on weekends. This is included in standard entry to the grounds. It is a beautiful winter walk and definitely one that should be done! There is also Percy the Park Keeper’s Winter Wander Trail on daily from 4th December which should be fab as all the themed trails here are!

Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey

Christmas at Lightwater Valley

This festive season at Lightwater Valley there is lots going on! Including the fairground rides, a sing-along santa show, elf express christmas train, a santas sleigh, the snowflake house as well as an elf hunt. This festive fun is running throughout weekends in December plus Monday – Wednesday of Christmas week.

Christmas markets

There are some Christmas markets being held this year on weekends in December. Skipton, Grassington and Knaresborough have all confirmed that they are going ahead. The Grassington Dickensian Festival will not be on this year however. Some of the larger ones in Yorkshire have been cancelled too such as Harrogate and Leeds.

I hope you enjoy Christmas in the Yorkshire Dales this year! Let me know if there are any other events to celebrate Christmas in the Yorkshire Dales and the surrounding area.

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