Christmas in Warwickshire
By Ann Evans
As we’re now in Advent, we can seriously start to think about the joy of Christmas. And Warwickshire has lots of festive events planned, here’s brief a round-up of seasonal activities.
Hatton Shopping Village is a delightful quintessential English shopping village. It is part of Hatton Country World, and they are keeping their doors open late for shoppers on 2nd, 9th and 16th December until 8:30pm. Shoppers can enjoy special discounts in selected shops from 5pm, and there will also be an appearance of Father Christmas and his sleigh. These evenings will be made even more festive with a pig roast, festive music, mulled punch, mince pies, carol singing and real live reindeer.
Hatton’s popular Christmas markets are now underway, taking place every weekend from now until 18th December and every Friday from 2nd to 16th December plus 19th to 22nd December. It promises to be the place to shop for a whole host of unique gift ideas.
Carron Smith, Marketing Manager at Hatton said “Christmas shopping at Hatton is how it should be with a relaxed atmosphere and traditional festive treats. Visitors can spend the entire day at Hatton with shopping in the morning, a pub lunch at Hatton Arms followed by a country walk along the
locks and then a festive afternoon tea at the Spinning Jenny Restaurant”.
And for those who love this fresh winter weather, there are three walking routes across the Hatton Estate that link Hatton Country World with Hatton Locks. The walk features 21 locks and is known as the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ – to The Hatton Arms Pub & Restaurant. The walks take in towpaths and footpaths and range from 1.5 miles to 5.5 miles through fields with views over Warwick.
For more details or to download a map of the walks, visit: www.hattonworld.com
Ragley Hall is a stunning place to visit at any time of year, but at Christmas it is even more spectacular. Not to be missed are their candlelit walks, where visitors are greeted with mulled wine and mince pies before they are taken on a fascinating guided tour of the staterooms including the Great Hall, Red Saloon, State Dining Room, Prince Regent’s Bedroom, Mauve Room, Breakfast Room, Green Drawing Room and the South Staircase Hall with its amazing mural, The Temptation.
There’s also a variety of festive hands-on activities going on at Ragley leading up to Christmas. Head gardener, Mark Morell will be teaching people how to make Christmas table decorations on Monday 5th December, followed by lunch. Also learn how to make Festive chutney with Head Chef, Rachel Tudor followed by lunch on 7th December. Checkout their website for details, prices and to book for events. There’s an opportunity also to dine at Ragley hall on certain evenings.
Hilary Philpott, House Manager at Ragley Hall said, “Christmas is a magical time and what better way to get into the festive spirit than by joining in with our festive master classes and candlelit walks. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for visitors to see how stunning Ragley Hall looks decorated for Christmas.” Full details: www.ragley.co.uk
While at the British Motor Museum there’s lots of family friendly activities going on during the Christmas season. The Christmas Trail runs from 9th to 23rd December. Younger visitors can help Martin the Mechanic get Santa back on the road to deliver his presents. Santa’s sleigh is broken and the reindeer have escaped, so young visitors need to find the things needed to fix the sleigh and round up the reindeer in the Museum to earn a reward for helping Santa!
A Christmas Crafts weekend takes place on 10th and 11th December. Visitors can decorate car-shaped salt dough decorations to take home and hang on their tree or make their own car-shaped Christmas cards.
There’s also a lively Christmas lecture, ideal for families, which will take place on 3rd December. It’s hosted by Steve Liddle, Principal Aerodynamicist at Renault Sport Racing. The morning will see Steve talking about how an interest in science led to a fascinating career which started in aerospace and has since reached Formula One! In the afternoon, visitors can explore the science of aerodynamics in a fun and interactive workshop. Reserve your place online. All activities are included in the standard admission price. Details: https://www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk/