Santa Claus and his wife welcome children for Santa's Stories at Warwick Castle

Picture Gallery: Christmas at Warwick Castle is a winter wonderland - see the lights, Santa and the decorated castle

For those looking for a really festive, family treat this season, a trip up the road to Warwick Castle Christmas fits the bill perfectly.

Christmas at the Castle opened on Saturday with ice skating, stories with Santa, a fabulous light trail and a food village in the extraordinary historic and beautifully decorated surroundings of Warwick Castle. The event runs until January 2.

The Great Hall is at its most stunning when decorated for the festive season, complete with a 20ft tree.

There's much to enjoy - a host of seasonal entertainment, meeting cheery festive characters, browsing the Christmas market stalls and eating delicious food.

The trees twinkle and the huge castle is lit up. Ice skating is great fun, with helpful penguins and whales to help the little ones travel over the ice.

The illuminated evening light trail has new elements for 2022 and takes visitors on a festive journey through 64 acres of grounds and gardens dressed in thousands of sparkling lights.

Impressive new installations include a medieval camp serving food and drink, new light tunnels and a special tribute to Queen Elizabeth II to surprise and delight visitors as thousands of shimmering lights shine across the iconic castle grounds.

There’s a big screen showing a unique film made especially for the light trail and a special light switch has been added, so every evening the light trail can be opened by someone different, from children to NHS workers.

A castle spokesman said: “2022 updates mean visitors are now able to walk to the top of the mound and see the full spectacular view. We’ve incorporated accessible ramps within the peacock garden, so everyone is able to see the stunning lit surrounds. We’ve also added a new bridge tunnel designed with bungee rope for added fun.”

Warwick Castle recognised the incredible fundraising efforts of Eva Abley, the Britain’s Got Talent finalist from the Midlands, inviting her to officially switch on the castle’s light trail this festive season.

On selected winter dates families can book a Santa Sleepover at Warwick Castle in the Knight’s Village with festive flourishes including themed evening entertainment. The morning wake up call is the sound of sleigh bells and Santa’s cheerful elves will bring a present for little ones.

Please see www.warwick-castle.com/explore/events/christmas/ for details and prices.

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