Castle Drogo will be open for Christmas for the first time since a major conservation project began seven years ago to make the building watertight.
Although the building work now has the end in sight, there is still much work to be done to restore the castle’s grounds and interiors back into the Drewe’s family home, which is likely to continue into 2020. However, the building is now watertight, meaning that Christmas can return to the castle once again.
From Saturday 30 November until Monday 23 December, Castle Drogo will be open and decorated for Christmas, inspired by what the Drewes would have experienced when they moved into the castle in 1926.
In the Entrance Hall, visitors will be greeted by a 12ft tree almost reaching the top of the impressive Lutyens-designed ceilings as they enter the castle. In the Dining Room you can see the table laid for Christmas dinner with a menu describing what the Drewe family might have eaten, as well as garlands and Christmas trees adorning rooms around the castle with presents underneath trees.
The castle will also be host to local choirs, musicians and quartets on selected days bringing an extra Christmas feeling to the castle as the music transcends through the rooms.
The café in the Visitor Centre will be providing lots of festive treats including flavoured coffees, turkey and cranberry paninis and mincemeat Bakewells. The shop is the great place to take advantage of shopping away from the crowds with gift ideas of scarfs, gardening items and festive food such as St Clements lemon curd and Boxing Day chutney.
Rebecca Glover, Visitor Experience Manager said, ‘It’s so exciting to see Christmas in the castle again after 7 years of conservation work. It would have been the perfect place to celebrate Christmas with extended family with a great big Christmas tree in the Entrance Hall, and those festive smells of cinnamon and orange from traditional decorations.’
Father Christmas will also be visiting on the 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22 December from 11.10am-3.20pm in the Library of the castle. Children can follow the trail through the garden to end up in the Library, be read a story and then Father Christmas will appear to hand out presents (includes a non-wrapped gift). £5 per child, booking essential via the Castle Drogo website.
On Sunday 15 December families can also join the Wild Tribe in the activity hut for children aged between 5-12 years old to make wooden reindeers and Christmas bush craft decorations. (No booking required, drop in anytime between 11am-3pm, free event but non-National Trust members need to pay admission).
Between Christmas and New Year the visitor centre will be open and it the perfect place to start a walk to stretch your legs after the festive period. Why not warm up afterwards in the café with a bowl of soup?
For more information and to book to see Father Christmas, visit the website athttps://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/castle-drogo/features/christmas-at-castle-drogo