Willow pattern to hall’s festive offerings

VISITORS to a historic hall near York will be able to try their hand at making their own Christmas decorations – out of willow.

Willow weaver Leilah Vyner, of Church Fenton-based Dragon Willow, is leading workshops at Beningbrough Hall today, next Thursday and Friday.

People taking part can make and decorate their own rustic wreath or an array of willow ornaments, using Beningbrough greenery.

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The hall opens to the public on weekends throughout the Christmas period, including Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Bookings are available for story-telling sessions with Santa.

Event manager Jo Parker said: “Winter is such a special time to fully appreciate the shapes of the trees and spot the garden visitors – including my favourites, the robins.”

Meanwhile, Chatsworth House is transporting visitors to the magical land of Narnia after the Grade I listed property underwent a spectacular transformation, bringing C S Lewis’s classic tale of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to life until December 23.

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The lower floors have been decorated with trees, snow and sleighs to recreate the wintry wonderland discovered by Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy as they burst through the wardrobe for the first time.

A spokesman said: “Visitors will be taken on a magical journey as they experience London in wartime in the North Entrance Hall before walking through wardrobe doors surrounded by furs to enter the Narnian forest under the icy grip of the White Witch.”

At Castle Howard the historic house has been adorned with thousands of baubles, garlands, candles and wreaths as visitors are welcomed for the festive season.

The North Yorkshire stately home will be open until Sunday, December 22.

Visitors will also be treated to live music performed under the Christmas tree or by the stately home’s roaring log fire.