IT’S BEGINNING to look a lot like Christmas at Warwick Castle.
Everywhere you look there’s twinkling lights, ornate trees and friendly elves.
And of course Father Christmas and Mrs Claus have flown in ready to regale the children, and grown ups, with tales from Santa’s Book of Stories.
The ice-rink, for those over three, is open in the day and the evening and there are aids to help little ones on their way round along with ice stewards to give a helping hand for those not so little ones.
The smell of mulled wine, toasted marshmallows and hots dogs fills the air around the ice rink as stalls have set up home just over the way.
The Castle is open as usual and the Great Hall is bedecked with a 20-foot Christmas tree and presents piled under it and the state rooms are all prepared to welcome guests for Christmas.
For us Stories with Santa was the highlight of the evening.
Before going to meet the man himself the children are tasked to help the elves fix Santa’s sleigh after all the bells have fallen off and all over the floor.
There were plenty of bells for all the children to have one each – so for those little ones who aren’t so confident or those who are just getting used to joining in with the bigger children there’s no need to worry about being left out.
We were then taken down the hallway to meet Father Christmas and Mrs Claus.
And it was there the most amazing thing happened – three children under four, who had been talking, singing, dancing and squealing with excitement for hours on end – fell silent.
They were gripped by the tale Father Christmas told about the latest residents at the workshop, some dragons, who now help keep everyone toasty warm.
Back outside the Lights Trail illuminates the castle grounds and peacock gardens.
This year it’s based on a story written for the Castle by Warwickshire author Samuel Langley Swain The Greedy Prince and The Greatest Gift which takes families through a festive journey and discover kindness, compassion and the very first Christmas tree along the way.
This year also sees a brand-new laser and light show showcased on the South Front of the Castle as well as a fully controllable light maypole tree with more than 1,800 lights.
So if you’ve found yourself feeling a little Grinch-like among the gift-hunting, crowd-filled streets and having to deal with cheeky little elves invading the house head on over to Warwick Castle which is filled with Christmas magic.