Christmas at Chatsworth promises to be a magical affair – after the stately home was transformed into an enchanted wonderland for the festive season.
Visitors to the popular Derbyshire tourist attraction will be are be taken on a wonderful journey into the curious world of Alice in Wonderland.
Each year the lower floors of the house are trimmed-up with festive-themed decor.
This year, children and adults will head down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass as the Christmas theme takes inspiration from the vivid and fantastical world created by author Lewis Carroll.
Preparations for the festive fun started almost a year ago, with the staff at Chatsworth creating most of the impressive displays and costumes in-house.
Head housekeeper Christine Robinson said: “Teams from the textiles department, carpenters, painters and housekeepers have been working all year to create the individual displays to bring the theme to life.
“This year, we have a giant rabbit’s burrow for the White Rabbit, costumes for visitors to try on and a magical hall of mirrors as visitors journey with Alice through her dream of a Chatsworth wonderland.”
The house interiors have been transformed to recreate classic scenes from the popular story.
Families arrive at the North Entrance Hall which is dressed to create the illusion of tumbling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland, where visitors will encounter the Mad Hatter’s tea party, the game of croquet and the table with the infamous ‘Drink Me’ bottle and ‘Eat Me’ cake.
Playing card soldiers, white rabbits and Tweedledum and Tweedledee costumed guides will direct visitors through to majestic woodland scene, meeting peculiar creatures along the way, including the giant caterpillar.
A highlight of the tour is The Painted Hall – the setting for the extravagant Mad Hatter’s tea party where the huge dining room table is adorned with dozens of tea cups, saucers, cake stands and even an over-sized steaming teapot.
This year’s theme also spreads to the farmyard and adventure playground, with Alice in Wonderland themed craft activities for little ones in the Christmas marquee.
Chatsworth is extending its Christmas opening period this year and re-opening the house, garden and farmyard after Christmas for visitors to enjoy over the remaining school holiday period. The house will be closed on December 24, 25 and 26, and will re-open between December 27 and 31 December, and from January 2 to 4, 2015.