Chatsworth rewinds 20 years of magical Christmas displays

Chatsworth House will be turning back time for its Christmas display this year.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 12:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 12:29 pm
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe made a magical entrance at Chatsworth in 2013 (photo: D. Vintiner).

Visitors will see nods to a variety of themes that have featured in the house over the past two decades, as they enjoy decorations designed to capture the magic of the festive season.

The Magic of Christmas looks back over the 20 years since the house first opened for the festive season in 2001, to help revive Derbyshire’s tourism industry which was badly affected by foot and mouth disease that year.

In 2001 the 11th Duke of Devonshire’s decision to launch a one-off Christmas season proved an instant hit, attracting thousands of visitors. Christmas at Chatsworth has gone on to become the biggest event in the estate’s calendar.

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Chatsworth will celebrate The Magic of Christmas in its festive display which runs from November 6, 2021 to January 9, 2022 (photo: Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth).

The return of the festive season, following the restrictions on businesses during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, has brought the story full circle. as Hopes are high for a Christmas full of reflection, reminiscence and positivity, as the country continues on a path to recovery.

Since 2001, Christmas at Chatsworth has grown in size and scale, with displays becoming more elaborate each season. With a different theme each year, Christmas at Chatsworth has become increasingly grand and more ambitious, involving dozens of specially grown Christmas trees, yards of great garlands, and copious amounts of fairy lights.

This year’s standout feature looks set to be the snow installation in the Inner Court. A newly installed lamppost will bring to mind the snowy scenes from Narnia, while other rooms on the Christmas route will evoke seasons past from the traditions of the Victorian era and the world of Charles Dickens to the imaginary worlds of Mr Toad and Alice in Wonderland.

Following its successful introduction last year, there will once again be a festive light installation in the garden to make a Christmas visit last even longer. Visitors can enjoy an illuminated walk round the garden, with atmospheric lighting bringing a festive sparkle on a route past the Emperor Fountain, Rock Garden and the Cascade surrounded by hundreds of glowing lights.

Alice's Wonderland at Christmas inspired the festive display at Chatsworth in 2014.

Tickets are now on sale with the timed slots still in place to help manage the flow of visitors at all times. This year will also see the return of the famous Chatsworth Christmas market, with more than 100 stalls offering a wide range of Christmas gifts and decorations taking place on Lodge Hill next to the house from November 6-24, 2021.

Tickets for Christmas at Chatsworth are priced at £26 for adults, £15 for children, and £70 for a family (two adults and up to three children), and include access to the house, garden and farmyard, as well as car parking and access to the Christmas market between November 6-24. Advanced booking via the Chatsworth website is required.

For anyone wishing to only visit the Christmas market, a Christmas market car park ticket must be booked in advance via the website.

This year’s Christmas event is being supported by CW Sellors, the UK's leading fine jewellery and luxury watch specialist, and Investec banking and wealth management.

Christmas at Chatsworth with Mr Toad was the theme in 2015 (photo: Broadhead).

For further information and advance booking, visit

O Dickens It's Christmas was the theme in 2017 (photo:
The sculpture gallery at Chatsworth made a spectacular setting for A Russian Christmas in 2010.