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Nottinghamshire Lights & Castles at Christmas

Nottinghamshire Lights & Castles at Christmas

A festive feel as we visit two Castles & a Stately Home decked out for Christmas & York's St Nicholas Fayre


A festive feel as we visit two Castles & a Stately Home decked out for Christmas & York's St Nicholas Fayre

Newark on Trent

Situated on the banks of the River Trent, Newark is a picturesque town steeped in history. The ruins of Newark Castle have had a huge influence on the unique character of the town. Though the current remains were built in the early 12th century, there has been a castle on the site since 1068. Left in ruins by a turbulent history,  the grounds were landscaped in 1887.

Newark’s market place is overlooked by the Georgian Town Hall. The town has become famous for its six annual antiques fairs, held at Newark County Showground, and thousands of antique hunters from across the world descend on the fair’s 4,000 stalls in search of a bargain.

Other attractions near the town include the  Newark Air Museum  – home to 65 aircraft and cockpit sections. It's also home to the National Civil War Centre.

Nottingham Castle

Nottingham Castle is a once-fortified castle built by William the Conquerer in 1068, later replaced by a Stuart Restoration era ducal palace. The Castle's original Norman construction was begun in 1068 and added to extensively through the Medieval period. In the Middle Ages, it was an important royal fortress and occasional royal residence. In decline by the 16th century, the original Castle was largely demolished in 1651, after the English Civil War, aside from its walls and gates. The site occupies a commanding position on a natural promontory known as "Castle Rock", with cliffs 130 feet (40 m) high to the south and west which dominates the city skyline.

The ducal palace was torched by rioters in 1831 and left as a ruin for over 40 years. It was renovated in the 1870s to house an art gallery and museum, which remains in use. Little of the original castle survives other than the gatehouse and parts of the ramparts, but sufficient portions remain to give an impression of the layout of the site.


Belvoir Castle

Belvoir Castle is celebrating Christmas in the very finest of styles this year. This historic gem will be filled with exquisite and sumptuous Regency-styled decorations, ensuring every state room including the Guard Room, Ballroom, State Dining Room and King’s Rooms is adorned with colour and rich in décor. Come, see and experience for yourself the wonders of Christmas past as you walk through these themed rooms. The Engine Yard, Belvoir Castle's unique shopping village, restored from old estate buildings, is now a centre of excellence for local food, drink and artisan shopping.

Christmas at Belton promises to be even more magical this year, with a new after-dark illuminated trail transforming the gardens with over a million twinkling lights and seasonal sounds.

Belton House

Christmas at Belton promises to be even more magical this year, with a new after-dark illuminated trail transforming the gardens with over a million twinkling lights and seasonal sounds. Wander beneath glistening trees drenched in colour and discover even more spectacular illuminations and sparkling tunnels of light. 

For a moment of reflection pause at mesmerising flickering flames in the fire garden and don’t forget to keep an eye out for Father Christmas along the way.

Independent street food vendors will be offering a range of delicious and tempting treats. Complete your walk under the stars with a perfectly festive spiced winter warmer, hot chocolate or toasted marshmallows.


St Nicholas Fayre

St Nicholas Fayre is one of the most popular Christmas markets in the UK, with thousands of visitors coming to York over the four-day event.

The Fayre offers a range of markets specialising in gifts, crafts, and the very best in local farm produce. Outside markets move into Parliament Street, St Sampsons Square and Coppergate while York's grand medieval Guild Hall provides a home for 'Made In Yorkshire' artists and crafters from across the region. The magnificent medieval townhouse, Barley Hall, presents a special medieval market with live crafting, mulled wine and costumed traders and St William's College houses an arts and crafts market for fine hand-made items not to be found in the shops. Carol singers and buskers flock to the city to perform over the weekend to thousands of festive shoppers.

Day 1

Morning departure from Penrith as we head to Richmond for coffee and then continue south to Harrogate, time at leisure for lunch before we complete our journey to Leicester and the Hilton Hotel. Dinner in the hotel.


Day 2

After breakfast we have a morning visit to the market town of NewarkonTrent. The ruins of the 12th century castle are a landmark, and the market place is surrounded by historic buildings including the Georgian Town Hall built in 1776, now housing the town museum. In the afternoon we have an included visit to Nottingham Castle complete with a festive afternoon tea. Dinner on our return to Leicester and the Hilton Hotel.

B, D

Day 3

A leisurely morning before a 3 course lunch is served in the hotel, our first visit of the afternoon is to Belvoir Castle decked out with beautiful Regency styled decorations, take time to visit the engine yard shopping village for a range of unique Christmas gifts. On our final visit of the day it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas when over a million twinkling lights and seasonal sounds fill the air with festive fun in the gardens at the National Trust’s Belton House.

B, D

Day 4

Following breakfast in the hotel we head to York, voted as the most festive city in the UK and the St Nicholas Fair is at the very heart of Christmas activities. Festive chalets stand down Parliament Street, one of the busiest streets in the centre of York and home to some of its biggest high street retailers, the fair also stretches across the city to St Sampson’s Square home to world class street food. Local flavour fills York’s Shambles Market and Food Court located beside York’s famous Shambles voted the most picturesque street in Britain. We leave York late afternoon for the return journey home to Cumbria.

B, D

B=Breakfast Included, D=Dinner Included

Hilton Hotel Leicester

Room facilities include a 25-inch plasma TV with on-demand movies, tea and coffee making facilities, en-suite bathroom with bath or shower & toiletries, hairdryer, telephone and some rooms also have garden views. Lift.

Flavours Restaurant serves traditional cuisine and international dishes, while Piacetto offers light meals and drinks. The Court Bar overlooks the garden patio.

The LivingWell Health Club has a sauna, hot tub, steam room and sun bed. 



Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Appleby The Sands Appleby
Aspatria Car Park beside Spar Aspatria
Brough Monument Bus Shelter Brough
Carlisle Entrance to Sands Centre Car Park Carlisle
Cockermouth Monument Main Street Cockermouth
Dearham Commercial Corner Dearham
Distington Outside Prospect Works Distington
Egremont Conservative Club Egremont
Flimby Railway Station Flimby
Harrington Galloping Horse bus stop Harrington
High Hesket Palmerstons Furniture Store
Keswick Bell Close Car Park Keswick
Kirkby Stephen Market Square Kirkby Stephen
Maryport Outside Coop Maryport
Penrith Sandgate Bus Station Penrith
Thursby Bus Stop Thursby
Waverton Bus Stop Waverton
Whitehaven Bus Stop Tangier Street Whitehaven
Wigton Old Bus Station Wigton
Workington Lay By opposite Pizza House Jane St. Workington
From Price Call Back Telephone Favourites

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