A wonder-ful time is in store

Chatsworth Alice themed Christmas.  Alice, Ellie Cooper, from the house team and Mad Hatter, Tim Greaves from the visitor welcome team at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party.

Chatsworth Alice themed Christmas. Alice, Ellie Cooper, from the house team and Mad Hatter, Tim Greaves from the visitor welcome team at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party.

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Visitors to Chatsworth this Christmas should prepare to head down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass as this year’s Christmas theme takes inspiration from the vivid and fantastical world created by author Lewis Carroll in his classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

The Alice-themed world is available for you to enjoy until January 4.

Chatsworth is extending its Christmas opening period 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 re-open on December 27 until December 31, and from January 2-4.

Chatsworth will be expecting grins as wide as a Cheshire Cat as visitors are taken on a magical journey through the lower floors of the house. The interiors are transformed to recreate classic scenes from the enduringly popular story of a girl named Alice, who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar creatures such as the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, a sleepy Dormouse and the Queen of Hearts.

On arrival, the North Entrance Hall will be 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 be on hand to direct visitors through to majestic woodland scene. There, a giant Caterpillar will be smoking his pipe on top of an oversized mushroom as psychedelic sitar music plays.

Classic lines from the book are on show en route while sounds include the White Rabbit muttering ‘I’m late, I’m late’ or Alice crying out ‘Curiouser and Curiouser’ add to the feeling of entering the disorientating story.

Always popular with children - and grown-ups too - is the opportunity to get into character themselves by dressing up in some of the Alice in Wonderland themed costumes, made by the Chatsworth Textiles team, in the Inner Court Marquee.

The Painted Hall is the perfect setting for the extravagant Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. The huge dining room table will be adorned with dozens of tea cups, saucers, cake stands, and even an over-sized steaming teapot.

The displays will also feature traditional Christmas elements, with numerous fir trees and Christmas garlands adorned with baubles and fairy lights.

This year’s theme extends to farmyard and adventure playground with Alice in Wonderland themed craft activities. Other Christmas at Chatsworth events to look out for include Wreath Making on December 3-4.

For information on opening times, advance tickets, prices and other events, please visit www.chatsworth.org