Harewood House to open for Christmas for the first time in five years

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Autumn usually heralds the closure of one of Yorkshire's finest country houses to the public.

Yet this year, Harewood House near Leeds will remain open to visitors during part of the winter for a special Christmas season.

It is the first time the estate, which is still owned by the Lascelles family, has opened during the festive season since 2012.

Harewood is a major location for the filming of ITV period drama Victoria, and the series' set designer Michael Howells has been hired to dress the state rooms and kitchens in traditional Victorian style.

The 19th-century decor will evoke Christmas celebrations during the house's heyday, and visitors can discover Victorian customs such as lavish dinners, present giving and carols around the tree.

Ilkley Toy Museum has donated items such as board games, dolls' houses and tin soldiers from the era to add to the displays.

The kitchens will be themed to reflect the work of the estate servants over the festive holiday, with the chance to find out more about Victorian menus.

The gardens, which usually remain closed during the winter, will also be open this year.

Revised opening times of 10am-6pm for the house and 10am-3.30pm for the grounds will be in place.

Christmas at Harewood runs from November 24 until December 31. The estate will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

There are also a number of pre-bookable special events, including Fireside Father Christmas, twilight tours, a Christmas wreath making workshop, floristry sessions and group visits.

The summer visitor season at Harewood ends on October 29.