Christmas in Shakespeare’s England

Christmas is a special time to visit Shakespeare’s England as Warwickshire transforms into a winter wonderland with a whole host of festive events and activities to enjoy!

Our historic towns of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick, Kenilworth and Royal Leamington Spa will be sparkling with Christmas magic. Shop till you drop, indulge in delicious festive food and drink, make special Christmas memories with the kids, and get together for festive fun with friends and family.

Use our guide to help you plan the perfect Christmas in Shakespeare’s England!

Christmas Shopping in Shakespeare’s England

Add even more sparkle to your Christmas shopping at one of the many festive markets taking place across Shakespeare’s England.

Stratford-upon-Avon will switch on their Christmas lights on Saturday 19th November with a full day of festive fun across the town centre from 10am-7pm. And from 8th – 11th December you can stroll and shop at the Stratford-upon-Avon Victorian Christmas Market.

The annual Warwick Victorian Evening on Thursday 24th November is an event not to be missed. See the town Christmas lights turned on, capture a visit from Santa, and visit the Christmas market to find the perfect gifts from the carefully selected local, British and artisan traders.

Royal Leamington Spa switched their lights on at the beginning of November, but on Sunday 20th November the annual Christmas market will return to The Parade from 10am-5pm with a whole host of stalls, and a cheeky Christmas Elf Takeover. Click here for more information.

Kenilworth enjoys not one, but two Christmas lights switch on events!  On Friday 25th November from 6-8pm, the Old Town will see a traditional lights switch on with entertainment, food and drink from local businesses on the High Street in Kenilworth.  And on Sunday 27th November, join the festive fun on Warwick Road between 12pm – 8pm with market stalls, funfair rides and entertainment. (Lights are switched on at 6pm).

Festive Family Events in Shakespeare’s England

Christmas at Warwick Castle

Complete your Christmas wish list in one truly magical destination with a festive visit to Warwick Castle. Visit during daytime and discover twinkling trees, dazzling decorations, and festive flourishes at every turn. Make memories with Santa and Mrs. Claus as you listen to a special story of Christmas hope and joy. Glide upon an magnificent open-air ice rink, and as darkness falls, follow the magical illuminated light trail around the castle’s historic grounds. Book your visit early to avoid disappointment! 

Click here for more information.

Meet Santa at Kenilworth Castle

Book an audience with Santa when he pays a visit to Kenilworth Castle on special dates throughout November and December. Bring the children’s imaginations alive as they listen to his festive tales amidst the enchanting castle decorations.

Click here to book your visit in advance.

Candlelit Tours of Shakespeare’s Birthplace

Experience Christmas through the eyes of William Shakespeare himself on an after-dark tour of Shakespeare’s Birthplace, which will include costumed guides sharing stories of festive traditions of the 16th century and an insight into how one of the world’s greatest playwrights lived in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Click here for more information

Luminate Coombe

As darkness descends during the festive season, join an enchanting journey, weaving a captivating light trail through the stunning, historic grounds of Coombe Abbey Park. Immerse yourself in the mesmerising mile long trail, with stunning lighting elements and fabulous light play, all set to ambient music. Tickets must be pre-booked online in advance.

Click here for more information.


Do you believe? Join THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride with Vintage Trains and relive the magic of the 2004 motion picture being theatrically re-created and be immersed in the sights, sounds and intrigue of this classic children’s tale.  See the dancing chefs, meet the conductor and Santa and receive a ‘silver bell. Prepare to be surrounded by the magic and wonder of the Christmas season!

Click here for information and how to book.

Christmas at Fairytale Farm

At Fairytale Farm from 3rd – 24th December you will enter a beautiful Fairytale Castle and start your journey from the South Pole to the North Pole in their magical and immersive event that includes dancing penguins, and a walk through the Secret Forest to meet Santa himself!

Click here for more information

Santa at Shakespeare’s Schoolroom

Santa will be making his way down the chimney at Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall in Stratford-upon-Avon to greet families for a special Christmas experience on dates throughout December. There’s also a festive quiz, story-telling, puzzles, music, Christmas crafts and games combine to make this an unforgettable excursion for all the family.

Click here for more information

Festive fun at Compton Verney

Historic Manor and art gallery, Compton Verney has a host of festive events lined up for the family to enjoy throughout December. From 1st – 24th December you can take part in the festive reindeer trail within the stunning landscape, and on selected dates between Friday 9 December to Friday 23 December there is a chance to meet Santa in his magical Grotto!

Click here for more information on the Reindeer Trail.
Click here for more information on Santa’s Grotto.

Christmas trail and lunches at National Trust Charlecote Park

At Charlecote Park, a deep freeze is being felt this winter and your help is needed! Take on the Festive Curse Breakers Trail to help crack the code and break the freezing curse that’s fallen over the parkland and buildings this Christmas. You can also warm up after your adventures with a delicious festive lunch in the Orangery Restaurant (lunch must be booked in advance, find information here.

Click here for more information.

Christmas Day Walk in Stratford-upon-Avon

The best way to work up an appetite for your Christmas Day lunch is to join Stratford Town Walk on their special Christmas Day Walk! Walk in the footsteps of William Shakespeare on this multi award-winning 2 hour guided walking tour of Stratford-upon-Avon. Booking ahead is essential.

Click here for more information.

Catch a panto at the Belgrade Theatre

Child cast performing a pantomime

This year’s legendary Belgrade Theatre pantomime is the enchanting tale of Jack and the Beanstalk – and it’s their fastest selling panto ever!

In this good old fashioned panto you will head to the village of Prickly Bottom where the evil giant Blunderbore is causing havoc! What the village needs is a hero brave enough to climb up to the giant’s castle and send him packing. Will Jack and his mysterious beanstalk prove to be the heroes we are looking for? There’s only one way to find out!

Make sure you book your tickets early to guarantee the best seats at the best price on your preferred date, because they are getting snapped up quickly!

Click here for more information.

Festive Food and Drink in Shakespeare’s England


‘Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry and there are plenty of places to indulge in wonderful festive food and drink in Shakespeare’s England this Christmas. Below is just a small taste of what you can enjoy…

Festive Lunch and Show at Studley Castle

Celebrate the festive season with a special treat at Studley Castle. Enjoy a sumptuous 3-course festive lunch served with Tea & Coffee followed by a Christmas Show in the Castle’s luxurious Evesham Restaurant. Available on selected dates at £35.00 person

Click here for more information.

Festive Afternoon Tea at The Telegraph Hotel

Book a festive sparkling afternoon tea at the Telegraph Hotel between 29th November and 21st December within their stylish and relaxed Forme & Chase restaurant. From £23.50 per head.

Click here for more information.

Festive Lunch with Santa at Billesley Manor

Book a Festive Lunch with Santa on Sunday 18th December at Billesley Manor. Lunch will be served in the stylish wood panelled surroundings of the Stuart Rooms restaurant, and tickets include a gift for your  child.

You might also like to take a festive afternoon tea with friends at Billesley Manor, available throughout December from £25 per person.

Click here for more information on lunch with Santa.

Christmas Breaks in Shakespeare’s England

Book a magical break in wintery Warwickshire to experience the festive season at one of our wonderful hotels.

Pre-Christmas Escapes

Enjoy a pre-Christmas stay in Stratford-upon-Avon at the stylish Arden Hotel. After a day of Christmas shopping, check in to your room before you relax in the No.44 Brasserie for a delicious dinner, and afterwards maybe take in the beautiful view over the River Avon on the all-weather terrace with a glass of mulled wine and delicious iced ginger cake under the patio heater. Perfection!

Pre-Christmas package is available from £279.00 per room per night.

Click here for more information.

If you prefer the tranquillity of a rural hotel, then you might prefer a pre-Christmas escape at Mallory Court Hotel and Spa near Royal Leamington Spa. Relax in one of the hotel’s cosy lounges next to the fire with a delicious festive cream tea, and after a busy day of Christmas shopping, experience culinary excellence in The Dining Room within the Manor House for a Taste of the Season dinner.

Pre-Christmas package is available from £249.00 per room per night.

Click here for more information.

With a wide choice of accommodation from peaceful country retreats and boutique town centre bolt-holes to cosy bed and breakfasts, and self-catering stays – there is something to suit all tastes and budgets. Find a place to stay in Shakespeare’s England here.

Visit our Offers page for a choice of accommodation and dining offers in Shakespeare’s England.

Keep an eye on our Events Calendar for a full calendar of festive events and activities. taking place in Shakespeare’s England this Christmas.

We hope you have a wonderful Christmas time in Shakespeare’s England and don’t forget to share your festive adventures with us on social media – #MyShakespearesEngland.

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