IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS…

It’s been on the radar since October, what with various department shops breaking out their baubles BEFORE Halloween, but now that Christmas is truly upon us, it’s time to get stuck into 2019’s holiday highlights.

Market leader
St Nicholas Christmas Fair York; until 22 Dec
Named the UK’S most festive city in 2017, York is Crimbo central with fairy lights festooning the trees and wafts of cinnamon scenting the air. The festive theme ramps up in Parliament Street, home to St Nicholas’s Fair, where more than a hundred cute wooden cabins bristling with olde-worlde wares ­– handmade soap, knitted socks, wooden tree decorations – line the pavement. visityork.org

Present perfect
Country Living Christmas Fair Harrogate Convention Centre, Harrogate; 5-8 Dec
Where better to getting cracking on your gift list than at the Country Living Fair? No need to don your thermals for this one as it takes place in the airy interior of Harrogate Convention Centre. Do wear your comfiest shoes, though, as this event is hardcore, with present fodder so varied (cushions, kitchen kit, pictures, jumpers, jewellery, jeroboams), you’ll spend hours traversing the aisles. countrylivingfair.com

Gorgeous Garlands
Christmas Wreath Making Workshop Fig House, Middleton Lodge, Bedale; 2 Dec
Craft your own seasonal roundels this Christmas under the expert guidance of Felicity Cook of Briar House Flowers. Following a detailed demonstration, participants will learn how to weave holly, ivy, berries and baubles as deftly as any florist. events.middletonlodge.co.uk

Santa’s grottos
Thorp Perrow, Bedale; 7-24 Dec
Follow a festive trail to Mr Claus’s grotto, a charming fantasyland with a miniature ski village, donkeys, and the chance for a sneak peek into Santa’s elves’ bedroom. thorpperrow.com
Tan Hill Inn, Reeth, Swaledale; Sat & Sun throughout Dec
Meet the man himself – and real-life reindeers ­– in this fabulously festive grotto. tanhillinn.com
Bolton Abbey, Wharfedale; 30 Nov to 23 Dec
Find the bearded gift-giver in a village deep in Strid Wood, where there will also be a storyteller, festive games and the chance to toast marshmallows on an open fire. boltonabbey.com

Skate on down
Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland Until 5 Jan 2020; Designer Outlet, York
Want it all this Christmas? Then get yourself down to Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland where you can bust out your coolest moves at The Ice Factor, swing through the air on vintage funfair rides and shop for designer brands at 60 per cent off.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall…
Snow White panto Harrogate Theatre, Harrogate; until 19 January 2020
Join Snow White and her rinky-dinky helpers as they embark on an action-packed quest to defeat the badass queen. Brace yourself for magic, music, booing and buffoonery. (harrogatetheatre.co.uk)

Also of (festive) note…
Christmas at the National Railway Museum York; open every day
See the original Stephenson’s Rocket for yourself – and find out how many Brussels sprouts it takes to fire up your fairy lights. (railwaymuseum.org.uk)
Festive Chef’s Table Swinton Park Hotel, Masham; 29 Nov; 6 & 20 Dec
Whether you’re a cosy couple or a party of 12, tuck into a seasonal spread personally prepared by the chef at Swinton Cookery School. (01765 680900)
The Gingerbread House St Helen’s Square, York; Until 22 Dec
New this year, York Mansion has been transformed into the stuff of fairy tales. Breathe in the evocative aromas of mulled wine and mince pies and feast your eyes on Georgian rooms decked out with olde-worlde decorations. There’s also a Gingerbread Trail and dressing-up for children.

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