Holkham Hall transformed into winter wonderland - complete with a gingerbread Big Ben

Holkham Hall ready for Christmas. Picture: Ian Burt

Holkham Hall ready for Christmas. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

The ornate rooms and grand hallways of an 18th-century hall have been festooned with twinkling lights for a string of Christmas tours.

Holkham Hall ready for Christmas. Picture: Ian Burt

Holkham Hall ready for Christmas. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

For a handful of nights in December, candle-lit tours will be run at Holkham Hall, giving visitors a chance to explore the manor while it is adorned with festive finery.

Holkham Hall ready for Christmas. Picture: Ian Burt

Holkham Hall ready for Christmas. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

In one room, birch trees frosted with 'snow' create a winter wonderland, while in the north dining room, a 5.4-foot-tall gingerbread version of Big Ben takes centre stage.

Holkham Hall ready for Christmas. Picture: Ian Burt

Holkham Hall ready for Christmas. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

In the main reception room, giant golden pine cones hang from the branches of an equally striking Christmas tree.

Holkham Hall ready for Christmas. Picture: Ian Burt

Holkham Hall ready for Christmas. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

Getting the hall ready for the festive period is a timely commitment – work begins at the end of October and inspiration comes from the family's travels to European Christmas markets.

Holkham Hall ready for Christmas. Picture: Ian Burt

Holkham Hall ready for Christmas. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt


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Much of the natural decoration is taken from the grounds, including 35 illuminated Christmas trees which line corridors, rooms and the Marble Hall.

Holkham Hall ready for Christmas. Picture: Ian Burt

Holkham Hall ready for Christmas. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

The history of the hall and its inhabitants is given throughout the tours, which began this week, with a mince pie and drink waiting at the end.

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Holkham Hall has this week been shortlisted for two prizes in the 2017 Hudson's Heritage Awards.

It has made the final four in both Best Family Day Out and Best Shopping, with the winners to be announced next March.

The Christmas tours run every 15 minutes from 4pm to 8pm on:

• Wednesday, December 7 to Friday, December 9; and

• Wednesday, December 14 to Friday, December 16.

Tickets cost £16 for adults and £10 for children. To book and for information, click here.

• Are you organising an unusual event for Christmas? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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