Discover a Magical Christmas in the Heart of Yorkshire!  Your Christmas Starts Here………

Mulled wine, mince pies, horse drawn forest rides, party nights and Christmas crafts. It really is the most wonderful time of the year and there’s plenty to get you into the festive spirit here in the Selby region.

Don your bobble hat, scarf and gloves and head out to explore our pretty market towns and villages decked with fairy lights, load up your shopping bags with goodies to gift from our Christmas markets and get crafty making your own festive wreath or a handmade special something for your loved ones.

We’ve pulled together our guide to the best Winter activities here in the Heart of Yorkshire.

  • Please note that many events must be booked in advance and some places are limited. Please check availability with each venue directly.

Christmas Lights

Watch the magic of the Selby Christmas lights being switched on at the Christmas Market on Saturday 2nd December from 10am to 5pm.

Festive music, food, tea and tours

The grand surroundings of Carlton Towers are a beautiful place to kick-start the festive season. Choose from a wealth of seasonal events including Christmas tea and tour, wreath making workshops, Sunday lunch with Santa, Christmas party nights, Christmas afternoon tea, brunch with Santa, a festive indoor market, candlelit choir evenings and much more.

Selby Abbey is awe-inspiring at Christmas. Enjoy a special Christmas Fayre on Saturday 2nd December, Carols by Candlelight on 17th December and a Christmas concert with the Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band on 20th December or just sit and enjoy the peaceful glow of the Christmas tree and lights.

Get your glitter on for Christmas party nights at the magnificently luxurious Hazlewood Castle, enjoy a Carol concert, make your own Christmas Wreath at the wreath making workshops, or indulge in a festive afternoon tea, lunch or dinner.

Our many pubs and cafes are also great places to enjoy a festive pint, indulgent sweet treat and a catch up this Winter.

Create your own Christmas

The Heart of Yorkshire is packed with creative talent. Join our local makers and businesses to create your very own piece of Christmas.

As well as Hazlewood Castle, Hornington Manor are also running Christmas wreath making workshops on 26th and 29th November. Enjoy mulled wine and festive songs as you create your festive offering in the atmospheric oak framed ceremony barn.  Or, why not join those run by the Woodmeadow Trust at Three Hagges Woodmeadow in Escrick on Saturday 9th December, at Carlton Towers on 30th November and 7th December, in Church Fenton village hall on Friday 1st December, or at the Old Girl’s School in Sherburn in Elmet on 24th November..

As well as Christmas wreath making, there are many more ways in which you can view the talent of the region.

Carlton Towers are holding a Christmas Sewing Workshop on 1st and 15th December. Dragon Willow will introduce you to willow weaving teach you to create festive snowmen, wreaths, deer, hearts and more. Silver and Stone by Helen Drye will coach you to make your very own masterpiece in silver – to keep for yourself or to gift this Christmas.

Make your own ceramic creation or have a go at a wealth of other festive crafts at Glazed and Confused Ceramic and Art Studio in Tadcaster or The Painting Pot in Selby. Their workshops are also great places to catch up with friends or enjoy a group celebration this festive season.

Christmas with little ones

There’s plenty to entertain everyone from tots to teens as we gear up for the arrival of the big day.

The little ones will be mesmerised by twinkling lights and festive tunes on a wonderfully festive horse and carriage ride through Escrick Park Estate with the fabulous Little Skipwith Carriage Rides. Warm up with mulled wine, mince pies and hot chocolate.

Spot Santa at the fabulous Santa’s Grotto at Wetherells of Selby or along with his elves and reindeer at Selby Garden Centre from Saturday 25th November. Visit him in his festive grotto and check out his antlered friends too!

Santa will be at the super adorable Wonkey Donkey Visitor Centre on 9th and 10th December (pre-booked) in Knottingley and throughout December he will be visiting Elmet Alpacas, Sherburn in Elmet for brunch, Christmas crafting and feeding the alpacas (booking essential). Finally, he will be at the Skylark Centre near Drax on 16th and 17th December from 12pm to 3pm. Have your photo taken with his sleigh and enjoy Christmas crafts and themed activities.

Christmas Markets

It’s all about buying local this Christmas, so fill your stockings with tasty treats and tipples and unique creations from our region’s finest crafts people and producers.

Join the Drovers Arms in Skipwith for ‘outdoor’ artisan Christmas markets 0n 2nd, 9th and 16th December.  Explore the many huts and heated tipi whilst enjoying a glass of mulled wine, hot chocolate or a Yorkshire Bratwurst sausage from the kitchen BBQ.  They also have other festive themed events, check out their website for full details.

The popular Selby Christmas Market is on Saturday 2nd December from 10am to 5pm in Selby Market Place. See the Christmas lights switched on plus enjoy food stalls, local crafts, live entertainment, dancing Turkeys, Santa’s sleigh and more!

The Christmas Fair at the Old Girl’s School in Sherburn in Elmet takes place on 26th November from 11am with craft stalls, tombola, mulled wine, mince pies and Santa’s grotto.

Peruse the annual Victorian Christmas Market and festival in Tadcaster on 3rd December as well as the Craft Fair in the Riley-Smith Hall and events in the churches.

The popular Riccall Dickensian Fayre returns to Riccall village green on Saturday 2nd December from 4pm to 7pm. Discover more than 20 stalls with stall holders dressed in Dickensian attire and selling seasonal gifts. The village band and village choirs will both be performing and there’s plenty of fun for children including pocket money games and a raffle with some wonderful prizes on offer.

Christmas trees and wreaths

Fill your house with the smell of fresh pine. Gather together and choose the tree that will form your festive family focal point this Winter. Choose from a wealth of tree purveyors in the region from our local farms and garden centres including: Selby Garden Centre, Lumby Garden Centre, Fields Garden Centre  Riccall Christmas Trees and Wreaths and Bert’s Barrow.

Christmas shopping

Get inspired at our local festive artisan markets. Peruse gift ideas at the fabulous Wetherell’s department store in Selby and Selby Framing Centre and Gifts.

Foodie Festivities

Fill those festive shopping bags with the best local food and drink our region has to offer. We guarantee that local will look luscious upon the Christmas dining table. Check out all the festive fayre on offer at our local farm shops, grocers and breweries including Spuds and Berries, Berts Barrow, the Jolly Sailor Brewery, Cray Bakes, and Cooper’s Grocers in Selby.

Plus, there are plenty of local shops to tempt you with tasty treats. Check out Mollie Sharpe’s Cheese and Deli in Selby. Sweet Finkle in Sherburn in Elmet is the perfect choice for old-fashioned sweet stocking fillers including sugar mice.

Our local cafes, pubs and restaurants are also offering a wealth of tasty festive fayre – check out our food and drink section for some yummy inspiration.

We extend a warm festive welcome to both residents and visitors right at the Heart of Yorkshire.  Check out our What’s On pages for a full listing of events this festive season.

Stay longer, go further………

Make the most of your Christmas getaway in North Yorkshire by staying a little longer and exploring a little further. Choose from family-friendly events, magical ice-skating experiences and meeting the big man himself.

Explore our other thriving market towns like Pickering and Thirsk, indulge with a luxury stay in Harrogate and experience Christmas on the Coast.  You could experience the brand new festive Scarborough Lights event or hop on a train for an enchanting Christmas experience. Be entertained with pantomimes galore and street parades, pick up some last-minute gifts at traditional Victorian fairs and get into the Christmas spirit with candlelight concerts.! No matter where you choose to explore in North Yorkshire, you’re guaranteed festive cheer this festive season.