I’m a sucker for any opportunity to pretend to be Lizzy Bennet (although in reality I am probably more Emma Woodhouse), so I was thrilled to get the chance to visit Castle Howard when we were in Yorkshire a few weeks ago.

The house is set against the stunning backdrop of the Howardian Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 15 miles to the north of York. The surrounding villages are nestled into the countryside and give the impression of not having changed for hundreds of years. If you think the house looks familiar, that is because it has been used as a backdrop for quite a few films and TV shows, including Brideshead Revisited.

We were a bit disappointed that it was incredibly foggy and cold on the day we visited Castle Howard, but it was incredibly atmospheric, and Ben’s photos have a wonderful moody edge to them.

Snuggling up for Christmas at Castle Howard

Once we made it inside the house (in front of a million old ladies on a coach trip), we were transported back in time to a magical (and warm) Christmas of years past. There were trees and decorations everywhere, as well as carol singers, and a Bompas and Parr gingerbread recreation of the house and grounds, and we all had a very hard time choosing our favourite rooms.

After touring the house, we had a mooch around the Christmas market which is set up in the Boar Garden Pavilion, before heading back to the main entrance to look in the shops located there – a toy shop, a souvenir shop, and a wonderful farm shop (which was an excellent place to do a bit of Christmas shopping).

Have you been to Castle Howard?