While our focus has been on the city, there’s so much going on in Leicestershire for Christmas. Take a look and see what’s on offer throughout the county as we get ready for the festive season.

A regal celebration at Belvoir

Head to Belvoir Castle and experience the magic of a Regency Christmas. With decorations and displays crafted by award-winning designers, you can step back in time you explore one of the finest surviving examples of Regency architecture to witness the wonders of Christmas past.

As you head into the castle gardens you will enter a magical illuminated light trail for all the family. Mesmerising light installations and enchanting moments abound along a specially crafted route. Before you leave, check out the Engine Yard for all your festive produce, and head to their Santa’s Grotto to meet singing reindeer and see the Belvoir Express.

Getting out and about

Charnwood Forest Alpacas are celebrating the most wonderful time of the year with a range of special experiences so whether you want to meet the alpacas in full festive regalia, have Christmas afternoon tea or join a pony party, head into the forest for some special seasonal fun! Their Christmas experiences run until New Years Eve.

From 1 December right up to Christmas Eve, you can search around Loughborough for the Elves hiding in shop windows. When you've found them all, you can enter a competition to win shopping vouchers to spend in the town.

Festive fun on the farm is the order of the day as Santa’s Magical Grotto comes to Stonehurst Farm. On the 18 and 19 December the kids can meet Santa and his reindeer! And the weekend before, the 11 and 12 December, experience a Victorian Christmas with festive food, a brass band, log brazier and another chance to meet Father Christmas, Donner and Blitzen!

Shopping experiences

The Ferrers Centre at Staunton Harold is holding a special late night shopping experience on Frday 26 November. While you can enjoy the beautifully decorated courtyard throughout the festive period, on the night you can buy stunning handmade gifts perfect for Christmas, or maybe just relax in the courtyard and enjoy some festive treats.

On the 26 November, Bosworth Battlefield are holding their Christmas fair, including a festive market in the 1485 Tithe Barn Cafe, Heritage Room cabins and around the site. There will be a range of gift and handmade craft stalls, artisan creations, Boutique style homeware and much more. You can also pay a visit to Santa in his grotto.

Come along to Melton Christmas Market from Friday 3 to Sunday 5 December. The streets of Melton will be full of market stalls selling traditional festive gifts, local produce, food and drink and hand-crafted wares. There’s also live music, a Santa's Grotto and a Bubble Wizard! Visitors can also book a very special ride on a Vintage Steam Train travelling to Corby and back over the Harringworth Viaduct.

Festive experiences!

On the Great Central Railway, get a Christmas experience as you ride the historic line on a beautiful steam train. While their Santa Express journeys are nearly sold out, there are plenty of spaces for the Winter Wonderlights experience as you ride a fully lit-up train through the countryside in a magical display of colour!

Book a festive experience at the Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust. You can explore the last working bell foundry in the UK as you munch on mince pies, sip a mulled wine and learn to play a festive tune on a set of John Taylor and Co Handbells.

It’s a Christmas extravaganza at Twycross Zoo. On weekends throughout December and during Christmas week itself, along with your usual zoo ticket, the whole family can tuck into breakfast and lunch with Santa and Mrs Claus, join Santa’s singing storytime and see the brand new Ice Queen and Princess show! There’s guaranteed snowfall every day too!

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