CHRISTMAS might feel like a long way off but plans are already taking shape to bring festive magic to North Yorkshire.

Tickets are going on sale in the week of July 26 for the much-anticipated return of Christmas at Castle Howard, with a pre-sale for members.

Expect lavish designs as this year's theme promises to take visitors on a magical journey to the mythical world of Narnia at the historic house.

The Christmas team hope to take festivities to a new level, inspired by the much-loved novels by C. S. Lewis with installations in the grand state rooms based on scenes from the epic stories.

York Press:

The Hon Nicholas Howard and Victoria Howard at the opening of Castle Howard at Christmas: A Christmas Masquerade in 2019. Picture: Charlotte Graham

In keeping with tradition, the 26-foot Christmas tree will once again fill the Great Hall, decked with more than 3,000 decorations.

Castle Howard is welcoming back theatrical designers Charlotte Lloyd Webber, Bretta Gereke and their team following previous seasons at Castle Howard.

York Press:

A past Christmas at Castle Howard. Picture: Charlotte Graham

This year they join creative forces with The Projection Studio’s Ross Ashton and Karen Monid who will add a layer of projection-mapped magic and sound installation to the room decorations that Charlotte Lloyd Webber’s team are well known for.

Charlotte said: "Narnia is iconic, and the team have been working on some very exciting designs inspired by the story.

"Expect lavish decorations as always. By working with an amazingly creative team of designers, florists, costumiers, prop and set builders and lighting, projection and sound artists it feels like this year we are taking Castle Howard’s Christmas up another notch.

"We all missed Castle Howard so much at Christmas last year, we’ve had two years of dreaming up ideas and we can’t wait to dust off the baubles, start building and making the designs a reality."

York Press:

Christmas at Castle Howard: A Christmas Masquerade in 2019. Picture: Charlotte Graham

This year, the house will be open for longer, from Saturday, November 13 to Monday, January 3.

More tickets will be available into the evening to show off the displays, lighting effects and decorations as dusk falls.

All visitors and members will be asked to pre-book a time slot and there will be a one-way flow.

Meanwhile, the popular Enchanted Audience with Father Christmas’ will take place at the house , and there will also be a grotto in the courtyard on weekends in December and school holiday days.