A TRANSFORMATION is underway at Castle Howard.

Behind the scenes the stately home in Ryedale is being turned in C S Lewis's magical kingdom of Narnia with the White Witch as the centrepiece for visitors to explore from November 13 to January 2.

Nicholas Howard said: “Having missed out on welcoming visitors into in the house last Christmas, we’re absolutely pushing the sleigh out this year to transform the house into the magical world of Narnia. Starting their journey in the house of Professor Kirke, visitors will step through the wardrobe into the icy lands of Narnia where magic and adventure awaits.

“We’ve some wonderful surprises up our sleeves which will be revealed when we open that will send a frisson of excitement down the spines of our visitors. We are incredibly grateful to our friends at Harper Collins for letting us use these magnificent books as the theme for this year’s celebrations.”

Returning to Castle Howard to create the displays will be Charlotte Lloyd Webber, Bretta Gerecke and their team of specialist designers, lighting experts and even a baublographer who will responsible for installing dozens of trees, thousands of baubles and tens of thousands of fairy lights for the special displays.

Charlotte said: “Going back to the original books for inspiration for these displays has been fantastic – CS Lewis writes with such colour and attention to detail, and yet it has given us scope to put our own individual interpretation on this magical world to weave familiar parts of Castle Howard into the story – there is a huge amount of work to be done between now and our opening, but we’re so excited to see the public’s reaction to this incredible transformation."

With fewer people per time slot this year to reduce crowding, the Castle Howard team will be opening the house later each day.

Full details of what visitors can expect are being kept under wraps until the house opens on November 13. Tickets are priced from £19.50 for adults and £12.50 for children off-peak, and £25 for adults and £15 for children at peak times. To book, or for more details, please visit www.castlehoward.co.uk. Tickets include timed access to the house, full access to the gardens and adventure playground.