Christmas at Gillette’s Castle

Sherree and I have been to Gillette’s Castle once or twice in the past, and I remember going several times as a kid. One time my family visited in the winter when the castle was decorated for Christmas — I primarily remember there being a huge Christmas tree. I wanted to revisit the holiday decoration, so we recently took a trip there.

While the park is open year-round, the castle is open for tours from Memorial Day to Columbus Day only. …Well, except for a brief stint between Thanksgiving and Christmas when it’s decorated in Victorian style for the season.

The castle is definitely worth a visit! The construction and craftsmanship are spectacular. So much detail exists in the wooden doors, walls, and trim. The layout of the castle is interesting, too, with the large room for entertaining up the stairs on the second level but right off of the entrance, and the sunroom/garden with the trickling waterfall/pond. William Gillette was a pretty interesting guy, too.

Visiting in the winter when decorated in the Victorian style is nice, too, though we were a little disappointed to see that “Victorian” simply means “white ribbon, swags of evergreen, and poinsettias.” There were a few obviously-Victorian-inspired nativity scenes, but it would have been nice to see some Santas and other decorations. During our visit we got to see and hear the Westbrook Congregational Church choir sing a number of carols, too.

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I have been to the Castle back in 1983 when my husband was in the Navy but have not been back since. The photos are beautiful and wish I could have gone back to see the Castle decorated for the holidays.

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