Dundurn Castle Christmas Tour

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This year brought changes in my family, which means the start of new holiday traditions. On Sunday I took my mum to Dundurn Castle for a Christmas evening tour. When I was little, and our relatives visited from Hungary we would always take them to tour Dundurn Castle. But it's been years and years since we've been back. The Garden Club of Hamilton dresses the Castle in Victorian Christmas decor with cedar boughs, ribbons and dried flowers. And if you know me well, there is nothing I love more than cedar and hydrangeas for floral decor during the holidays. The Christmas evening tours offer an extended look at the MacNab residence, and Brydie Huffman was the best guide we could have had. She was too funny.

It seems wherever we go we meet people who want to share stories of Hamilton's history. Likely because we have a camera in hand and are always documenting our experiences. On this occasion I met a charming gentleman and his family who  spent most of their lives in the West end but now live in Carlisle. He shared as much love for Durand as I do, and at one point seemed to own half of the homes in Durand including his childhood home on Ravenscliffe Avenue. I wish!! His love for the city was endearing.

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The evening begins with carol-singing in the front hall, followed by a tour of the historic home and sampling of an assortment of traditional Christmas foods and apple cider served in the kitchen. It was a lovely way to spend an evening -- taking in the history while enjoying the Victorian style holiday decor. Did you know the table top Christmas tree was popularized in 1848 when an engraving of the Royal family gathered around their Christmas tree appeared in the Illustrated London News?

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My favourite room in the whole house was Sir Allan MacNab's study, complete with the family tartan and beautiful built-ins for his books.

My favourite room in the whole house was Sir Allan MacNab's study, complete with the family tartan and beautiful built-ins for his books.

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The evening tours take place at Dundurn Castle on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings until December 30. Start a new Hamilton holiday tradition with your family. Book yours here!