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Don’t feel guilty about letting the experts cater for Christmas: it 's fun!

If the idea of trussing the turkey, making mince pies and preparing the pud sends you into a panic but you love a real Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, why not turn to catering? Warner Leisure Hotels (0800 1 388399; www.warnerleisurehotels.co.uk) organize a four-night Christmas package from December 23 at what they call their Grade II-listed Victorian folly, Bodelwyddan Castle in North Wales. The amazing building overlooks the sea with spectacular views of the coast. The cost of full board in a standard room is £639, and this includes a horse-drawn carriage ride, mince pies and mulled wine, lantern-lit walks and bucks fizz on Christmas Day, reports the Telegraph. There are standard rooms still available but the Signature and Royale rooms are fully booked.

Alternatively, you can opt for the personal touch at Letham House near Haddington, East Lothian (01620 820055; www.lethamhouse.com). It’s part of the Wolsey Lodges group, but the owners, Barbara and Chris Sharman, provide a warm welcome and join their guests for meals. Housed in a large, white 17th-century house in spacious grounds, there are six guest rooms, so those who prefer small groups will feel quite comfortable. The cost is £450 for a shared room for a three-night stay, or £700 for single occupancy of a double room. Traditional, festive food is included and there’s a local beach for energising walks. (Visit www.wolseylodges.com for more Christmas package ideas).

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