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The ULTIMATE Christmas Experience Guide

on Wed Nov 17 2021

We LOVE this time of year. The sparkly lights, wrapping up warm, hot drinks while taking in the sights and smells of Christmas. So we've pulled together our 'Ultimate' guide to the best Christmas experiences across the UK for 2021.



Edinburgh Zoo

A spectacular light trail will take you on a journey to discover the magic of Christmas spirit and Santa’s time at the zoo.

Edinburgh Zoo, 134 Costorphine Road, Costorphine, Edinburgh, EH12 6TS

Ticket Price: Adults from £18.00, Children from £12.00

Cairngorm Reindeer Centre

Two great ways to visit the reindeer…Hill Trip / Paddocks . If you have time and can manage a 30 minute hill walk over rough ground, this is by far the best way to meet and get in amongst the herd up on the mountainside.For those who would struggle with a walk up the hill, they have a small number of reindeer to see at the paddocks.

Reindeer House, Glenmore, Aviemore, PH22 1QU

Ticket Price: From £2.50 depending on ticket and trip.



Santa Land

“Santa Land is an outdoor, Christmas-themed, kids' pop-up site found in East Princes Street Gardens each year .It's right next to the Big Wheel and the Star Flyer. The Christmas markets are absolutely beautiful. There is a Santa Train, Reindeer rides, Carousel, Helter Skelter, Christmas maze to name but a few . So so magical, a MUST visit if in Edinburgh!!

Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh EH2 

Ticket Price: Varies depending on activity

Dates: 19th November 2021 – 2nd January 2022


NORTH OF ENGLAND (Yorkshire & East) 


Lotherton Hall Christmas Experience

The Christmas Experience at Lotherton returns for another year of festive magic and Santa visits. Meet Santa and the elves, enjoy Crafts with Mrs Claus and venture on the NEW festive woodland walk for 2021.

Lotherton Hall, Off Collier Lane, Aberford, Leeds, LS25 3EB

Ticket Price: From £12.95 per child

Dates: 27th November 2021 - 02 January 2022



North York Moors Railway

Join Santa and his special team of elves at either Pickering or Grosmont Station before a magical adventure aboard the Santa Express which will take you on a festive journey you won’t forget!

Pickering Station, Pickering, YO18 7AJ

Ticket Price: £26 per person

Dates: Every weekend from 4th December – 24th December 2021



York River Cruise

“Our best Santa experience was in York on a river cruise. The tickets  included a drink for the adults and a gift and drink for the kids. It was so lovely!”

The Boatyard - Lendal Bridge, York, YO1 7DP.

Ticket prices :Adults from 13.00 , Child from 16.00



Chester Zoo,The Lanterns

Join us as we transform the zoo into a spectacular wonderland, full of sparkle, illumination and plenty of cheer!

Chester Zoo, Upton-by-Chester, Chester, CH2 1EU

Dates: 12th Nov to 23rd December 2021

Ticket Price: Adults from £13.00, Children from £11 (under 2 free)


Christmas Light Trail at Dunham Massey

Discover new immersive light installations as the magical winter trail is set to be bigger and better than ever.

Dunham Massey Hall & Gardens, TRAFFORD Altrincham

Dates: 19 Nov 2021 - 2 Jan 2022

Ticket Price: Child £13.50 Adult £21.00


Lightopia Festival

The award-winning Lightopia is back and ready to light up Heaton Park this Christmas brighter than ever with brand new installations and routes.Embark on a magical journey through our new Fantasy themed light trail through the parklands. Showcasing bright immersive installations, colourful lasers, and water shows, this is a festive wonderland for all ages.

St Margaret's Rd, Prestwich, Manchester M25 2GT

Dates: 19 Nov 2021to3 Jan 202217:00 - 22:00

Ticket Price: Child from £11 , Adult from £18



Drayton Manor’s Magical Christmas

Discover falling snow, enchanting decorations, a dazzling 35ft symphony tree, cheeky elves frolicking around the park and over 25 child-friendly rides and attractions

Drayton Manor Park, Near Tamworth, Staffordshire, B78 3TW

Dates: 13th Nov - 31st Dec 2021

Ticket Price: 4+ £32.00, Child (1-3) £18.00 and Under 1 – £5.00

Belvoir Castle

“This is a delightful, multi-sensory experience suitable for all the family.”

Light Trail , Santa’s Grotto, Visit Father Christmas - Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG32 1PE.

Dates: 15th November to 5th January 2022.

Ticket Price: Varies depending on ticket type 


Warwick Castle

“Gaze upon glittering trees, wander through a sparkling outdoor light trail and skate across the spectacular open-air ice rink at Warwick Castle this Christmas.”

Warwick Castle, Warwick, Warwickshire, CV34 6AH.

Dates: 27th Nov - 3rd Jan 2022

Ticket Price: Standard ticket price plus £7.50 for stories with Santa.



The Olde Watermill Santa's Grotto

“It really is amazing here , a fantastic Santa and Mrs Claus, a great 'journey' with the elves, reindeer and singing snowman before you get to santa... plus Santa literally comes down the chimney!!! What more could you ask for?”

The Olde Watermill Shopping Village, Barton Mill Lane, Barton-le-Clay, Bedfordshire, MK45 4RF.

Dates: 20th Nov - 24th Dec

Ticket Price: Adult £4.99, Child  £14.99.


Riverside Hub

“As Christmas grottos go this one is just beautiful. The husband and wife owners of this amazing soft play literally throw their heart and soul into their business. Everything is 100% and on this particular day they were even dressed up as elves playing their role in the Christmas event and making sure each child has the most perfect experience.”

7 Carousel Way,Riverside Park,Northampton,NN3 9HG

Ticket Price - From £13


Mead Open Farm The Magic of Christmas

Make magical memories at The Magic of Christmas at Mead Open Farm packed full of mayhem, & merriment. As well as FULL DAY entry to the farm there’s so much included.

Mead Open Farm, Stanbridge Road, Billington, Bedfordshire, LU7 9JH.

Dates: 3rd to 24th December 2021

Ticket Price: From £10 Peak / Off Peak banding 



Blenheim Palace Illuminated Light Trail

“This is another level of Christmas magic - the illuminated trail is phenomenal - would definitely rebook for next year. It is incredible for all ages.”

Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PP

Dates: 19th November to 2nd January 2022

Ticket Price: Adults from £22.50, Children (3-16) from £16.00, Family of 4 – £74.00 and Under 2 Free


Audley End Miniature Railway

Our Christmas Special is the most magical, family, Christmas experience. You will board upon the Santa Express where our driver will navigate you through the Estate Woodland. You will arrive at Father Christmas’s Winter Wonderland where you and your family will meet Father Christmas himself, along with his very helpful Elves, receive a special gift and also watch a Christmas dance!

Audley End Road, Audley End, Saffron Waldon, Essex CB11 4JB.

Dates: Open on the 20th, 21st, 27th & 28th November and every day from the 1st to 24th December

Ticket Price: From £18.00-£20.00 over 92cm and £9.00-£10.00 under 92cm.


Easton Farm Park Christmas Experience

“We had a lovely visit here to see Father Christmas with our 5 and 7 year olds. The visit was a well organised timetable of activities including a meet the animals session (holding bunnies!), some craft activities (reindeer food making etc), a tractor sleigh ride and a meal for the kids and a hot drink and snack for the adults. Of course we also saw Father Christmas and the children got a lovely gift each.”

Easton Farm Park, Pound Corner, Easton, Suffolk, IP13 0EQ

Dates: 4th - 24th December 2021

Ticket Price: Adult – £10.00, Child – £17.50



Longleat - Christmas Across the Park and grounds

“We’re transforming the astonishing kingdom of Longleat into a magical land full of festive joy and cheer with plenty of delights to make your visit extra special.

Journey through a mesmerising tunnel of light and sound, leading you to the front of the iconic Longleat House. Marvel at the magnificent musical display and surround yourself by over 100 warmly lit Christmas trees.”

Longleat, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 7NW

Prices: Ticket options coming soon

Dates: Selected dates 6th November to 3rd January 2022


South Devon Railway Polar Express

“Your journey begins just like the 2004 motion picture when THE POLAR EXPRESS™ will pick you up at South Devon Railway to take you to the North Pole. You will get to meet the characters from the film including the conductor, the singing chefs, the hobo and of course the main man himself Father Christmas. You and your family, hopefully dressed in PJs, will experience a fun filled theatrical adventure as you make your way to the North Pole.”

The Station, Dartbridge Road, Buckfastleigh, Devon, TQ11 0DZ.

Dates: 20th – 21st, 26th – 28th November, 2nd – 5th, 9th – 12th and 15th – 23rd December 2021.

Ticket Price: From £26.95 per person


Stuart Line Cruises - Sail with Santa

“Our Sail with Santa Cruises have been the family’s festive favourite for over 20 years. Join us as we set sail on the calm waters of the River Exe taking some well-deserved time out to enjoy Christmas together! Come and meet Santa in his enchanting on-board grotto where the children will receive an amazing handpicked gift whilst the grown ups can enjoy a glass of our secret recipe mulled wine and locally baked mince pie.”

From Exmouth, Exeter, Topsham and Sidmouth

Dates: Weekends in December and 22nd & 23rd December 2021.

Ticket Price: £11.00 per person, £4.00 - Under 12 months .



ZSL London Zoo -The Magic of London Zoo

Get ready for the return of The Magic at Christmas at London Zoo, when the world-famous Zoo will be transformed into a festive wonderland .

Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4RY

Dates: 30th Nov 2021- 3 Jan 2022

Ticket Price: From £26

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland - Santa Land 

A magical one stop shop in the corner of Wonderland, we’ve got your covered for the ultimate family day out. Step into Christmas through the red entrance gate landing in the heart of Santa Land, a feast for the eyes as you’re transported to the South Pole.

Dates: 19th Nov - 3rd Jan 2022

Ticket Price: From £5


Kew Gardens

This year’s trail features a host of firm seasonal favourites alongside pioneering new light installations, illuminating Kew Gardens’ UNESCO World Heritage landscape with vibrant bursts of colour and over a million twinkling lights.

Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AE

Dates: 17th November to 9th January 2022

Ticket Price: Adult £21.50, Children £14.00 Under 4 Free