Meet Father Christmas 2013

With Christmas fast approaching, Father Christmas is bound to be getting busy, but he’s promised to make some special stop-offs in his hectic festive schedule and help make your family visits to our places extra magical this December.

Celebrating festive traditions, we're helping Father Christmas with special locations for his grottos; from Victorian homes and ancient castles to enchanting forests and festive stables, a visit to Father Christmas will fill the whole family with Christmas cheer.

Here are a selection of our best grottos to visit this Christmas:

    Croome, Worcestershire

    Visit Father Christmas, 21-22 December 11am-3pm

    Discover Father Christmas in his cosy grotto in the cellars of Croome Court, once home to the Earls of Coventry. Free craft making activities are included to keep the family entertained and Croome will be decorated for the season with roaring log fires. Come and see the famous 25 foot Christmas tree in the saloon and hang a Christmas wish on it. There’s also the chance to go on a winter walk in the heart of ‘Capability’ Brown’s first landscape design.

    * Normal admission charges apply, plus £3 per child visiting Father Christmas (including gift and activities).
    * Booking not needed, for more information please call 01905 370005.

    Mount Stewart, County Down

    Santa experience, 18-23 December 10am- 4pm

    Travel through the grotto, meet the elves in their workshop and enjoy complementary refreshments before you visit Santa and Mrs Claus. The Santa visit lasts 20 minutes with storytelling and then each child will receive a beautifully-wrapped gift. The ‘Santa Express’ will then take you to the lookout where you will gain free access to the celebrated gardens and can follow the Christmas trail.

    * Adult £6, Child £14.50 (includes gift).
    * Booking is essential on 028 4278 8387.

    Killerton, Devon

    Victorian Father Christmas, 21 December 2pm–3.30pm

    Killerton’s Father Christmas is traditionally dressed in Green as he was in Dickensian times, with a gift for every child aged 10 or below.

    * Normal admission charges apply, plus £3 per child (includes gift).

    A Christmas Carol, 4 December – 5 January (closed 25-26 December & 1 January), 11am–4pm

    Throughout the festive season, experience the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future and follow the Christmas trails in the house and park. See stunning displays in the house as you follow Scrooge to find the meaning of Christmas.

    * Normal admission charges apply.
    * Booking not needed for these events, for more information please call 01392 881345.

    Chirk Castle, Wrexham

    Christmas at Chirk Castle, 7-22 December 11am–4pm

    Celebrate the festive season this impressive medieval fortress, the last Welsh castle from the reign of Edward I. See beautifully-decorated rooms, meet Father Christmas in his magical grotto and discover where all the toys are made in the elves’ workshop. Browse for unusual gifts in our shop or sample delicious, festive fair in the tearoom. There’s also the chance to enjoy a winter walk, with stunning views over the Cheshire and Salop plains.

    * Adult £5.25, Child £2.63 (plus £3 for grotto, including a gift).
    * Booking not needed, for more information please call 01691 777701.

    Ickworth, Suffolk

    Family Christmas sparkle, 21-22 December 11am–4pm

    Brighten your Christmas with festive family weekends at this Georgian Italianate palace, making decorations, crackers and treats and sitting next to the Christmas tree for stories and gifts from Father Christmas. There will be choirs spreading seasonal cheer in the church and the west wing and warming mulled wine served in the restaurant.

    * Adult £6, Child (2 years plus) £8 (includes gift).
    * Booking not needed, for more information please call 01284 736127.

    Beningbrough Hall and Gardens, North Yorkshire

    Story time with Santa, 21-22 December at timed intervals from 11.30am-3.15pm

    Children can join a small group for a special visit to Santa in his sitting room as he prepares for Christmas. Santa will tell the children stories, they can deliver their letter, check they’re on the good list and receive a special present in this 18th-century home.

    * Child £6 (includes gift and admission for one adult).
    * Booking is essential on 01904 472027.

    Nymans, West Sussex

    Santa's grotto and reindeer trail, 21-22 December, 10.30am–3.30pm

    Follow the reindeer trail in the home of the Messel family to find Santa in his grotto waiting with a present for each boy and girl. There’s also the chance to explore the beautiful winter garden, complete with its advent calendar (1-24 December 10am-4pm) and visit the potting shed where Santa’s elves are on hand for some Christmas crafts.

    * Normal admission charges apply, plus £5 per child (includes trail and gift).
    * Booking is advisable from 1 December on 01444 405250.

For these and other events go to our events search.