Have a very British Christmas!
It's sometimes difficult to plan your run up to Christmas. But there's lots going on all over the place, if you know where to look. Here are some of the top Christmas festivities taking place around Britain this December...
Brookside Garden Centre, Kent
The multi-award winning Christmas grotto is returning to Brookside this year and is running up until 24th December. The garden centre is filled with fun for the whole family; Father Christmas waits to greet you in the Magical Forest, at the end of a winding pathway through lights and surprises. Once the little ones have met Santa you can explore the rest of the centre, browse the gift shop, buy a tree or some last minute presents and decorations and then see the animals. It has come to be a really popular Christmas event. www.brooksidegc-kent.co.uk/grotto
The Thursford Christmas Spectacular has long been a favourite with adults and Children alike. This huge live Christmas show takes place at the Thursford Collection museum in Norfolk and runs from early in November up to the 23rd December. There are two three-hour performances per day and the show involves an exciting range of dance, performance, ballet, music, culture, seasonal favourites and stunning sets. Onsite is also Santa's Magical Journey which you will need a separate ticket for and leads children through a magical winter-land forest, past all sorts of different characters, to Santa's grotto where they'll receive a gift. There are some great shops at Thursford too, so why not do some Christmas shopping while here and then grab a bite to eat in the restaurant? If you haven't already got your ticket, they are selling fast! www.thursford.com/christmas-spectacular
For a Christmas do with lots of atmosphere maybe you're going along to Cardiff's Medieval castle to find Santa where he's set up his grotto beside the fire in the Black Tower? Children will be able to visit Father Christmas, receive a gift from him and even get their photo taken too. The event takes place between the 5th and 23rd December and the castle itself is a great setting for the visit. Though first built in the Medieval period, parts of the castle were morphed into a Gothic revival structure during the Victorian period. You can now explore the history in the different rooms, see the castle apartments and the tunnels in the walls, admire the Norman keep and venture into the stunning grounds. www.cardiffcastle.com/santas-grotto
Stratford Upon Avon
Famous for being the birth place of Shakespeare, Stratford Upon Avon is already packed with literary links. Christmas is no different and as well as Santa's grotto, the town will be welcoming a post-Christmas Scrooge's grotto too! Visit Magic Alley and the Enchanted Manor for a realistic Father Christmas experience that wows children and adults of all ages. This year is the 25th anniversary and celebrations promise to be bigger and better than ever before. While here, why not visit the festive markets to really get into the spirit of things. There is a number of them taking place throughout the city. www.stratfordchristmasfestival.co.uk
For something a little different this Christmas, you could be enjoying a visit to Santa with a bit of a twist. The Dudley Canal Boat Trips are a famous adventure into the Dudley Canal tunnels and underground limestone mines in the West Midlands. This year take the boat trip into the Dudley caverns to visit Santa in his underground grotto. There will be gifts for the little ones, music and a pantomime. Trips last roughly an hour and are running from early December. http://dudleycanaltrust.org.uk
Yorkshire Winter Wonderland
Returning to the York Designer Outlet this year is the award-winning Winter Wonderland. There is all sorts going on including a funfair, an ice rink, lots of shops and of course Santa's grotto. The grotto is a magical place where children can visit the man himself in his little wooden chalet. Whether you have never skated before, or fancy yourself a bit of a pro, the ice rink, with its giant Christmas tree, is the largest outdoor ice rink in the north of England, and is a great place to let loose.There are many places to stop for food or drink and great shopping facilities too. All the festivities will be taking place right up to the 3rd January. www.yorkshireswinterwonderland.com
Stay in one of our properties, located in stunning corners of the British countryside. Take a look at the full collection on our website. www.ruralretreats.co.uk