The Best National Trust Festive Grottos

Tales around the TreeIt’s less than 100 days to Christmas, you know. Santa is getting busy, but he’s stopping by a few National Trust places – we’ve been members for the last three years, and hadn’t realised Santa pops by – to help make family visits extra magical this December!

Across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, many National Trust houses and gardens will be helping Father Christmas with special locations for his grottos; from Victorian-style country homes and beautiful gardens to an ancient castle and an old style kitchen, these enchanting grottos will fill the whole family with Christmas cheer

Here are the National Trust’s best grottos to visit this Christmas:

Hatfield Forest, Essex

Father Christmas trail, 1-2, 8-9 December, 10.30am-1.30pm

A magical trail leads through the woodland wonderland to find Father Christmas in his enchanted grotto. Collect craft items along the way and make a festive picture in the classroom to remember a great day out.

£6.80 per child (including gift, craft, drink and biscuit).

Booking essential. For more information, please call 0844 249 1895.

Rufford Old Hall, Lancashire

Santa’s grotto, 24-25 November, 1-2, 15-16 December, 11am-4pm

Come and visit Father Christmas in the atmospheric setting of Lancashire’s finest Tudor building – a great way to help everyone enter into the spirit of Christmas. Santa will also be appearing at the two day Christmas fair on the 8-9 December.

£5 per child, including a gift.

Booking not needed. For more information, please call 01704 821254.

Calke Abbey, Derbyshire

Christmas at Calke, 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 22-23 December, 11am-6.30pm

Discover Calke Abbey, the ‘unstately home’, where you can enjoy a visit to Father Christmas in his amazing grotto and take part in some children’s crafts in Squirt’s stable. As darkness falls, experience the beautiful grounds of this unique house as it is illuminated by spotlights.

Normal admission charges apply. Extra charge for trail and grotto.

Booking not needed. For more information, please call 01332 863822.

Father Christmas at Killerton, Devon ©National Trust Images, Arnhel de SerraKillerton, Exeter

Father Christmas visits Killerton, 3, 8, 10, 15, 17. 22 December, 2pm-3.30pm

Father Christmas visits Killerton to get everyone in the festive spirit. Killerton’s Father Christmas is dressed in green, as he traditionally was in the Victorian era, and has a warm welcome ready for all guests.

Normal admission charges apply. £3 per child to visit grotto, including gift.

Booking not needed. For more information, please call 01392 881345.

Red House, London

Olde Father Christmas, 8-9 December, 11.30am-4.30pm 

Visitors to this quirky and intriguing home will be greeted by a Victorian Father Christmas, dressed all in traditional green. Welcoming children (and adults) of all ages, stories of old Christmas traditions will be told and gifts presented.

Normal admission charges apply. £2.50 per child to visit Father Christmas.

Booking is advisable. For more information, please call 020 8304 9878.

The Argory, Co. Armagh

Santa’s Christmas grotto, 8-9 and 15-16 December 4pm-8pm

Add some magic this Christmas at The Argory. Children can meet the elves in their workshop, whilst mum and dad enjoy some festive refreshments in the tea room. Then, take a magical journey to see Santa and Mrs Claus in their winter wonderland grotto, where each child will receive a beautiful gift.

£8 per adult and £10 per child.

Booking essential. For more information, please call 028 9024 6609.

Wallington, Northumberland

Santa at Wallington, 8-9, 15-16 and 22-23 December 10.30am-3.30pm

Santa will be making a special visit to Wallington on weekends throughout December – visit him in his cosy grotto and receive a special gift. Why not stretch your legs and enjoy a winter walk in the surrounding landscape too?

Normal admission charges apply. £8 per child for grotto, including gift.

Booking essential. For more information, please call 01670 773600.

Studland Beach, Dorset

Santa at Studland, 15-16 December, 10.30am-12pm, 1.30pm-3.30pm

Santa will be doing something different this Christmas – coming to Studland by canoe! He will be staying in his beach hut hideaway, and all children who find him will receive a present.

£5 per child.

Booking not needed. For more information, please call 01929 450500.

Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire 

Breakfast with Santa, 1-2, 8-9 December, 10am-11am

Experience an extra special Christmas breakfast with Santa in the old kitchen restaurant. Includes breakfast, a gift from Santa and a chance to see his magical reindeer.

£7.50 per adult, £10 per child (including gift).

Booking essential. For more information, please call 01332 842191.

Arlington Court and the National Trust Carriage Museum

Devon brunch or tea with Father Christmas, 15-21 December, 10.30am-12pm, 2.30pm-4.30pm

Enjoy a special brunch or tea with Father Christmas at Arlington Court this Christmas season. Join in with festive fun and games, plus all good girls and boys will receive a present.

Adult £7.50, Child £6, Family £24 (2 adults, 2 children).

Booking essential. For more information, please call 01271 850296.

Berrington Hall, Herefordshire 

Lunch with Father Christmas, 17-19 December, 12.30pm-1.30pm, 1.30pm-2.30pm

As the big day approaches bring the kids along to Berrington for a festive lunch and treat them to a visit from Father Christmas.

£10 per child, includes one child’s lunch and a gift from Father Christmas.

Booking essential. For more information, please call 01568 615721.

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