With Christmas fast approaching the ‘man in red’ will be visiting various locations across the Four Shires during the run up to the 25th. Here are some of the many places his sleigh will be stopping this year.
Santa Special Trains
Northampton and Lamport Railway, Pitsford & Brampton Station, Pitsford Rd, Chapel Brampton, NN6 8BA, every weekend in December up to Christmas Day
Visit Santa in his magical grotto and then take a train ride along the Northampton and Lamport Railway from Pitsford and Brampton station. Every child will receive a present from Santa, a soft drink and biscuits. www.nlr.org.uk
The Boat Inn, Bridge Road, Stoke Bruerne, Towcester, NN12 7SB, Every weekend and 18th – 24th December.
Depart from The Boat Inn, Stoke Bruerne for a 1½ hour cruise through the famous Blisworth Tunnel in their narrowboat ‘Indian Chief’ to Blisworth, where Santa will join the boat for the return journey, meet each child and give them a present. Party games and music will be played during the cruise. www.boatinn.co.uk
Santa at Stanwick Lakes
Stanwick Lakes, Stanwick, NN9 6GY. Weekends in December up to Christmas, 11am – 4pm.
Meet Santa and Mrs Claus in their magical grotto and receive a gift. Book your time slot by calling 01933 625522. While you are at Stanwick Lakes wrap up warm and explore the nature reserve, play in the adventure playground and enjoy festive treats in the cafe. www.stanwicklakes.org.uk
A Victorian Christmas
Milton Keynes Museum, McConnell Drive, Wolverton, Milton Keynes, MK12 5EL. 1st, 8th at 15th, 4:30-7pm. Saturday 2nd, 9th and 16th, 1.30-6pm. Sunday 3rd, 10th and 17th December, 1.30-6pm.
Carols by lamplight in the parlour. Enjoy the roaring fire and mulled wine. Kids can have fun making Christmas crafts. Visit Father Christmas and his elves in the grotto. A gift for each child. www.miltonkeynesmuseum.org.uk
Festive day out with Thomas
Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, Quainton, Near Aylesbury, HP22 4BY, 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th December.
Ride in a steam train with Thomas the Tank Engine, whilst waiting for Father Christmas as he makes his way through the carriages giving each child a present. Also, meet the Fat Controller and enjoy a variety of Thomas themed activities and refreshments, all included. Pre-booking is essential. www.bucksrailcentre.org
Middleton Hall, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 3EP, 18th – 24th December.
Santa’s grotto will see Middleton Hall transformed into a magical wonderland, making it the perfect place to meet Santa and his new friend Norbert the reindeer. www.thecentremk.com
Claydon Christmas Tree Farm and Grotto
Claydon Christmas Tree Farm, Stone Court Barn, West Street, Steeple Claydon, MK18 2LJ. 16th and 17th December, 11am – 2.30pm.
Visit Father Christmas in his delightful log cabin. Your child will receive a present from Father Christmas. Enjoy looking at the reindeer and sitting on the original Scandinavian sleigh. No need to book, however, it can get busy so try to arrive early! £5.50 per child. www.claydonchristmastreefarm.co.uk
Santa at Xscape
Xscape, 602 Marlborough Gate, Milton Keynes, MK9 3XS, 9th –24th December, 11am – 5pm.
Children can visit Santa and get an early Christmas gift, for free! Keep an eye on their website for ticket releases. Limited walk up booking available on a first come first served basis. www.xscapemiltonkeynes.co.uk
Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum, Royal Pump Rooms, The Parade, Leamington Spa, CV32 4AA, Saturday 9th December, 2 – 4pm.
Visit Santa in his Alpine grotto. Enjoy Christmas crafts in the gallery all serenaded by a brass quintet from Royal Spa Brass. Explore the library Christmas Trail with a prize draw. Free Event. www.warwickdc.gov.uk/royalpumprooms
Christmas At The Castle
Kenilworth Castle, Castle Green, Kenilworth, CV8 1NG, Saturday 9th – Sunday 10th December, 10am – 4pm.
Immerse yourself in all things festive at a weekend of Christmas fun. Enjoy crafts and storytelling and for all those who have been good this year, come and meet the very special guest in his grotto. £10.70 adults and £6.40 children. www.english-heritage.org.uk/kenilworth
Christmas at Coughton
Coughton Court, National Trust, Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 5JA, until 3rd December, 10am – 3.15pm.
The house is decorated in a traditional style with Christmas trees and decorations. The Oak Room is transformed into Father Christmas’ office and at weekends children can visit him for a small charge. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/coughton-court
Coventry Transport Museum, Millennium Place, Hales Street, Coventry, CV1 1JD, until 23rd December, 10am – 4.00pm.
Journey to Lapland in this magical moving ride, pulled by two reindeer. Meet Santa, tell him your Christmas wishes and receive a special gift. This enchanting vintage sleigh ride has delighted families for generations – come along and make it part of your Christmas traditions. £5 per child. www.transport-museum.com
Christmas at Charlecote
Charlecote National Trust, Warwick, CV35 9ER, 2nd and every weekend in December up to Christmas.
Visit Charlecote Park and see it dressed for a Victorian Christmas. On weekends, enjoy hot mulled wine and Christmas music or visit Father Christmas in the Summerhouse with your wishlist. £5 per child. General Admission charges apply. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/charlecote-park
Father Christmas weekend Barn Farm Plants, Upper Wardington, Banbury, Oxon, OX17 1SN, 9th – 10th December
Father Christmas will be visiting between 1.30pm – 3.30pm . FREE visits!
Fairytale Farm, Oxford Road (A44), Southcombe, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, OX7 5QH, 2nd to 17th December and daily Wednesday 20th to 24th December.
At this magical ‘Christmas Fairytale’ event, children can meet Santa in his indoor fairytale grotto and receive a present. Join in with various Christmas activities and see the enchanting Christmas Lights. www.fairytalefarm.co.uk
Christmas in Banbury
Banbury Museum, Castle Quay Shopping Centre, Spiceball Park Road, Banbury, OX16 2PQ, 2nd –23rd December, weekends and all Christmas week, 10am – 4pm.
Come and enter a very special winter wonderland grotto and meet Father Christmas. Each child will receive a lovely gift, a personalised Christmas activity pack to take home and a very special Santa museum trail. £8.50 per child. Booking essential. www.banburymuseum.org
Day Out With Thomas to meet Father Christmas
Didcot Railway Centre, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 7NJ, Every Saturday and Sunday during December, plus Friday 22nd December.
Families get to ride behind Thomas, which takes them to the grotto carriage where they will meet Father Christmas. Each child receives a gift. www.didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk
These are just a small handful of the many local places where you can meet Father Christmas. Some events must be pre-booked so please check before attending.