The best of Santa's secret hide-outs near you

The best of Santa's secret hide-outs near you
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We've heard whispers from his little helpers that Mr Claus has been a busy old gent this winter, conjuring up grottoes in magical National Trust locations across the country. If you've got grandcildren who are itching to share their Christmas wish lists with Santa, here's some of the finest hide-outs of Father Christmas himself, for you to enjoy a wonderfully festive family day out.

Belton House, Lincolnshire: Santa in the Stables
5 - 7, 12 - 14, 19 - 21 December, 12pm - 3pm

In the beautifully decorated Belton House stables you might just find a familar bearded face along with his Christmas elves. If you’ve been good all year, you’re sure to receive a festive gift from Santa. You can even enjoy breakfast with the man himself in the Ride Cafe.
Price: £3.50 (including gift from Santa, normal admission fee applies)

  • For more information, please call 01476 566116

Brimham Rocks, North Yorkshire: Santa’s Winter Wonderland
20 - 21 December, 11.30am - 2.30pm

Explore a great day out on nature's playground at Brimham Rocks this Christmas.  Visit the land of fairy tales and follow the frosty Christmas trail through the moorland rocks to meet Santa in his snowy winter wonderland.
Price: £4 (includes gift from Santa, booking essential)

  • For more information, please call 01423 780688

Souter Lighthouse and The Leas, Tyne & Wear: Santa at Souter
6 - 7, 13 - 14, 20 - 21 December, 11am - 4pm

This year Santa is returning to Souter in style at the first lighthouse to be powered by electricity. Join the elves in their workshop for Christmas craft making before seeing Santa in his Victorian Grotto where he's giving out presents - but only if you've been good! A warming hot chocolate with all the trimmings will see you up on your way home.
Price: £10 per child (booking essential)

  • For more information, please call 0191 5290909

Dyrham Park, Gloucestershire: Christmas in the park
 6 - 7, 13 – 14, 20 - 21 December, 10am – 4pm

With far-reaching views of the Severn Valley, Dyrham is the ideal place to escape the crowds this Christmas. Explore the great outdoors, wrap up warm and take part in the deer trail in the historic park to find Rudolph and his friends. Enjoy seasonal refreshments in the tea-room and pick up those last minute Christmas presents from the shop. Enjoy music and crafts near the house and get your Merry Christmas wish from Father Christmas at the Old Lodge.
Price: Free event (normal admission fee applies)

  • For more information, please call 0117 9372501

Cotehele, Cornwall: At home with Mother and Father Christmas
20 - 23 December, 1pm - 3.30pm

The Tudor house of Cotehele is perched high above the River Tamar in the Cornish countryside and Mother and Father Christmas are waiting in their grotto before they return to the North Pole to start their Christmas deliveries. Make sure you catch them before they leave and let them know your Christmas wishes.
Price: £2 (includes a gift from Santa, normal admission fee applies)

  • For more information, please call 01579 351346

Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire: Breakfast with Father Christmas
6 - 7, 13 - 14, 20 - 21 December, 9.30am - 10.30am

Mince pies and sherry aren't all that Father Christmas enjoys! He also loves a good breakfast. Enjoy a chat with the man himself in the glamorous mansion of Kedleston Hall over a slice of toast this Christmas.
Price: Adult £7.50, Child: £10 (includes a gift from Santa, normal admission fee applies, booking essential)

  • For more information, please call 01332 842191

Quarry Bank, Cheshire: A Victorian Christmas
6 - 7, 13 - 14 December, 11am - 3pm

Join the festive fun with a traditional Christmas weekend at one of Britain’s greatest industrial sites. Meet Victorian characters and find out more about customs from the past and the people that used to work in the cotton mill. Tell Father Christmas what’s on your Christmas list and enjoy Christmas carols, stories, last-minute shopping, and finish your day with a warming mince pie.
Price: Free event (normal admission fee applies)

  • For more information, please call 01625 527468

Trerice, Cornwall: Tudor Father Christmas
13 - 14, 20 - 21 December, 11am - 4pm

Come and meet a special Tudor Father Christmas, hear his tales and go home with a very special paper package tied up with string. This is a magical opportunity to hear stories of Christmas past with five performances throughout the day, lasting 30 minutes each.
Tickets are available from reception for 11.30am, 12.15pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.15pm.
Price: Adult £2, Child £3 (normal admission fee applies)

  • For more information, please call 01637 875404

 Speke Hall, Garden and Estate, Liverpool: Victorian Christmas Weekends
29 - 30 November, 6 - 7, 13 - 14 December, 11am – 4pm

This stunning black and white house on the bank of the River Mersey has been decorated just in time for a traditional Victorian Christmas. Enjoy Christmas carols in the Tudor Great Hall and see if you can spot Father Christmas waiting in the wings ready to hear your Christmas list.
Price: £3 to visit Father Christmas (normal admission fee applies)

  • For more information call 0151 427 7231.

 White Peak, Derbyshire: Countryside Christmas at Ilam Park
7 December, 10am - 4pm

Meet Santa, toast marshmallows over the fire, build a wooden reindeer and bird box and make a Christmas wreath or decorations for your tree.
Price: Free event and entry

  • For more information, please call 01335 350503

Croft Castle and Parkland, Herefordshire: Santa’s workshop
6 - 7, 13 - 14, 20 - 21 December, 11am - 4pm

Croft Castle sits deep in the heart of Herefordshire countryside surrounded by acres of historic woodland and Santa has stopped off to make those last minute Christmas gifts. Follow the reindeer trail to find Santa in his workshop and get an extra early Christmas gift.
Price: £4 (normal admission fee applies)

  • For more information, please call 01568 780246

 Biddulph Grange Garden, Staffordshire: Santa in his Christmas cottage
7, 14 & 20 - 23 December, 12pm – 3pm

Santa is flying into Biddulph Grange Garden to open his magical Christmas Cottage. Follow the trail to discover the festive Cottage hidden deep in the garden, inside you will find Santa and his helpers, Christmas trees and fairy lights all waiting for you. Bring your Christmas present wish list with you to give to Santa or write one at Santa’s very own writing desk.
Price: Free event (normal admission fee applies)

  • For more information, please call 01782 517999

Mount Stewart, County Down: Santa at the Temple
4 - 7, 10 - 14, 17 - 23 December, 3pm – 7.30pm

Catch the festive ‘Santa Express’ bus to Temple of the Winds within the picturesque grounds of this country estate. Explore the hidden grotto, meet the elves in their workshop and enjoy festive refreshments before meeting Santa, Mrs Claus and the magic elf. Hear their story, join in the fun and take home a lovely present.
Price: Adult £7 Child £15 (booking essential)

  • For more information, please call 028 4278 8387

Chartwell, Kent: Father Christmas at Chartwell
6 - 7 December, 11am – 3pm

Explore the family home and garden of Sir Winston Churchill this Christmas and meet Santa Claus who will be giving out a gift to good girls and boys and then helping the elves to make Christmas crafts.

Price: £7 per child (normal admission charges apply, booking essential).

  • For more information, please call 01732 861159

Ickworth, Suffolk: Family Christmas sparkle at Ickworth
6 - 7, 13 - 14, 20 - 22 December, 9.30am - 4.30pm

Visit the Georgian mansion in the heart of the Suffolk countryside for a celebratory family Christmas making decorations, crackers and treats. Sit next to the Christmas tree to hear festive stories and collect a special gift from Father Christmas.
Price: £8 (booking advisable to see Santa) Normal admission charges for the park, garden and house for accompanying adults.

  • For more information, please call 0844 249 1895

Dyffryn Gardens, Glamorgan: Christmas fair and Father Christmas grotto
6 - 7, 13 - 14 December, 10am - 4pm

Come along to Dyffryn to meet Father Christmas, make some pomanders and get your Christmas shopping off to a great start. Pick up some local and unique gifts for your loved ones and have a crisp winter walk amongst the gardens scattered with a sprinkling of frost.
Price: Free event (normal admission fee applies)

  • For more information, please call 02920 593328

Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk: Meet Father Christmas
13 - 14 December, 11am - 4pm

This moated manor house looks like it has popped straight out of a fairy-tale and it looks even more magical at Christmas. Come along and find Father Christmas hiding out in his grotto in a corner of the festive Hall. Discover his secret location and tell him what you would like for Christmas and you’re sure to receive a special gift.
Price: £5

  • For more information, please call 08442 491 895

Castle Ward, County Down: Santa’s House
30 November - 22 December (Wednesday to Sunday only)

Mrs Claus welcomes you to help waken Santa as he sleeps by an open fire. Join her for some festive shortbread and mince pies, listen carefully to Santa’s story about Christmas at Castle Ward and collect a beautiful toy.
Price: Adult £7 Child £15 (booking essential)

  • For more information, please call 028 4488 1204

You can explore all the National Trust's Christmas events here.

Images © Emma Williams, Paul Harris and Arnhel de Serra.

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