7 magical places to see Santa this Christmas

Monday, 2 December 2019

It’s not long until Santa and his reindeer fly around the world to drop-off presents to everyone on his Nice List, so we made our own list of magical places you can meet the man himself this December.

You may notice that certain dates overlap, which suggests that Santa will be in multiple locations at the same time. But remember – Santa is an extremely efficient traveller (and his portly appearance and beard length may differ depending on where you happen to see him).

Small Space Santa Special, National Space Centre, Leicester

For one day only, Santa will appear at the National Space Centre in Leicester, with songs, stories andgames specially designed for under-5s.

Santa’s visit to the Space Centre is quite appropriate, given that he travels close to the speed of light to access every chimney in the world in just one night. As well as meeting Santa in his space-themed grotto, budding young astronauts can enjoy an immersive planetarium show in which Astronaut George gives a guided tour of the planets of our solar system.

Dates: December 20, 2019 | Find out more

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Santa Special Cruises, Chesterfield Canal

If your family has never experienced the tranquil, quintessentially British delight of canal travel, this Christmas could be the ideal time to make your maiden voyage.

Chesterfield Canal is considered one of the most varied and beautiful waterways in England, with staircase locks that are almost 250 years old, fully walkable towpaths, and peaceful surrounding countryside.

This December, four boats are hosting Santa Special Cruises on the canal, with a mince pie and drink for the adults and a present for every child. Booking ahead is essential.

Dates: Selected dates until December 23, 2019 | Find out more

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Sheffield Christmas Market, Sheffield

Our list of Santa stop-offs wouldn’t be complete without a Christmas Market, and Sheffield has one of the best. What started as a handful of stalls has grown to a fully festive experience with more than 50 cabins.

After having your fill of seasonal food and drink, including traditional German sausage and a glass of wine (mulled or otherwise) from the Sleigh Bar, head to the heart of the market to find Santa’s Grotto. Every visitor has the chance to take a photo with jolly St. Nick and walk away with a top-quality gift.

Dates: Daily until December 24, 2019 | Find out more

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Cutlery Works, Sheffield

If you fancy a more eclectic eating experience than can be found at the Christmas Market but don’t want to miss the chance to meet Santa, you’re in luck. Father Christmas will be dropping into the Cutlery Works on two days in December to meet diners.

Cutlery Works is the largest independent food hall in the North of England, located in Sheffield’s trendy Kelham Island near a host of craft pubs and cool bars. The food, which is served by a mix of permanent and semi-permanent vendors, is inspired by the hawker markets of South East Asia, with influences from New York, Lisbon and Barcelona.

Dates: Santa visits on December 14 and 21, 2019 | Find out more

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Santa’s Festive Steam Train, Peak Rail, Matlock

Be transported back to the Age of Steam by Peak Rail. This steam engine, which runs on a 4-mile stretch of preserved railway between Rowsley South Station and Matlock Platform 2, offers visitors a nostalgic one-hour travel experience through the Derbyshire countryside.

This month, Santa and his many helpers step aboard bearing treats and activity packs for every boy and girl. While mums, dads and grandparents enjoy the scenery with obligatory mulled wine and mince pies, a variety of professional entertainers will keep kids captivated.

Dates: December 7 to 24, 2019 | Find out more

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An Audience With Father Christmas, Lincoln Castle

In addition to his Audience With… at Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire, Santa will be holding court at Lincoln Castle. This time, he’ll be in a Victorian setting, sharing stories about his life and handing out Victorian-style gifts to every child in attendance.

If you make it to Lincoln Castle this December, check out the Christmas Emporium light show (December 14-22). The Castle will be illuminated with newly imagined fairy tales, including the story of Havelock the giant Viking; Lucy, the 11th-century countess who ruled the lands; and the story of a great dragon that was turned to stone by an evil wizard.

Dates: December 14 and 15 & 19-22, 2019 | Find out more

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Christmas at Wollaton Hall, Nottingham

Where better to see Santa than at one of the finest Elizabethan mansions in England? Wollaton Hall in Nottingham stands on a hill in 500 acres of parkland, where deer roam freely and festive photo opportunities appear at every turn.

This December there are concerts, crafts and Christmas markets within the grounds of the Hall and the chance to have breakfast or luxury afternoon tea with Father Christmas. He’ll be in residence in the cosy surroundings of Lord Middleton’s library every weekend until December 22. Booking is required and tickets include a present.

Dates: Weekends until December 22, 2019 | Find out more

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