Visits to the gardens, gallery and shops at Hestercombe must be pre-booked ~ Book your admission

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5th December 2020

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Father Christmas at Hestercombe - 5th December 2020

Father Christmas at Hestercombe, near Taunton in Somerset

Father Christmas at Hestercombe, near Taunton in SomersetVisit Hestercombe this Christmas to enjoy a magical Father Christmas experience, where every child can meet the man in red and receive their own special gift!

When you arrive, you’ll be greeted by one of our friendly Hestercombe elves, who’ll hand you a special activity pack full of festive fun.

When Father Christmas is ready, you’ll wander through the winter gardens to the man himself. In his magical garden folly, the log fire will be roaring, lights will be twinkling on the Christmas tree and sacks of presents will be waiting…

Enjoy an illuminated walk to Santa's Grotto at Hestercombe

A visit to Father Christmas is extra special in the dark as you can wander along the illuminated pathway to his garden hideout.

After seeing Father Christmas, children can enjoy taking part in our Christmas gardens trails ‘Rodney’s Christmas Coat’ and ‘Rosie’s Festive Foray‘, followed by a visit to the Stables Café for festive hot chocolate and other winter treats.

Prices & Tickets

Ticket prices are £10, and include Hestercombe admission for the child, and half-price discount on admission for accompanying non-member adults (members go free).

Father Christmas can see a maximum of three children in each slot – please book one session for up to three children. To ensure the experience is Covid-safe, a maximum of five people will be allowed into Santa’s Grotto at any one time (including children).

Children must be accompanied by an adult.


By clicking the ‘Book now’ button, you are confirming that you have read all of the important information below.

Dates and Times

Saturday 5th December 10am – 7pm
Sunday 6th December 10am – 4pm
Saturday 12th December 10am – 7pm
Sunday 13th December 10am – 7pm
Saturday 19th December 10am – 7pm
Sunday 20th December 10am – 7pm
Monday 21st December 10am – 7pm
Tuesday 22nd December 10am – 7pm
Wednesday 23rd December 10am – 7pm
Thursday 24th December 10am – 6pm



Due to the Covid pandemic, and because we have a duty to safeguard our staff and visitors, we have some special rules for Father Christmas attendees this year. Please read the following carefully before booking your tickets:

  • You must check in at our Visitor Reception 15 minutes before your slot. If you are too early, you will be unable to wait in Santa’s Workshop (due to capacity limitations and social distancing); if you are late then you may miss your slot. This is similar to the way that schools are currently managing their school pickups.
  • You will only be able to go into the gardens after your visit to Father Christmas. We have tried to find an alternative way, but this keeps it simple and clear for everyone.
  • This means that if you book a slot after 3pm, then you may not have time to fully explore the gardens and take part in the trails before it gets dark. Therefore we will give you a return gardens admission voucher to be used at a future date of your choosing.
  • When you book online, you will receive a confirmation email. When you check in, you must be ready with your reference number and a print out, or screenshot of your confirmation email to show at the Ticket Office. If you don’t receive one you must email or call us on 01823 413923 to ensure that your booking is confirmed.
  • To keep everybody as Covid-safe as possible, there will be a one-way system out of Santa’s Grotto during daytime hours only. This means that your visit will take extra time, and will involve a short walk past the Chinese Seat, down around the Pear Pond, Mill and Barn and through the formal gardens in order to get back to the Visitor Centre. We know it’s not ideal, but this is the only way we can ensure that all of our visitors are kept safe. The route will be part of our all-access route.
  • Therefore you should ensure that you wear appropriate clothing and footwear, as there may be some slippery surfaces on your route, especially when wet.
  • Masks must be worn in both Santa’s Workshop and Grotto by adults (except those who are less able to wear face coverings) and children over 11 years old.
  • View our event cancellation and refund policy

Additional Covid-safe measures include:

  • One way system around Santa’s Workshop, and allocated spaces for families waiting to see Father Christmas
  • Limited capacity slots (a maximum of 5 visitors in Santa’s Grotto at any one time)
  • Social distancing inside the grotto, including no physical contact with Father Christmas
  • Elves will wear appropriate PPE
  • Ample hand santa-tiser will be available!

Thank you for your understanding from everyone at Hestercombe.


Sat, 5th Dec at 10:00 am
Thu, 24th Dec at 6:00 pm
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01823 413923


Hestercombe Gardens
Cheddon Fitzpaine
Taunton, Somerset TA2 8LG United Kingdom
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01823 413923