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…
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, followed by a visit to the Stables Café for festive hot chocolate and other winter treats.
Ticket prices for Father Christmas in 2021 are TBA. They 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 per visit – please book one session for up to three children.
PLEASE NOTE To ensure the experience is Covid-safe, a maximum of five visitors will be allowed into Santa’s Grotto during each visit including children. We kindly ask that you limit the size of your party as much as possible. Any additional family members will be asked to wait outside under shelter during the visit.
Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Dates and Times
- Saturday 4th December, 10am – 7pm
- Sunday 5th December, 10am – 7pm
- Saturday 11th December, 10am – 7pm
- Sunday 12th December, 10am – 7pm
- Saturday 18th December, 10am – 7pm
- Sunday 19th December, 10am – 7pm
- Monday 20th December, 10am – 7pm
- Tuesday 21st December, 10am – 7pm
- Wednesday 22nd December, 10am – 7pm
- Thursday 23rd December, 10am – 7pm
- Friday 24th December, 10am – 7pm
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
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 managing their school pickups during the pandemic.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.