Santa is especially busy in the run-up to Christmas, but you can catch him all around the UK as he pays visits to some festive locations and doles out gifts and festive cheer. Bus operators Stagecoach has compiled a list of some of the best places to catch Father Christmas before Christmas Day!
Where to visit Santa in the North East
The North East is no stranger to the kind of weather Santa is used to, with cold temperatures and snowfall in the winter a regular sight. Father Christmas is attending a number of locations around Tyne and Wear – here are some of the best:
Intu Metrocentre, Gateshead —From Saturday 12th November 2016 until Saturday the 24th of December 2016, Santa heads to the Metrocentre to offer free PLAYMOBIL gifts from his grotto.
- Monday – Friday 10am – 8pm
- Saturday – 9am – 7pm
- Sunday – 11am – 5pm
- Christmas Eve – Closed at 4pm
Beamish, Country Durham — Visit Beamish Museum from the 19th of November all the way until Christmas Eve for a chance to catch Father Christmas and his reindeer at his grotto. There’s also a winter fun fair and ice skating rink to be enjoyed. Tickets are £4 and can be bought on the day of arrival.
Open every day from 10am to 4pm.
Where to meet Santa in the North West
In the Manchester and Chester areas, Santa is paying special visits to all the girls and boys. Here’s where to see him:
Hamleys, Manchester — Hamleys is a store built for kids, and it only gets better at Christmas. Visit Santa in the Manchester store form the 26th of November up until Christmas Eve. Sessions are grouped and involve festive stories, wish list writing and meeting Father Christmas himself. Children will get a goody bag with each visit, so booking is encouraged!
Cheshire Reindeer Lodge, Cheshire — Meet Santa and his friendly companions! Visit Cheshire Reindeer Lodge to see and feed Rudolph and pals before you say hello to the big man himself.
Entry available from 10am to 6.30pm.
Where to meet Santa in Scotland
Santa Land, Edinburgh — Featuring a Christmas maze and a Santa train, this is forecast to be a festive extravaganza. You can meet Santa himself here between the 19th of November and Christmas Eve. Located next to Edinburgh Waverley, you can head here for a festive treat that your children will never forget!
- Monday to Friday 30am to 7pm
- Saturday & Sunday30am to 8pm
- Christmas Eve30am to 7.30pm
Hamleys, Glasgow – Hamleys makes our list once again, with Santa Claus heading to the Glasgow store between the 26th of November and Christmas Eve. Like the Manchester event, it’ll be a group session involving festive delights – so you’ll have to book online to avoid disappointment.
Where to visit Santa in London
Santa’s Grotto, Leicester Square – The capital plays host to a massive celebration in Leicester Square with a market and vintage Spiegeltent. You can enter it for free, but visiting Santa’s Grotto itself is ticketed. The event runs from the 11th of November until the 8th of January, but Santa is only available at key times so book online to avoid disappointment.
Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park – Visit Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park for fun for all the family. With Christmas markets, ice skating and Santa land, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Santa land includes a toy factory, rides and, of course, the option to visit the big man himself! Entry is free and the grotto is open from 10am to 6pm every day. Take the bus and enjoy a glass of mulled wine or two! The event runs from the 18th of November to the 2nd of January.