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A seasonal excursion that lives up to expectation.
If news reports of boozed-up Santas and chain-smoking elves in muddy, snowless fields with miserable-looking gifts have scared you off meeting the great FC at one of his UK homes, then head to picture-perfect LaplandUK – just off the M4 in Whitmoor Forest – for the twinkly romance of a jolly wholesome and traditional Christmas experience. For here the real enchantment has descended, with the real Father Christmas and the real Rudolph waiting to listen to your Christmas wishes. No, really!
A far cry from the hurried-hop-up- on-the-old-man’s-knee-plus-a-crappy -bulk-bought-toy deal, LaplandUK is a magical Christmassy experience, which begins as soon as you purchase your tickets, with personalised notes for the children. From the moment you leave the car park and wind through the Enchanted Forest, you feel like you’re in a well-crafted fairy tale in a land of friendly elves, who immediately and amusingly engage your children in packing suitcases and preparing for your interactive tour. After an official greeting from an eco-friendly elf, the kids head off to help assemble wooden horse toys and stuff soft toy reindeer in the cosy toymaker’s workshop. Later, in an extremely festive kitchen, Mother Christmas reveals Father Christmas’s secret gingerbread addiction and the children get to decorate and keep little gingerbread houses (just don’t hand them over to Santa later, if he tries to take them off you!).
The whole experience lasts around three and a half hours, so you have plenty of time to spend your elf-currency (£1 = 1 ‘Jingle’, with a minimum of £20 to be purchased when you book), in the pretty elf-village surrounded by beautiful snowy trees. Happily, along with the Christmas atmosphere, there are also clean and well-stocked facilities: a licensed restaurant with half-decent food, a sweet shop and an ice-rink There’s an expensive gift shop too, of course. But this is the real Christmas deal, done beautifully.