Frequently Asked Questions
Opening Dates & Times
What dates will the Christmas Experience be at Lotherton?
The Christmas Experience runs from 23rd November to 23rd December daily.
What time is the Christmas Experience open?
The Christmas Experience opens daily at 10am and closes at 7pm Sunday to Thursday and 8pm on Friday and Saturday.
For full times visit ‘Plan Your Visit’
What time is Santa and the Elf Village open?
Santa’s North Pole
- Weekdays – opens from 3.40pm
- Weekends – opens from 10am
Elf Village Opening Times
- Opens daily from 11am
- Closes 30 minutes before the estate closes
Santa’s Cabin in the Elf Village
- Tuesday and Wednesdays 11am – 2pm
For full times visit ‘Plan Your Visit’
What time is the 12 Days Woodland Walk open?
The 12 Days Woodland Walk opens daily at 10am
Last admission is Sunday – Thursday at 6.30pm, and Friday and Saturday at 7.30pm.
TIP! The best time to go on the walk is when the light dims and into the evening!
How long do I need at the Christmas Experience?
We would recommend you allow 3-4 hours to make the most out of the experience. This should allow you time to visit the House, stroll around the 12 Days Woodland Walk, view the Fairy Dell, visit Santa’s North Pole (booking advised), visit the Elf Village and take part in activities, have a hot drink in the café or from the Elf Village Takeaway under the twinkling canopy. And if you visit during daylight hours you can pop into Wildlife World and visit Lotherton’s newest residents – the penguins!
Do I need to book?
We strongly advise you book, due to high demand and to ensure you get to enjoy the Christmas Experience booking is highly recommended.
If you are planning to visit Santa’s North Pole please book as early as possible as we expect to be sold out prior to The Christmas Experience opening. HOWEVER… Santa in the Elf Village is a drop in on Tuesdays and Wednesday 11am – 2pm for pre-schoolers, no pre-booking is required, simply turn up at the Elf Village.
Where can I book?
Booking can be done online on the ‘Tickets’ page
How much is the Christmas Experience?
Christmas Experience General Admission
Gains entry into:
- The estate, gardens and play areas
- The 12 Days Walk
- The House
- Wildlife World (when open, last entry 3.15pm, closes at 4pm)
- Elf Village (activities are charged on a pay as you go basis, tokens can be purchased from The Little Christmas Shop at £3 each or £10 for 4)
- The Fairy Dell
Christmas Experience with Santas North Pole
Gains entry into:
- All of the above (general admission)
- Your prebooked Santas visit at The North Pole
- Due to space and comfort for yourself and those around you a max 2 adults allowed in the North Pole per booking.
- Santa’s North Pole visit is approximately 40 minutes long
- Activities in Santa’s North Pole are not suitable for babies (under 1), babes in arms can accompany older siblings but will not receive a present.
Santa’s Cabin in the Elf Village
- Open Tuesdays and Wednesdays 11am – 2pm
- For pre-schoolers
- No pre-bookings taken
- Please purchase a general admission ticket to access the Elf Village
- Tickets to see Santa in the Elf Village can be bought from The Little Christmas Shop in the Elf Village itself
|Christmas Experience General Admission only||Christmas Experience with Santa’s North Pole booking||Santa’s Cabin in the Elf Village (not pre-bookable). Tues & Wed 11am-2pm only|
|Child (5 to 17)||£3.50||£3.75||£14.45||~|
|Child (under 4)||Free||Free||£10.95||£6.50|
I have a Lotherton annual membership, do I need to book?
Members who hold valid membership card do not need to book to enter the estate and enjoy the 12 Days Walk and other areas under this ticket. However members do need to book for Santa’s North Pole by visiting the ‘Tickets’ page.
I have a Max Card
Max Card holder are allowed free entry onto the estate for the card holder, the carers and two siblings. Santa’s North Pole tickets are charged at standard rate. Ticket prices are here.
I am having problems booking, what do I do?
If you are experiencing problems with the online booking system please call 0113 3783167 Monday to Friday 11am – 5pm
Can I change my booking?
Bookings are non refundable, it may be possible for us to change the date of your visit depending on availability, please call 0113 3783167 to see what can be done.
I want to cancel my booking?
Unfortunately bookings are non refundable, it may be possible to change the date of your booking, please call 0113 3783167
Will there be more Santa's North Pole tickets released?
All Santa’s North Pole tickets are available on the day they go on sale on Monday 3rd September. If times are not showing as having any spaces this means they are fully booked. No further tickets will be released for Santa’s North Pole. Booking as early as possible is strongly advised.
Have I bought the right ticket?
If you want to come along and enjoy The Christmas Experience without visiting Santa’s North Pole please book ‘Christmas Experience General Admission’. This ticket allows you to come in visit The Elf Village, 12 Days Woodland Walk, the Fairy Dell, the House and Wildlife World (during its opening hours – closes at 4pm, last entry 3.15pm)
Christmas Experience with Santa’s North Pole tickets give you all the entry into the above plus give you the option of booking a timeslot to meet Santa and his elves in the North Pole. These tickets include the cost of the general admission so only one ticket is required. When visiting the North Pole only 2 adults are allowed to accompany per booking, this is due to safety and comfort of yourselves and others at the same time slot.
If you want to visit Santa in The Elf Village on a Tuesday or Wednesday (11am-2pm), please book a general admission ticket to gain entry into the estate. Tickets to visit Santa can then be bought on the day at The Elf Village itself.
I have booked what do I need to bring?
Please print your tickets out and bring them with you or have them ready on your phone on arrival.
If you are an annual membership holder please bring your valid card and be ready to present to the kiosk when you arrive.
I have booked but not recieved my tickets
Please check your junk mailbox to see if the email has gone in there. Failing that call 0113 3783167 and we will do our best to find your booking and resending the email.
How much is it to visit Santa?
Santa’s North Pole
Children 5+ – £14.45 (this includes estate entry too)
Children under 4 (and Lotherton child members) £10.95
Two adults per booking can accompany children into the North Pole, spaces are limited due to comfort of yourselves and other people during the timed booking slot.
Santa’s Cabin in The Elf Village
This is for activity is for pre-schoolers, Tuesday and Wednesdays 11am – 2pm.
Children under 4 – £6.50
What happens at Santa's North Pole?
Families are greeted by one of our head elves and take to the workshop where they will help the elves make a gift for them to take home, children can then write a postcard to Santa and chat with the elves while waiting to see Santa himself. They will then get to visit him and receive a gift. The experience takes approximately 30-40 minutes.
This experience is aimed at all ages, however if you feel your child will not engage with the experience or the craft activity we do provide a drop in Santa in The Elf Village on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 11am – 2pm for pre-schoolers. This is a shorter visit just to see Santa himself.
What happens in Santa's Cabin in The Elf Village?
A visit with Santa on a Tuesday and Wednesday, 11am – 2pm, is designed for pre-schoolers and is more a ‘gotto’ style experience for younger children who simply want a short visit with Santa and not the longer 40 minute interaction with all the elves in the North Pole. It is priced at £6.50
How long is a visit at Santa's North Pole
The experience itself with the elves and Santa takes approximately 30-40 minutes. We ask people to arrive 5 minutes prior to their booking time but do our best for there to be no additional waiting time.
What time should I arrive for my North Pole booking?
We advise visitors arrive at Lotherton 40 minutes prior to their booking allowing themselves time to park and walk down to the Courtyard where Santa’s North Pole is situated behind. We ask everyone to be at the North Pole Box Office 5 minutes prior to their booked time.
Why is the North Pole not suitable for children under 1 years of age?
The experience is designed for young children who can interact with the elves and enjoy the craft activity. The craft activity in the workshop is not suitable for under 1 years of age. However babes in arms are welcome to visit with siblings but will not receive a gift from Santa.
If you still wish to attend and visit with Santa or receive a present alongside siblings a full price ticket can be purchase (the presents are still suitable for this age), but parents must be aware the experience will be limited.
We do provide a drop in Santa in The Elf Village for pre-schoolers. This is more of a grotto style Santa for those children who want a shorter visit. For more information on Santa please take a look here.
Can you bring pushchairs into the House?
Sadly we do not allow pushchairs in the house but we have a buggy park undercover outside you can leave them in!
Are numbers limited into The House?
Yes, for safety reasons we have to limit numbers in the House, therefore during busy times queuing maybe required. For those who can visit during the week or in the evenings these are our quieter times.
Can I bring bags into the House?
Bags can be brought into the House but we limit the size of bag to no more than the size of an A4 piece of paper. We do provide lockers for bags or advise they are left in the car.
Is the House wheelchair accessible?
Yes the house has facilities for wheelchairs including ramps.
Why is the Christmas Experience only available downstairs in the House?
Upstairs of the house, including the Fashion Galleries, is open on a seasonal basis form 1st March to mid-October each year.
The 12 Days Woodland Walk
How long does the walk take?
Including the Fairy Dell the walk is just short of a mile and takes 30 – 40 minutes as you stop along the way to look at things or play with the interactive elements.
Is it accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs?
Yes, the paths around the walk are fairly flat, solid and wide, making it easy to access for pushchairs and wheelchairs. There is one part of the walk that is a short slight incline, we do have electric scooters on site which you can borrow if available.
How dark is the walk?
The walk is lit with fairy lights along the paths and special lighting around each 12 Days installation making it bright enough to see you way around the paths easily. Should you have children who maybe particularly nervous in the darker areas it might be worth bringing a torch or using the light on your phone. However we feel this may spoil some of the magic but we want visitors to feel safe and comfortable.
Are each of the installations interactive?
Not all the 12 Days installations are interactive, but over half of them are. Some are just enjoyable to look at and some are great to play with. But please follow the safety notices and treat our 12 Days with care as not to break anything and spoil it for other visitors.
Are there any areas in the site that are not accessible?
We aim to make each area of the site as accessible as possible for wheelchair users and those who need assisted walking. The only area where it is an issue is inside the Fairy Dell as this is situated in the sunken rock garden, however you should be able to view elements of it from the outside path around the Fairy Dell.
Do you have electric scooters to hire?
There is three electric scooters on site which can be hired, however we cannot guarantee availability.
Food and Drink
Where can I get something to drink and eat?
The Stables café is open during full opening times of the estate. This serves hot and cold drinks, meals and snacks.
The Elf Village takeaway is open during Elf Village opening times where you can get hot drinks and snacks and enjoy them under the twinkling canopy in the Elf Village.
The Courtyard Takeaway Kiosk will be open at weekends for hot drinks and cold snacks / sandwiches.
The Elf Village
What is the Elf Village
The Elf Village is a wooded area situated near the playground. Come wander in-between the log cabins and view the elves in their workshops, take part in the craft activities* or listen to our story telling* elf, browse the Little Christmas Shop and enjoy a hot chocolate or mulled wine under the twinkling canopy.
Preschoolers can also visit Santa on a Tuesday and Wednesday, 11am – 2pm in The Elf Village, this is £6.50 but not prebookable.
Activities charged at £3 each or £10 for 4 – purchase tokens in the Little Christmas Shop.
Do you have to pay extra for the Elf Village
The area itself is all part of the estate entry fee, you can wander around, peek through the windows of the workshops, and browse the Little Christmas Shop.
If you would like to take part in the activities with the elves these are £3 each or £10 for 4 – tokens can be purchased on the day at the Little Christmas Shop.
Enjoy hot drinks and snacks from the takeaway under our twinkling canopy.
Do you have any additional events or activites programmed?
Family Magic Shows take place at 11:00, 13:30 and 15:00 on 24th & 25th November and 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th & 16th December in the Drawing Room within the house. The charge is £3.00 per person and these can be booked with your admission tickets.
Is there a charge for additional activities?
There is a small fee for the children’s entertainer in the drawing room of £3 per person (children not to be left unaccompanied). These tickets can be prebooked online.