Top Tips for Lapland UK

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Top Tips for Lapland UK

Lapland UK Forest

This post was written in 2015 much of it still applies and I have updated it for this year. If you wish to read my review of Lapland UK 2015 you can find it here.

On Sunday we visited Lapland UK which is also known as Whitmore Forest in Berkshire. I have written a review about it here, but thought it would he a good idea to do a top tips post too for those of you that are going or saving up for a trip next year. You will find a mixture of reviews on the internet and part of the reason is due to the cost. At £45-£75 a person it is a hugely expensive Santa visit so you need to make sure you are happy about splashing the cash for a few hours in Bracknell.

1. There will be a lot of people. Lapland UK is only open for 25 days a year and needs to make money to operate. I was expecting to be in a small group but I am guessing in our tour there was around 100 people split into 2 groups.

Mother Christmas at Lapland UK

2. There is more than 1 Santa! This happens at many places and is done do you aren't waiting around too long. Last year at Peppa Pig World, big man ended up in another Santa's room - luckily he thought it was the same one we had been to, but with a new family in. My biggest tip is that when your elf skips you into the forest, make sure your kids don't rush off (this is when they could end up in the wrong Santas hut or realise there is more than one!) When you come out of seeing Santa keep your children talking so that they don't really notice that there are lots of other people wandering round with Husky soft toys that Father Christmas has just given them.

3. There are costumed characters. This was one of the things I didn't like. Mainly because I know it's only a matter of time until big man clicks that people are inside them. I fear that this will then bring the realisation that we have not been truthful about many things. Luckily I knew before hand that they would be there and had decided I would tell big man that the elves were having a joke and dressing up. As it turns out it wasn't an issue. Big man just loves a big soft cuddle. *** There were no costumed Characters in 2015****

character reindeer at Lapland UK

4. As the magic door is opened it starts "snowing." This is lovely as long as your child doesn't look up at the magical snow maker. ***Amended - in 2014 there was no snow when the doors opened***

5. If they are suspicious they will probably see through it. Lapland UK is lovely for believers of any age, but if you don't believe then it wouldn't take that much to work out that it is filled with actors. My 3 and 6 year old believed that they met Santa. However, there was a small questioning child on our way out who wasn't convinced. Cue lots of loud talking to distract from said child's questions.

6. There is a cafe at check in and the main restaurant is by the ice rink when you have your 90 mins free time. The child's meals were really big so if you have small children they could share. Once you have seen  Father Christmas you can't go back to the cafe or the shop. So if you want anything you have to get it before you set off to see the big man himself. The cafe takes elf jingles or debit and credit card - not sterling. We didn't bother with getting any elf jingles and I don't think it mattered on the basis that all prices were in £ not elf jingles

7. You can't take a picture inside with Santa as it is their opportunity to upsell you. They will take a picture of the children and then the whole family with Santa. We purchased 1 photo for £10 which I didn't think was too expensive (maybe I have become desensitised to these high prices by lots of trips to Legoland!) *** Prices start at £15 in 2015****

8. The time you book is when you get there and then the experience lasts 3 1/2 hours after that with Father Christmas being at the end. Worth remembering if you have children that need naps.

ULapland UK sign

9. Dress for being outside. We were lucky with the weather. However, you have 90 mins to go ice skating and around the shops/restaurant. If it was raining it wouldn't have been as good.

10. Just believe. If you love the magic of Christmas, just go with the flow and believe. If you are happy your children will be.

waiting to see Father Christmas at Lapland Uk

If you have been it would be lovely to know what you think. From what I can tell they have made some changes from last year when they were in Kent. We went first thing in the morning and on the 1st of December so it would be interesting to know if it is as good later in the day and nearer Christmas.

You can see my Lapland UK 2014 Review here.


  1. We knew one of the father christmasses in Kent. He did tell us that they do their best never to be seen with another santa. Love your photo of the kids with the reindeer character. Mine seem to have figured it out about the costumes but still don't mind as long as they get their hugs. xxx

  2. Louise Fairweather5 December 2013 at 17:48

    Yes I'm not sure what big man thinks!

  3. Have just finished working as a Father Christmas at LaplandUK, Whitmore Forest, and appreciate your comments. All of the staff work hard, especially during the torrential rain and storms experienced in late December. One thing that I feel should be noted is that you can't shorten your visit by demanding to see FC before you are due to - quite a few people complained about this as they didn't want to hang around due to inclement weather causing the extremely hard working and patient Customer Services lady (they only had one, working 14 hour days without any back-up) quite a few headaches. In such circumstances the FCs are asked to shorten their chat to the children which I felt lessened the children's enjoyment. However this meant another family were sat outside the hut while FC was still talking to a group inside. The main enjoyment for the FCs was the wonder, awe, and delight on the faces of the younger children. I would suggest waiting until a child was about 2 or 3 years old as those younger than that didn't really seem to comprehend what was happening - several FCs spoke of having groups of adults and 1 one year old child, in a buggy, fast asleep! Why? Another annoying aspect was the adults who insisted on using their own cameras in FC's house and we found it extremely difficult to obtain any relationship with the child/ children with several cameras flashing at them and calls of "Look this way". As the main object is the child's enjoyment, we had no choice but to ignore their rude actions and comments, some of which bordered on the obscene and insulting and all in front of their children. No doubt, these will be the same people who will complain about the experience and demand their money back! Yes, it is expensive, though when you compare the interactive enjoyment with a bunch of long queues and 2 minute rides at places like Legoland, Alton Towers, or Chessington, perhaps it is not so expensive after all? Hope to see you there next year.

  4. Louise Fairweather28 December 2013 at 13:30

    Wow! Father Christmas has read my blog! Thanks for commenting as these are really useful points. We were so lucky with the weather, and I can imagine it ended up quite muddy. Yes I think you are right with no younger than 3. We took our two year old and he enjoyed it, but wont remember a thing, whereas our nearly 4 year old can talk all about it. And yes days out are expensive. I feel it was worth the money, and would much rather put money towards such an experience than lots of presents. Now to start saving again!

  5. We went at 5 pm and the place looked great with all the lights , we had a great time with out 4 year old , and Santa all I can say is we now believe !! He was great and the little msn was fully taken in by it all

  6. Louise Fairweather4 January 2014 at 19:51

    Oh that is good to know - I think maybe a later one next year may be nice x

  7. we are looking at the 5pm booking and are worried that it will be too dark to enjoy everything. Does the tour run as normal at this time with a chance to ice skate,etc?