29 magical places to meet Santa Claus in Gloucestershire

Steam trains, safaris, and underground adventures are just some of the magical ways for children to meet Santa Claus across Gloucestershire and beyond this Christmas.

SoGlos has spoken to the elves and found out exactly where Santa Claus will be this Christmas, with 29 magical places across Gloucestershire for children to hand deliver their Christmas lists and meet the jolly man himself. Ho, ho, ho!

From seasonal shopping trips and exciting off-road adventures, to taking a walk in a winter wonderland, find out where to whisper those wishes to Father Christmas, in this hot list sponsored by Regent Arcade Cheltenham, where you can meet Santa on various days throughout Novemeber and December.

For more information see regentarcade.co.uk directly.

1. See Santa in the town centre

Father Christmas will be flying into Cheltenham’s Regent Arcade on special dates throughout November and December, greeting festive families and offering the chance for little ones to snap a selfie with the man himself, and of course hand over those all-important Christmas lists!

Appearing every Saturday from November 24 2018 and then daily from Monday 17 December 2018, children will love the chance to meet Santa, while grownups can catch up on their Christmas shopping.

2. See the green Santa at Westonbirt Arboretum

Walk in a winter wonderland at Westonbirt Arboretum’s annual Enchanted Christmas event on selected dates between Saturday 1 and Sunday 23 December 2018. Along with appearances from the Christmas fairy, Jack Frost, and Mrs Christmas, children can meet Old Saint Nick himself in his traditional green costume.

3. Meet Santa in his Christmas cabin

Guests enjoying Gloucester Quays shopping, dining or even festive ice rink, can also book their slot to meet Santa, too. Appearing in his grotto between Thursday 15 November 2018 and Monday 24 December 2018, Father Christmas will be waiting to give gifts to children in his traditional cabin, housed at the city’s shopping centre.

4. See Santa switch on the lights in Tewkesbury

Promising festive fun festivities, Santa will be visiting Tewkesbury’s High Street on Sunday 25 November 2018 for its Festival of Christmas Lights, where he’ll be switching on the town’s lights. There’s also a Christmas market, fairground rides and farmers market stalls.

5. Watch a festive film with Santa at Bacon Theatre

Cheltenham’s Bacon Theatre will play host to the jolly bearded man and his grotto during two festival film screenings on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 December 2018, when he will delight little ones with a gift before they settle down for a special screening of heart-warming Christmas film, Arthur Christmas.

6. Go off-roading with Santa

If sleighs and reindeers aren’t your style, take on a driving adventure with Land Rover Experience Eastnor on selected dates between Saturday 1 and Saturday 22 December 2018. Families can drive across inclines and descents, and wade through water on the way to Santa’s Grotto.

7. Hear a story from Santa

Settle down at Corinium Museum for a seasonal storytelling session with Santa on Thursday 20 December 2018, with excited children hearing stories about the magical North Pole, before receiving an early gift.

8. Take tea with Father Christmas at Wyevale Gloucester or Cheltenham

Enjoy breakfast or tea at Wyevale Garden Centres on selected dates during the festive season, before decorating Christmas cookies and welcoming Santa and his elves when they arrive from the North Pole, laden with special presents.

9. See Father Christmas come down the chimney at Perrygrove

Santa will be shooting out of the chimney right in front of children’s eyes on selected dates during December 2018, during what is sure to be a magical day at Perrygrove Railway, made even better with festive storytelling, mince pies, presents, and treetop adventures.

10. Dig into Christmas at Dobbies

Santa will be flying into Dobbie’s Garden Centre in Cirencester this winter, where he’ll be giving kiddies the chance to join him for a hearty breakfast or tea on selected dates throughout the festive season, with diners also receiving a special gift.

11. Santa Specials at Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway

Santa will be taking a different mode of transport when he hops on board a 1960s vintage railcar and steam train to spread festive cheer across the county. The man of the moment will be greeting happy children at Toddington and Winchcombe stations with presents and mince pies, with journeys taking place on selected dates from Saturday 1 to Monday 24 December 2018.

12. Find Santa at The Lygon Arms

Foodie families will love the chance to enjoy afternoon tea at The Lygon Arms in Broadway, while smaller guests can meet Father Christmas, alongside receiving an early festive gift. Indulge in tasty treats like warm scones with clotted cream and jam, chocolate brownies, Christmas cupcakes and Marshmallow pops.

13. Go on safari with Santa at West Midlands Safari Park

Take a magical sleigh ride to the North Pole at favourite animal attraction, West Midlands Safari Park. On selected dates from Saturday 17 November to
Monday 24 December 2017, kiddies can meet Santa, and visit the elves’ workshop to pick a special gift, along with meeting the resident wild animals.

14. Join Santa for a festive feast at The Gables Hotel

Father Christmas will surprise little ones during a festive family lunch at The Gables Hotel on Sunday 16 December 2018, bringing with him a bag of early presents for well-behaved children.

15. Meet Father Christmas at the Hilton

Providing a three-meat carvery dinner, this event is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a family lunch, while meeting Father Christmas. Visiting the Doubletree by Hilton Cheltenham on two Sundays in December 2018, this event is ideal for busy families who enjoy eating out together.

16. Give your gift wish to Santa at Slimbridge

Little ones will be welcomed to Slimbridge Wetland Centre by Santa from Saturday to Sunday 23 December 2018, taking a trip to his cosy grotto as well as enjoying a host of festive activities, and tucking into either afternoon tea or breakfast with the elves.

17. Hop on the Santa Train at Longleat Safari Park

A post shared by Longleat (@longleatofficial) on

Enjoy a family day out at Longleat Safari Park when children can hop aboard the Santa Train during the festive season, steaming off on a special journey to meet the jolly red man where they’ll also receive an early Christmas present.

18. Go wild with Santa at Cattle Country

Children can have some festive farmyard fun at Cattle Country Adventure Park during the Christmas season, with Santa’s grotto open for excited visitors on selected dates between Saturday 24 November and Sunday 23 December 2018.

19. Experience a real Christmas Fantasy at Clearwell Caves

A post shared by Crista Gaunt (@cristagaunt) on

Father Christmas will be giving out presents to well-behaved little ones in the truly magical setting of Clearwell Caves from Friday 30 November to Monday 24 December 2018, inviting visitors to follow the enchanting and curious tale of Cora and the Bloobious Bright through wonderful displays.

20. Shop with Santa at King's Walk

Santa will be flying into King’s Walk Shopping Centre in Gloucester to spread festive cheer on Thursday 6, Saturday 15 and Monday 24 December 2018, ready to hear their Christmas wishes and cheer up seasonal shopping trips.

21. Meet Santa at the Christmas Fair

Returning to Winchcombe’s Christmas Fair for another year, children can meet Father Christmas inside the Guide Hall, and receive a small gift. There’s also a warm drink available to adults during the festive celebration.

22. Meet Santa at the Tetbury switch on

Children will love the opportunity to meet Father Christmas as he switches on the Christmas lights in Tetbury on Friday 7 December 2018. Visitors can enjoy carol singing, market stalls, Santa’s grotto, music and more.

23. Visit Santa's magical grotto at Batsford Arboretum

Santa will be taking up residence within the stunning setting of Batsford Arboretum on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 December 2018, inviting children to meet him and his friendly elf, before receiving an early Christmas gift.

24. Meet Santa on the farm

Offering even more excitement at Cotswold Farm Park, Santa will be taking up residence in his grotto during the festive season, with children able to tell him their Christmas wishes and go home with a gift.

25. See Father Christmas in a winter wonderland

Coleford is welcoming kiddies to meet Santa in his Grotto as the town’s Christmas lights are switched on, on Saturday 1 December 2018. Expect a fun fair, live music and Christmas stalls to mark this festive occasion.

26. See Santa and some favourite friends at Dean Heritage Centre

Santa will be welcoming children into the cosy Foresters cottage at Dean Heritage Centre on various dates in December 2018, settling down with his friendly elf and handing out gifts to lucky visitors.

27. Go wild with the elves and Santa

Enjoy a brilliant festive experience during Santa’s Passport to Christmas at All Things Wild in Evesham from Saturday 24 November to Monday 24 December 2018, with children able to visit Santa, see the centre’s resident animals, and find out what the elves have been getting up to, promising a fun-filled visit this winter.

28. Meet Santa and his reindeer at Prinknash

Go walking in a winter wonderland at Prinknash Bird and Deer Park, which will play host to a magical Christmas event with highlights including reindeer, magical illuminations, the chance to meet the park’s birds and animals, and see Santa, his grotto, and his sleigh.

29. Steam along with Santa at Dean Forest Railway

A post shared by @deanforestrailway on

Kiddies can climb aboard a steam train journey for an unforgettable Christmas memory with Dean Forest Railway on selected dates between Saturday 1 and Monday 24 December 2018, when the Jolly Red Man will visit each child in their seats, along with festive entertainment and warming refreshments.

© SoGlos
Monday 22 October 2018

More hot lists you might like...

From haunting sculptures to huge film screenings, Gloucestershire marked the centenary in some truly breathtaking ways – including this poignant art installation at Cheltenham Ladies’ College.

10 breathtaking ways Gloucestershire marked the World War I centenary

Gloucestershire marked the special centenary of World War I with some absolutely breathtaking tributes to the fallen soldiers....

Get into the festive spirit and take part in some of the best Christmas carol concerts in Gloucestershire.

10 Gloucestershire carol concerts to get you in the festive spirit

Including classic carols, choral music, and festive favourites, SoGlos has picked out 10 seasonal concerts in Gloucestershire...

From pinafores to leopard print, pick up the latest trends from King’s Walk Gloucester.

7 winter trends to pick up at King's Walk Gloucester

Chunky knitwear, winter wrap-ups and festive pyjamas are a must at this time of year. Rounding up the hottest trends of the...

Discover how you can celebrate the centenary of Armistice in Gloucestershire in 2018.

8 ways to celebrate the centenary of World War I in Gloucestershire

The centenary of the end of World War I is being marked with poignant remembrance events across Gloucestershire this November...

Unicorn fans will love our hotlist of the best Unicorn themed activities in the county

9 places to get your unicorn fix in Gloucestershire

Do you believe in unicorns? SoGlos has rounded up nine of the best unicorn-themed activities to enjoy in Gloucestershire.

Unmissable highlights