My brilliant friend has been kind enough to write me a Lapland UK review blog, it's somewhere I've wanted to visit for ages and reading about all the happy memories she's made with her family has made me shed a tiny tear and convinced me to book for next year. Read on to find out everything you can expect from a visit to Lapland UK in 2018.
LaplandUK has been on my radar for the last few years, not just because it’s where all the celebs go or because of the multiple awards they’ve won, but for what it promises to deliver – a magical world full of memory making experiences.
This year, as my oldest edges closer to becoming a non-believer, I decided to bite the bullet and swallow the hefty price tag. I booked in February to get their early bird offer but even this was an eye watering £95pp (adults and children are charged the same price). It’s fair to say my expectations were high.
From the moment we arrived we weren’t disappointed. This is obviously a very well organised, very professional operation but the magic was in plentiful supply from the outset. The parking attendants were incredibly warm and friendly and welcomed us to the enchanted forest where Father Christmas was apparently eagerly awaiting our arrival.
When we moved into the enchanted forest reception desk we were welcomed by the elves (with a special wave) who gave all the children their passports, their jingle currency and told us which departure gate we would be leaving from. From there we entered Lapland through a secret door into the enchanted forest which, amazingly smelt, sounded and looked like a forest. The elves in here had both children and adults mesmerised as they told the story of how elves are born and how this year Father Christmas had decided to open up their world to the kindest and most helpful little (and big) folk to help with the Christmas preparations.
After the enchanted forest we entered Lapland, which according to my son was definitely real as it was covered in snow and was quite a few degrees colder than the enchanted forest. The tree lined pathways, covered with beautiful twinkly lights, led us to the Toy Workshop where the children were invited to help the elves finish making a gorgeous plush toy penguin named Flip. A lovely extra here is that you can purchase these toys, either on the day or separately, to leave for the children with a card from Father Christmas on Christmas morning - I literally can’t wait for my children to see these surprise gifts on Christmas day.
After the Toy Factory we went to see Mother Christmas in her kitchen to help her decorate gingerbread and have a story. She, as all the cast we encountered throughout the day, was totally in character and had the children wrapped around her finger. She personified everything you expect from Mother Christmas - kindness, patience, humour and generosity – and you couldn’t hear a pin drop when she read the children their story.
From here we entered the village, and as I had booked a late afternoon slot, we arrived in the dark to see wooden huts, a frozen pond (a fake ice rink) and tepees glowing and twinkling in the snow. The shops in here are beautiful and again are all in keeping with theme, for example Cookie Dough’s sweet shop, The Elf’s Emporium (toy shop) and a newspaper stall stocked with supplies of The Lapland Times! The attention to detail is incredible and even I had trouble at times remembering we were still in the UK. We had 90 minutes here which sounds like a lot but it actually went very quickly, we just had time to meet the Huskies, go ice skating (included in the price) and grab a cup of mulled wine which filled the air with the scent of cinnamon.
After our allotted time we were taken down some more beautiful snowy paths to see Father Christmas. Again, the attention to detail was brilliant with an elf being stationed on a stunning picturesque bridge with the sole purpose of taking a photo on your camera of you and your family.
After passing by the reindeer, and a sleigh, we arrived at a reception area for Father Christmas. This was the only area that I felt could be improved. It was effectively a holding room, beautifully dressed, but still just a waiting room to wait with other families until you were called to see Father Christmas. On arrival the most responsible big person (me) was asked to book in and, with the children out of earshot, the elf checks the children’s names and that the information you previously provided about them (pets, hobbies, a recent achievement) is still correct – again wonderful attention to detail.
After a short wait our children were called and we were taken by an elf through more tree lined paths to see Father Christmas. We saw other elves on the way (who all did the elf wave to our children) but no other families which added to the excitement and feeling that he was waiting just for us. Finally, we arrived at a beautiful wooden cabin surrounded by snow covered trees. We were called in to see Father Christmas and all I can say is that even I was convinced he was the real deal. The staging of the cabin was beautiful, he was completely in character and awed the children with the facts he knew about them – all delivered with complete conviction. He gave the children a bell to thank them for all their help in the Toy Workshop and then asked if he could give them an early Christmas present which was a gorgeous plush husky called Lumi.
We had at least 10 minutes in here chatting and never felt rushed, we asked questions (mostly about whether he sees the bad behaviour) and left feeling that we had experienced something really special – evidenced through the beautiful photos we have from this meeting. You can take your own as well as purchase the professional images which I felt were definitely worth it – we paid £20 for digital files of all the photos taken and a printed copy of the one we liked the most.
As you leave you are obviously taken through a gift shop but there is no pressure to do buy anything if you don’t want to.
As we left my borderline non-believer daughter turned to me and said, “thank you so much for bringing me here mummy, it’s been the best day ever”. I don’t know if that means she is convinced that Father Christmas is real, or that we were magically transported to Lapland through some doors and pathways in a Forest, but I know that it means she had a magical day full of special memories she, nor I, will never forget – just as LaplandUK promised.
Parking onsite is free.
Check out Lapland UKs website, it has loads of fun things to look at with the kids before your visit and, even though visits to Lapland UK are nor fully booked for 2018, you can sign up to their email list to be the first to know when tickets for 2019 become available.
Lapland UK recommends several local hotels to make your visit as relaxed as possible.
Macdonald Berystede Hotel which also has a lovely spa and fabulous family sized rooms.
Hilton Bracknell just 5 minutes from Lapland UK with a pool and great kids menu in the onsite restaurant.
Hilton St Anne's Manor, Bracknell a beautiful Country house about 15 minutes drive from Lapland UK.
Stoke Park Country Club and Spa a gorgeous 5 star hotel with an onsite spa and stunning grounds.
Make sure you pin for later for everything you need to know about making magical memories at Lapland UK.
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