We had the most magical experience during our stay in England - visiting Longleat House and going on the Santa train through the snow covered woods to meet Father Christmas.
Longleat House is widely regarded as one of the best examples of Elizabethan architecture in Britain and is a beautiful stately home open to the public. Owned by the Marquess of Bath it is set on 900 landscaped acres and features an adventure playland and the most amazing Safari Park, where you can drive your own car through vast expanses of land amongst freely roaming African animals, such as lions, tigers, elephant, monkeys and every other imaginable exotic animal.
One of the great attractions there is the annual pilgrimage to ride the famous Santa train.
We were booked on the 6pm train, the last of the day.
You board the train at Longleat Central.
It was pretty frosty. My kids have never been so cold.
The train weaves through the woods which open up into a clearing to reveal this fairylit wonderland.
The fir trees are all strewn with thousands of coloured lights reaching up 5-10 metres.
You walk along a path to the Grotto, a snow covered log cabin where Father Christmas is waiting.
Inside is the man himself, waiting by a cosy log fire and a beautiful Christmas tree, ready with age appropriate gift for each child.
The kids were lucky to get a photo outside on the sleigh.
A farewell wave from Father Christmas.
It was an experience we will never forget, and if you are in England I highly recommend a visit to Longleat, no matter the time of year.