Relaxed Visits to Father Christmas 2022

Relaxed Visits to Father Christmas 2022

It’s our favourite time of the year

Father Christmas and an elf outside a cabin

Relaxed visits to Father Christmas 2022

We are pleased to introduce a number of relaxed visits to our Father Christmas experience. These visits will take place at the beginning or end of the day when the Estate is quieter. Each session will have a limited number of spaces and are intended for neurodivergent children and children with additional needs who wish to meet Father Christmas and his elves.

Step into the twinkling Christmas village, tucked away in the middle of Strid Wood and see what enchanting experience await. For more information on what the relaxed visit entails and to help you prepare for your visit please see below.

Information to help you know what to expect and prepare for your visit.

  • The experience will last approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Riverside car park will be open from 8:20am.
  • The lavatories situated between the Cavendish Pavilion and Shop will be open.
  • The walk from Riverside car park to Father Christmas’ Village in Strid Wood takes 15 minutes. The route is on the same side of the river as the Cavendish Pavilion. It follows the Green Trail through Strid Wood which is wheelchair and pushchair friendly. Festoon lighting marks the route in Strid Wood. It runs along the right edge of the path approximately 1m above the ground.
  • There will be 6 elves working in Father Christmas’ Village. You will meet different elves as you go through the Village and partake in different activities.
  • Visiting families are asked to wait outside the big gates at the entrance to Father Christmas’ Village until an elf welcomes everyone to the village. Entrance is via a small “elf sized” door. A larger door does open should anyone need this.
  • Once in the village an elf welcomes everyone. This area is relatively small, with the river running down one side and a fire pit in the opposite corner. The fire is fenced off.
  • The elves will take the group through to the workshop, which is a covered area where each child will have a work bench to plant a Christmas tree and decorate their seed marker and make biodegradable reindeer dust using shape cutters to cut shapes out of leaves. The shapes and glitter go into a small hessian purse. Children will take the seedling and biodegradable glitter home with them. These activities will be done with guidance from our elves.
  • All the elves are dressed in costume, with bells on their shoes.
  • After the workshop the group will move to the next activity which involves the elves singing and dancing. The elves will invite the children to learn their song. This activity takes place under shelter. There are benches covered with sheepskin rugs and a fire, again fenced off, to warm the area.
  • The children will then follow the elves to Father Christmas’ log cabin. Together they will wake Father Christmas up from his deep sleep and sing the song they have learnt with the elves.
  • Father Christmas will meet each child and chat with them about what they would like for Christmas. This one to one takes place outside with no shelter. There is an opportunity for photographs with Father Christmas. While the children wait to meet Father Christmas the elves will chat with them.
  • Each child will receive a soft toy from Father Christmas.
  • After meeting Father Christmas the family move into an area where there is a Father Christmas sleigh for a family photo opportunity, a catering van and a fire where you can warm yourself or toast marshmallows should you wish to purchase them from the van. Once in this area we ask that children do not retrace their steps and go back to Father Christmas and the elves.
  • Throughout the experience children are free to move from one section to another. The paths are lined with trees dressed with fairy lights. Where paths runs parallel to the river festoon lighting denotes the edge of the path. Children can get under the festoon lighting so we advise parental supervision at all times.
  • The ground is topped with bark chip where possible. Some sections of the path have protruding tree roots.

Important Information

  • Please park in Riverside car park – BD23 6AN. what3words: whirlwind.dimensions.jeeps
  • Present your complimentary car park ticket on arrival to gain entry to Bolton Abbey. You can print or present on a smartphone.
  • The Christmas village is located in Strid Wood. There is a 15 minute walk from Riverside car park, through Strid Wood to Father Christmas’ Christmas village. Please allow time for the walk and arrive no more than 5 minutes before your booking.
  • The event takes place outdoors. Shelters will be in place for some of the activities, however, some sections are exposed to the elements so wrap up in warm clothing and wear sturdy shoes.
  • The Christmas Village experience is exclusive to ticket holders.
  • Dogs are not permitted in the Christmas village.
  • After dusk, extra lighting will be in place in the wood, but torches are advisable. Please take extra care during this event.
    Bolton Abbey does not accept responsibility for the loss of tickets.
  • Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable.
  • Please check and double check your diary before booking your visit to Father Christmas’ village because we are unable to transfer, exchange or refund tickets.

Pre-book your tickets early to guarantee a memorable visit and avoid disappointment.

Click Here for further event information and FAQ’s.


Child – 26/27 November – £25.00 (all children visiting Father Christmas must have tickets – including babies).
3/4/10/11 December – £28.00
17/18/19/20/21/22 – £32.00

Adult/Older Sibling – £10.00 (will accompany the children/younger sibling – will not receive a gift from Father Christmas)