Lapland UK

On Friday, we took the kids to Lapland UK.

The first reaction I got when I mentioned this to people generally went along the lines of “OMG, you’re going there?! I heard about them in the news!”.

It’s not the same place. This isn’t the New Forest Lapland-themed attraction that made the headlines so spectacularly a couple of weeks ago – it’s a place in Kent.

Even their website has a banner on the top to reassure visitors saying: “Please be assured Lapland UK has NO association with Lapland New Forest”.

Hmmm… I guess they have a bit of a brand problem, at least in the short-term.

With this in mind, and as we had such a lovely day there, I thought I’d do my little bit to help their image by sharing our experience.

The day is more than just letting the kids meet Santa and asking for presents… although we did meet Santa, that came at the end of a day of Christmas-themed activities.

Grace got to:

Work in Father Christmas’s toy factory (well, assemble rocking horses from bits 🙂 )

Help Mother Christmas to decorate gingerbread men in the Gingerbread House

Send a postcard from the North Pole Post Office

Go ice skating

Meet husky dogs (well, see them from a distance and refuse to go any nearer! 😉 ) and see real reindeer

Hear traditional Saami stories in a Saami teepee

‘Lapland’ is a spread-out camp of log cabins surrounding an ice-rink in a wooded area of fir trees.

Fake snow machines give the place a coating of snow, and with reindeers and huskies being led around, the whole place definitely looks the part.

In fact, it makes quite an impact when you first see it – the journey to Lapland is a walk through a long covered tunnel, and when you come out of the other side, the first impression is quite cool.

The most impressive part are probably the staff.

It’s almost Disney-esque in the way that we didn’t see staff out of character once all day – the elves were always elves, the Saami were always Saami.

And they all had smiles, energy and bags of enthusiasm.

As well as doing the actual activities with the children, the characters read stories, and teach songs and dances.

There were even elves on hand to help take Grace round the ice rink after I demonstrated my ineptness by being unable to let go of the side while still holding Grace’s hands.

They make an effort to maintain the illusion of us really being at Lapland – from the explanation of the magic journey to Lapland to justify why we could get there so quickly, to the way that someone quietly pulls a parent aside while the kids are busy, getting information for the visit with Santa.

When Grace went into meet Santa, he knew what she liked, what her sister’s name is, what her friends at nursery are called – that sort of thing.

Okay, as magic stunts go, it’s hardly Derren Brown, but for a four-year-old it all added to the magic and believability.

The attention to detail is impressive. There is a consistent narrative that runs through the day, as characters throughout the day referred to who you met earlier.

It’s more than just a theme park with a few separate activities to do. There is an obvious effort into tying it all together into a whole day experience.


If I’m honest, it’s hardly cheap.

At £275 for two adults, a four year old and a baby, it’s an expensive day out. And if this hadn’t been bought for us as a present from my (fantastically kind!) father-in-law, I don’t know if we’d have been able to justify paying that much for one day.

It was a great day – Grace totally believes that she met Father Christmas. And the cost did cover everything – from all the activities, to the nice hot cooked meals at lunch and the presents that we all got from Father Christmas.

Even I got a present – a hard-back copy of “The Night Before Christmas” that he made me promise to read to Grace on Christmas Eve night.

It was a lovely day, and definitely left us all feeling very festive. Merry Christmas, everyone!

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3 Responses to “Lapland UK”

  1. […] Update: Dale Lane took his kids to Lapland UK, and reports back. […]

  2. francis says:

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  3. dale says:

    Hi Frank.

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    Best of luck, Dale