Where to see Santa in South Devon this Christmas

By Ross Purdy on November 26, 2017

Santa and his reindeer at Pennywell

As Christmas 2017 hurtles towards us like a herd of flying reindeer, here are five places in South Devon where kids can see Santa during the festive season. Being a busy man, some of St Nick’s appearances will be for one day only, while for others the big belly laugh, black boots and bushy beard will be sticking around for most of the holidays.

Here are five places where Father Christmas will park up his sleigh in South Devon this year.


Woodlands (25th November to 22nd December)

You can meet Santa in his magical grotto almost any day for around a month leading up to Christmas. The experience begins with a walk through his Lapland workshop and includes nine specially created rooms to explore. Kids get a free gift from the man himself, and there’s a festive drink for adults too.

Booking is essential. For prices and further details, visit the official Christmas at Woodlands page.

Pennywell (25th November to 24th December)

The popular petting zoo at Pennywell Farm plays host to a traditional celebration of Christmas, focused around a Nativity play, for which your child can dress up and take part in the show (costumes and directions, etc. are provided).

After the performance, every participating child gets to meet Father Christmas in his grotto and receive a gift. After that, it’s over to the café, where there’s mulled wine and mince pies for the grown-ups, and soft drinks and Christmas biscuits for the kids.

Advanced booking is required, which can be done online on the Pennywell website, where you’ll also find admission fees and other details.

South Devon Railway (9th, 10th, and 16th – 24th December)

Meet Father Christmas on his special grotto steam train, which runs between Buckfastleigh and Staverton on the South Devon Railway. On board, there’s special entertainment and refreshments for everyone in the family.

The event takes about two hours. Find out more and book online here.

Candlelit Dartmouth (Friday 24th and Saturday 25th November 2017)

Candlelit Dartmouth is this historic harbour town’s way to kick off the Christmas season in style, with late-night shopping, carol singing, live entertainment, kids’ craft activities, a magical lantern parade, street food, mulled wine… and best of all, Santa’s arrival by boat! After his arrival at

Dartmouth Quay at around 6 pm on Friday 24th, Santa will make his way to his grotto on Royal Avenue Gardens.

Santa has assured us he’ll be bringing a sack full of sweets and Christmas treats for kids on their best behaviour – find out more from the organisers of Candlelit Dartmouth here.

Kingsbridge Celebrates Christmas (Saturday 2nd December)

Get your Christmas shopping underway in Kingsbridge at this growing annual event. The streets will be lined with stalls and shoppers, and Santa will be appearing at around midday carrying free Christmas gifts for the little ones. Last year Father Christmas arrived looking especially cool in a vintage red car, where he was greeted by the Mayor of Kingsbridge to rapturous applause.

Look out for timings and other details on the Kingsbridge Celebrates Christmas Facebook page and website.

Have you planned your winter getaway yet? Take a look at our fantastic Christmas and New Year offers today.