Christmas is an extra special time to stay in South Devon. Its cosy traditional pubs, unique gift shops, picturesque towns and villages, and range of luxurious accommodation make it the perfect location for festive getaways, from romantic couples’ breaks to large family holidays.
South Devon’s festive spirit is one reason Father Christmas himself is a regular visitor in the run-up to the big day. Kids can meet St Nick in several spots around South Devon every year. Here are three of the best places to catch Santa in 2016.
Pennywell, one of South Devon’s most adorable animal attractions, is bringing some Christmas cheer to South Devon from 26th November until Christmas Eve. Their team is transforming the farm into a winter wonderland, complete with Christmas trees, lights and a nativity scene in their barn.
That’s not all – kids and adults alike can really get involved in making this Christmas especially magical by taking part in a nativity play, getting the chance to dress up and perform (costumes are provided) if they wish. Alternatively, they can just sit back on a hay bale and watch ‘the greatest story ever told’ unfold.
After the play, every child can meet Santa in his grotto and receive a present. Then there’s a warm welcome waiting for you at Henny Penny’s Café, where grown-ups can enjoy a warm mince pie and mulled wine (or tea/coffee if preferred) while the kids are offered a homemade Christmas biscuit and soft drink.
Booking is required. Visit: www.pennywellfarm.co.uk or call 01364 642023 to find out more.
Santa by steam – The South Devon Railway
As always, the Santa Express is back in action this December, offering a magical festive train ride through the South Devon countryside. This year, Santa’s trains run on 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, and 17th to 24th December (inclusive).
During the scenic 60-90-minute return journey from Buckfastleigh, children can visit Santa in his grotto to collect their Christmas present and enjoy a biscuit and drink. The adults don’t miss out either: there’s a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie waiting for them.
Booking is required. Visit http://www.southdevonrailway.co.uk/santa-by-steam or call 01364 644370.
The Art Café – Kingsbridge
Decorating the tree is a favourite Christmas pastime, and creating handmade decorations that can be treasure down the years is even more special. The popular Art Café in Kingsbridge is running a Christmas party, ideal for craft fans, on Friday 9th and Friday 16th December at 5pm. For £12.50, children (accompanied by an adult) can paint their own ceramic tree decoration and meet Santa, with refreshments included.
Limited places are available, so book ahead to avoid disappointment. Call 01548 852802.
For one night only: Two more Santa appearances
Friday 25th November in Dartmouth
Candlelit Dartmouth is a traditional festive event, which marks the beginning of the countdown to Christmas in this historic harbour town.
At 6 pm, as has become an annual tradition, Santa will arrive by boat at the Dartmouth Boatfloat, where he’ll disembark and meet children in Royal Avenue Gardens.
Saturday 3rd December in Kingsbridge
To kick off Kingsbridge’s Christmas, the town will host a day of live entertainment, street food and family activities on Saturday 3rd December, culminating with the switching on of the Christmas lights at 4.30 pm.
At 10.00 am, Santa will arrive by a mystery form of transport at the Town Square and will proceed to tour the town. Kids can meet him between 11.30 am and 1.30 pm, and between 2.00 and 2.30 pm, in the Methodist Church.
It’s not too late to book a wonderful winter break in South Devon. Explore our special offers or take a look at these seven stunning holiday properties with roaring open fires.