Lapland UK – Is it worth the money?

A few months ago I searched for the exact same phrase you’ve just entered into Google – ‘Lapland UK, is it worth the money?’  I couldn’t decide whether it was worth the £300+ it was going to cost to book the experience for my husband, our two boys and I. 

All photos copyright Travel Loving Family

My eldest son, 7 years old, has started this year to have serious doubts about Santa.  He’s been asking a zillion questions about his magical abilities so my hubby and I decided to spend the most we’ve ever spent on an afternoon of entertainment, (roughly four hours) to try and restore his believe.  So was it worth it?

What to expect – Lapland UK

There is absolutely no denying that Lapland UK is utterly magical.  Thousands of snow covered trees, cheeky elves, sparkling lights and festive fun.  My boys were captivated (and my eyes welled up with tears watching their reaction) from the moment we were greeted by an elf at check in.  Their little faces when the elf thanked them for accepting Father Christmas’s invitation to visit him at his home is something I will remember forever.

Lapland UK meeting elf in the reception

Waxed sealed personal invitations had arrived through the post a few weeks prior, asking for their assistance in making toys for all the good children on his list.  They had excitedly told their friends all about it during show and tell at school. 

The elf at check in was absolutely lovely.  Explaining to us about Jingles (the elf currency used at Lapland UK) and presented both of my boys with a velvet pouch to keep their Jingles safe.  She handed out special passports whilst pointing out where to get them stamped after each festive activity and gave us copies of the Lapland newspaper. 

We were then asked to join our fellow team mates ‘Reindeers’ to listen to an elf comically explain a little more about our important role whilst at Lapland. He led us through to an indoor fairy lit woodland den where two other elves told us the story of Lapland and let us into a secret, that every pine cone grows to become one of Father Christmas’s elves!  My youngest sons eyes lit up when he heard this, you can guess what he has been searching for ever since?!

Lapland UK elves

Next we were shown how to do the official elf wave… thumb on nose whilst wriggling fingers.  The children in the audience seemed to love it, including my two giddy boys.

The exit doors were then opened wide to reveal snow covered paths flanked on each side by thick snow covered trees.  Even though it was fake snow my eldest grabbed for his coat and quickly put it on, convinced that it was sub zero temperatures outside.

Lapland UK snow covered trees

The path led us to a very realistic toy making factory to help make stuffed penguins and be entertained by the cheeky elf, Conkers. 

Lapland UK is it worth the money? toy factory
Lapland UK is it worth the money?  making toys

We then went along to meet Mrs Christmas who read a festive story and invited all the children in the room to decorate a gingerbread man.

Lapland UK is it worth the money?  Mrs Christmas
Lapland UK review 2018 - making gingerbread men

My youngest ate his immediately, my eldest son said he wanted to give his to Father Christmas!  This must have been overheard by Mrs Christmas who very kindly asked all the children to enjoy eating their treat as her husband was getting rather heavy and she was worried that his sleigh wouldn’t fly on Christmas Eve night!

After saying goodbye to Mrs Christmas and her helpers we stepped into the Elf Village. It was truly like stepping into a Winter Wonderland. 

Lapland UK elf village

A beautifully decorated village with dinky elf houses, festive stalls and an ice skating rink.  Wandering around the village were elves, some playful and getting up to mischief, others enjoying having their photos taken with guests and a couple looking after their husky dogs.

Lapland UK husky dogs

My boys wanted to head straight to the village shop.  I must admit my heart sank a little when I saw the products on display at the front entrance.  The penguins which they had just been making in the toy factory, on sale for 25 Jingles (£25). 

Lapland UK what is included?

My boys straight away wanted to count out their jingles to see if they had enough money.  I knew they didn’t as we had only exchanged 10 Jingles each and I also didn’t feel they were worth £25.  To divert their attention we pointed out the ice skating rink and within a few minutes we were on the ice, trying out ice skating together for the first time.

Lapland UK what is included?  Ice skating
Lapland UK ice skating

We had 90 minutes free time in the village.  This was plenty of time to ice skate, call into the village post office (you can send postcards with a Lapland stamp for £2), pop in the sweet shop (cup of sweets £4.50) and enjoy a drink (cans £2, hot drinks £3-4).  

Lapland UK review 2018 elves

It was then our time to go and meet Father Christmas.  My boys were running down the snow covered, fairy lit paths, they were so excited.  After checking out Father Christmas’s sleigh and saying hello to his reindeers we made our way inside a wooden cabin. 

Whilst my boys and I took a seat my  hubby checked us in (and an elf discreetly checked that Santa had all of the boys personal details to make their meeting with him extra special).

Lapland UK 2018 review

Within a couple of minutes (like every part of our day at Lapland UK the organisation of the activities was flawless), an elf called out my boys names and we were off walking excitedly down more magical paths.

Lapland UK is it worth the money?

We had a lovely long chat with Father Christmas who looked and sounded exactly as you picture him as a child .  My boys were absolutely in awe that he knew they had been poorly and recently been in the school nativity play.  He chatted about all of their hobbies, seemed genuinely thrilled with the letters and pictures they gave him and made us all laugh when he asked us to leave out a few treats on Christmas Eve night.  (He requested a full roast dinner, mince pies, hot chocolate and carrots for the reindeer!) 

Lapland UK father christmas

My boys were absolutely delighted with the husky dogs that he presented them with.  They quickly named them and literally skipped down the paths towards the exit excitedly talking about their chat with Father Christmas. 

Lapland UK husky dogs

I’ll be honest I didn’t like the pushy sales techniques used next.  There is only one way out of Lapland UK and that’s through the gift shop.  No surprises here really, as every attraction does the same but I thought it was rather bad form that as soon as you enter the gift shop there’s a huge display of husky accessories… dog collars (£4), dog bowls (£5), dog blankets (£10), small huskies, bigger huskies, a whole range of outfits for the huskies… I could go on!  It’s a shame because this did leave a rather stale taste in my mouth but of course my boys didn’t notice… they were too busy picking out their dogs collar and bowls!  

Summary: Lapland UK – Is it worth the money?

Apart from the pushiness to sell penguins and husky accessories we loved our time at Lapland UK.  It is truly magical and as close as you can possibly get to visiting the real Lapland.   It is an undeniably expensive four-hour experience however, after having been there, I can see where the money is spent creating the temporary Elf village/toy factory/Mrs Christmas’s kitchen etc and employing the many actors who all add to the magical experience.  For us, it’s an experience we are so pleased that we had whilst our boys are young however we couldn’t justify the cost of visiting again.

Lapland UK what age is it best for?

We paid just over £300, £75 per person (plus postage, souvenirs, drinks and travel).  We visited on the first Thursday in December which was classed as an off peak session.  Weekend sessions and those closer to Christmas I believe cost £100 per person.

Friends have asked the questions below about Lapland UK so I thought you may find the answers below useful too…

What is the best age to enjoy Lapland UK?

I feel my boys were the right ages to both enjoy it together (4 & 7). I couldn’t justify spending this sort of money when they were younger to be honest as they wouldn’t fully appreciate it, or be able to take part in all of the activities (ice skating, etc).  There were people there with babies but I think it’s a waste of money with little ones who would enjoy a regular Santa’s Grotto just as much.

What is included in the cost of a ticket to Lapland UK

And just to quickly summarise as I know I looked for this info prior to us going and I couldn’t easily find it. 

Included in the cost of your Lapland UK ticket from start to finish is – A Lapland passport to keep as a souvenir, stickers, Lapland newspaper, gingerbread man (which you get to decorate), ice skating and skate hire, chance to meet and have photos taken (with your own camera) all the roaming elves and characters in the village, personal session with Father Christmas (ours must have been 15 minutes long, we were not rushed at all).  A lovely husky dog stuffed toy (I believe all children are given the same toy).  One x high quality photograph with Father Christmas (you can pay an extra £20/£25 for more copies printed or a digital package.  They allow you to take your own photos when you are in with Santa too). Complimentary car parking.

Things you pay extra for at Lapland UK

Drinks and food (which we felt were rather expensive).  Refreshments are available in the reception area when you first check in and also in the village during free time.  Souvenirs in the gift shops. Post cards and stamps in the post office.

I hope this helps you decide whether or not to visit Lapland UK.  If I’ve missed anything and you have questions please pop them below and I’ll try to help:) 

Where is Lapland UK?

Address – Swinley Road, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 8BD

Website –

For more Father Christmas reviews check out Visiting Santa at Clearwell Caves, Forest of Dean, Visiting Santa at Cotswold Farm Park, Gloucestershire, 30+ Christmas events in Gloucestershire inc. best places to see Santa. 

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Lapland UK.  Is it worth the money?  A few months ago I searched for the exact same phrase you've just entered into Google - 'Lapland UK, is it worth the money?'  I couldn't decide whether it was worth the £300+ it was going to cost to book the experience for my husband, our two boys and I. #LaplandUK #SantaUK


  1. 20th December 2018 / 7:28 pm

    This is such a great, comprehensive post. I love the attention to detail with things such as the wax sealed personal invitations – that’s such a lovely touch. It sounds utterly magical and worth the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

  2. 20th December 2018 / 10:44 am

    Totally and utterly magical! My boys will be 4 and 6 years old this time next year and the PERFECT age. Thank you for outlining exactly what is covered. It’s a lot of money, but for a once in a lifetime Christmas experience, I think it’s worth it.

  3. 19th December 2018 / 8:44 pm

    What a great post! Is it worth it is a hard question to answer as it varies so much from person to person but you’ve given such a comprehensive look at what you get for the money people can decide if it works for them or not. This looks like a good alternative to Lapland for a fraction of the price.

  4. Anonymous
    17th December 2018 / 8:57 am

    It does sound and look utterly beautiful and magical. I can see why it’s so popular and a “once in a lifetime” experience for the family. It is so expensive though, isn’t it? I suppose to make it so amazing, it must cost quite a lot so you’re paying for the authenticity. I’d love to take my boy one day.

  5. Mel Knibb
    16th December 2018 / 9:12 pm

    I’ve heard a lot about Lapland UK from friends and there’s no way I could afford to take my 4 children, but it sounds absolutely magical, and definitely the one thing to do if you’re desperate to visit Lapland but can’t quite afford it.

  6. Anosa
    15th December 2018 / 10:23 pm

    It is definitely expensive and not something to do every Christmas but sounds like it is absolutely worth it.

  7. 14th December 2018 / 5:44 pm

    You are so right, it looks very magical and I think as a one-off Christmas treat it would be great. It is very expensive but I guess that is the price you pay for an authentic experience.

  8. pigeonpairandme
    14th December 2018 / 3:26 pm

    This is really useful as it’s sometimes a bit of a mystery as to what you’re spending your money on. I’d definitely have paid for this when my two were the age yours are. I still might now as although my son’s 9 and doesn’t believe any more, I think he’d still enjoy this. And my daughter would be beside herself!

  9. 14th December 2018 / 1:57 pm

    We have never visited I know it’s a bit on the pricey side but it is something we would really love to do as it looks amazing – we’ve just never gotten around to going! One day!!!!

  10. Helen
    14th December 2018 / 12:58 pm

    This is such an informative review – thank you so much! I’ve been thinking about whether we should visit next year because it does look truly magical, but it’s just so much money. It’s nice to know it’s worth it :)

    • Lisa
      14th December 2018 / 2:12 pm

      Glad you found it useful Helen:) It is absolutely magical and worth the money if your children are the right age to experience everything on offer.

  11. mammasschool
    14th December 2018 / 12:57 pm

    This looks such a lovely place to go in the build up to Christmas. We never went when we lived in the UK, but I know a few mums who have been now with their children and it’s always a success

  12. 14th December 2018 / 12:43 pm

    It does look fantastic for children. I haven’t taken mine yet but have been considering it for when they break up from school.

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