Today we have been fortunate enough to visit Santa Claus Shugborough style. Anyone who reads View from a Daddy will know that this location is one of our family favourites having purchased a annual pass earlier this year. So, when it came to getting wrapped up for a morning in the blustery weather, I didn’t mind a bit.
After a short drive from our home through Cannock Chase, we approached the estate’s gated entrance which quite clearly forewarns that the event is all sold out for this year. We drove along the wooded driveway to the estate’s sprawling fields. A welcome face pointed us in the direction of the designated parking for the event which was ample.
We made our way to the entrance to the sound of christmas tunes to get us in the spirit. Access was easy and we were greeted with lots of information about what was available. After receiving our allotted time to see the man himself, we made our way past the carriages into the courtyard. Little treats are hidden along the way to keep young minds entertained – ‘spot how many mice’ was one of my favourites!
The children are able to write a letter to Santa Claus and post it in a number of post boxes around the venue. They can stir the pudding with Mrs Claus in her cosy kitchen while waiting to be shown to Santa in his parlour by one of Santa’s elves. Sadly, the little lady did not enjoy the sight of Santa himself so we sat on his mini stool together – a bit of a push for me at 6ft 4inches. The gifts are age appropriate and this is checked when you enter. Ours has gone under the tree but some little people in front of us who unwrapped theirs were treated to some lovely books.
Throughout the route you can learn about the history of the Servant’s Quarters and its former workers. Elves are located at intervals to welcome you and have a chat about your little one’s Christmas wishes. There a number of stalls selling crafts and sweets so make sure you have your pocket money with you. I was tempted by the pick and mix. In the yard, the nativity scene is set with some characters from the Shugborough Estate Farm and while we were there it even started to ‘snow’. Face painting is on offer at an additional cost but decoration making and a land train ride is available inclusive of your ticket price along with the opportunity to walk the grounds. The restaurant was bustling, as usual, to warm up the host of visitors who had also made their way out this morning.
The National Trust shop stays open until Christmas Eve where the estate’s beer ‘Mi Lady’s Fancy’ & ‘Lordship’s Own’ is available to buy amongst other enticing treats. It was a lovely morning with lots to keep the little ones entertained. We are only 19 months old but it engaged us and is likely to for years to come.
Thank you Shugborough for a lovely morning!