Lapland UK 2015 – Is It Worth The Money?

lapland uk review

Snow-covered trees, twinkling lights, elves and serious fun – there’s no denying that Lapland UK is absolutely magical. We visited with the five-year-old and from the moment we stepped out of the car and followed signs for the Enchanted Forest, it was spell-binding.

A few weeks before our visit, our little one was sent a personal letter from Father Christmas, asking her to come to see him in Lapland UK, and to help his elves make some toys. It’s a special touch and the five-year-old was very excited to have a letter from the man himself.

When we arrived, the check-in process was slick, and the elf doing our check-in was really friendly, asking the five-year-old if she was excited about meeting Father Christmas. The elf handed over an Elf Passport, which would be stamped after each activity, and gave us a Husky sticker (there are two groups – Husky and Reindeer – which go through Lapland UK separately.)

lapland-uk-check-in

The check-in area is a wooden building, decked in fairy lights, and has lots of picnic tables and a cafe selling coffee, bacon butties, cakes and pastries. There was an excited buzz in the air, and we had the feeling that this was going to be a special day.

brownies and mince pies

After we’d munched on a pastry or two, it was time to follow an elf into an indoor area decked in trees, fairy lights and rows of benches. There, two elves explained a bit more about Lapland UK and told the children that they have an important job to do, there.

After we all repeated a magical elf poem, the door was opened and – I’m not going to lie to you – seeing the trees and paths outside all covered in snow is a pretty breathtaking moment.

laplanduk review

Lapland UK review

We headed off down a snowy path through the forest and got to a little hut – Father Christmas’ toy factory. After the children entered via their own small door (cute touch!), they were met by three more elves inside, who talked them through how to help make a toy reindeer and wooden horse, for Father Christmas.

lapland uk review

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

From there, it was off down more snowy paths to Mother Christmas’ kitchen. There, the little ones all decorated a gingerbread house biscuit with icing and sweets, before listening to Mrs Christmas telling a special story.

lapland uk review

lapland uk review

Then it was out into the Elf Village, where we had 90 minutes to explore. We headed straight for the ice rink because the five-year-old was desperate to skate. I lasted 60 seconds on the ice before getting off (“I have to take photos!” I told Mr P….) but they stayed on the ice for a good 45 minutes, and loved it.

lapland uk review

The Elf Village also has a hot drink stand, a gift shop, a sweet shop and the Post Office where little ones can go and write their letter to Father Christmas, and post it through one of the special letter boxes. We could have spent far longer wandering around, exploring the Elf Village – it felt like such a magical little area.

lapland uk review

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

snow covered flowers

There’s also a restaurant there, selling fish finger sandwiches or chicken nuggets for kids and Christmas dinner, pie or meatballs for grown ups (all really tasty). Again, twinkly fairy lights and lanterns covered the ceiling and there was a real buzz of excitement as everyone ate.

lapland uk review

lapland uk review

Finally, it was time for us to go and meet Father Christmas. An elf took us to another check-in area and when it was our turn, we were called outside and walked along some more snowy paths to Father Christmas’ house. We sat with him and he chatted to the five-year-old about what she’d been doing today, and checked to see if her name was on the good list (it was – phew!). He even knew about her going to street jazz dance classes (well, his elves keep an eye on all the children around the world, don’t they?) He was warm and friendly, and talked to her with his gentle Finnish accent. He gave the five-year-old an early present and then we posed for a few photos, before it was time to say goodbye.

All in all, Lapland UK was such a magical experience – amazing attention to detail, everyone was really friendly and going out of their way to make it special for the little ones, and it’s something we’ll all remember for a long time.

lapland uk review

So is Lapland UK worth the money? We were incredibly lucky to be invited along to check it out, for the purpose of this review. If we’d bought tickets for the day that we went, at the end of November, it would have cost us £222 for our three tickets (£74 each, including a £4.50 booking fee per ticket). Parking is free and all activities are included – the toy making, biscuit decorating, ice skating and writing a letter to Father Christmas, and the gift from him too. While we were there, we spent £40 on food and £15 on one photo, taken with Father Christmas. So that would have been a total spend of £277.

To you, that might sound like a perfectly reasonable amount to spend on a special festive day out. To me, it felt too much. We were there for four hours – if it had been a full day experience, with perhaps a fairground and unlimited time to explore the Elf Village, then it might have felt worth the cost. But as it is, I am struggling with whether it’s value for money.

I’ve seen a couple of parents mention that it’s roughly the same price as top-price theatre tickets, which is a really fair point. So if you’re the kind of person who is happy to splash out, from time to time, on an activity which is utterly special and fantastic, then do it. Go. You will LOVE Lapland UK.

But I think it’s a shame that it’s as expensive as it is – if tickets was just a little bit lower in price (or if they charged top whack for the kids’ tickets and let grown ups come for £10 each) it would be more affordable to so many more families.

Have you been to Lapland UK? What did you think?

Thanks to Lapland UK for inviting us along to review the experience. 

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30 Comments

  1. December 1, 2015 / 9:20 pm

    It looks like a truly magical place and I’m just disappointed I don’t still live in Berkshire so couldn’t review it myself! I must admit though, £277 is very steep. But then thinking about where it’s situated (Ascot?) I know from having lived in that area that there are many people there would would easily afford that kind of cost, which must be a consideration when organising an event like that. For us, we try to do one big festive event every year before Christmas. Last year it was The Polar Express in Devon (a trip on a real steam train with all sorts of extras included to make it super special) and this year it’s a special nativity play that’s in a barn at a local family farm, complete with real animals, dressing up so the kids can join in, mulled wine for the grownups and a Santa’s grotto. I think both of those experiences came to around £100 for four adults and one kid (the baby goes free), and then we pay extra for snacks etc. So it’s not cheap, but it’s not quite £277. Mind you, your point about the theatre tickets is a good one. I guess it’s about what we prioritise and what our festive habits are!
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    • Kerrie
      October 12, 2016 / 6:02 am

      We have been a few times & will be going again this year . & travelling 2/30 hours to get there . Comphared to what we have local laplanduk wins every time. For less money Yes it is very magical &. The smile on the children’s faces is enough that’s enough to say this is definitely worth the money .. For us personality it’s all about making memories & Christmas is one of the magical times of the year Absolutely recommend laplanduk

      • ANDREA BRACE
        November 17, 2016 / 11:55 pm

        Have you ever been on Christmas eve.

    • sonia penman
      November 21, 2016 / 3:00 pm

      everything in uk always has to cost so much money,, theme parks and so on.. like the comment higher up says charge kids more but adults should be like 10.00quid or something!! make it a more affordable for familys to visit 😉

  2. December 1, 2015 / 9:25 pm

    This is a really honest review and Lapland UK looks absolutely amazing. I am someone who loves the whole festive period and I think this would be something really magical to do as a family. Saying that £277 is really steep and I don’t know whether we would be able to justify it just before Christmas. If we could I can see that it would be incredible- well done for giving such a balanced review. x

  3. December 1, 2015 / 9:39 pm

    This actually looks lots lovelier than I thought – really magical and Narnia-esque. Love the attention to detail too and great photos (PS I HATE ice skating, will be sure to have a camera with me for an excuse next time). But it does seem so expensive – why so much for parents, especially, when they’re not making anything? I’m sure children would love it and have a brilliant time (but at that age would they really be able to tell / care about the difference between this and say, a garden centre Santa trip?) x
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  4. December 2, 2015 / 2:15 am

    There is no doubt this place is truly amazing and magical and I am kind of kicking myself I didn’t know about it earlier in the year and saved some money for it. I think it makes for a nice family trip if planned in advance as there is no way personally we could drop that amount of money just before Christmas. Saying that I hope to go next year as my son with be 6 and I think it may be the last year that the true magic still hits him before he starts to realise on is own it’s not what we think it is and in comparison to actually going to Lapland this is much more reasonable

    Laura x
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  5. December 2, 2015 / 7:18 am

    It’s great that you have been so honest in your review. We get to experience so many amazing things as bloggers, but it is always important to weigh up whether you would actually pay for that “in real life” – to know if something is great value for money is the most important thing for readers, I think.

    From your photos it does look very very picturesque and I’m sure it’s pure magic for young children.
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  6. December 2, 2015 / 7:56 am

    It looks so amazing! I hadn’t heard of it but it looks magical. One of the things that really stands out in the photos is how it doesn’t look too busy, something which is rare these days as most places you go have been crammed with so many people that you struggle to even buy a cup of tea without queuing for ages, I guess paying that’s the benefit to paying more money. Saying that though I don’t think we could afford to pay out that much, we went to the Longleat Festival of Lights last weekend and with tickets and food whilst there we probably spent about £120 which was a lot but didn’t feel too bad. I think like you said the option of paying full price for kids then £10 for parents is a good one. I think if we were earning a bit more and had that disposable income then I would without a doubt pay it though as it looks like you get such a great experience and sometimes paying half that to go somewhere crammed with people and too busy to see things properly means that you haven’t really had great value for money x
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  7. December 2, 2015 / 8:33 am

    Honestly? If my daughter was five or six, instead of two, I’d be all over that place like an Elf-Suit rash. I’d save up for it. However, I have one child. If I had two or three, I’d have to save pretty hard. It looks absolutely magical. But I’d like to see it in two weeks time when it’s muddier, the snow is less freshly pressed, and the Elf World has been hammered a bit. If it’s still as pristine as the first day, then it’s definitely worth the money.

    Lucky old Berkshire!
    Eleanor @ The Bristol Parent recently posted…Sing and dance your way towards Christmas | what’s on for families. Why don’t you check it out?My Profile

  8. December 2, 2015 / 8:52 am

    It looks and sounds amazing, especially Elf Village. Although it is expensive I would love to take my niece and nephew. And I’d like to see the reindeer!
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  9. December 2, 2015 / 9:44 am

    It’s a toughie isn’t it? I’ve been thinking about this again this morning – Elfie will be 6 next year so potentially getting to the end of her ‘believing’ and I’d love to take her again. But then it hit me – what if it rained when we were there? We had a touch of drizzle on Sunday but rain would really make the whole experience quite different.
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  10. December 2, 2015 / 11:17 am

    Bloody hell, this does look amazing, but nearly £300?! That is really expensive! There must be a market for it though I guess. I remember going to the opera once – I had paid £170 for my ticket – and seeing a family of four and thinking ‘Christ, I could go on a week long holiday for what you’ve just spent.’
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  11. December 2, 2015 / 1:06 pm

    We live in Berkshire and I’ve been hearing great things about it for ages. Your photos are beautiful and the whole thing sounds completely magical. I’m sure (assuming it stays in Ascot) we’ll visit it at some point, but the expense does mean that I’m not prepared to go until my little boy is old enough to really get the most out of it, and we’ll certainly have to save up to be able to go. He’s not even two yet though, so I think it’s a few years off for us.
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  12. December 2, 2015 / 1:23 pm

    It really does look wonderful and amazing for the children! However I just checked ticket prices and it would cost me £477 for my family this weekend. That’s what it cost me to take them to Disneyland Paris for 5 days including park tickets and travel! I agree with you, it sounds like it would be better value for money if you were allowed to wander around afterwards. I’m also surprised at the high price of the food given the cost of entry. I think pricing everything in “jingles” instead of £ might lead to children thinking they can have everything as its not real money. I do worry that a lot of these experiences are not thinking of it from the parents’ point of view!

  13. December 2, 2015 / 10:17 pm

    What a really honest post Alison. I read through your post marvelling at the photos (which are beautiful by the way) and thinking it sounded wonderful but then I got to the price! That is very expensive and I cannot justify spending that amount – especially when my daughter thinks that the PNP and seeing Father Christmas at Wookey Hole (which includes a circus performance and the caves) at £12 for kids and £18 for adults is just as magical.
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  14. Lady Chappers
    December 3, 2015 / 11:29 pm

    18 years growing up in the Ascot environs, and all we had to entertain us was Coral Reef or the John Nike Ice Rink. Pfffft. Bitter, much?
    This looks amazing, and I suspect it is priced for the local clientele (who are not short of a bob or two).

  15. December 4, 2015 / 9:57 am

    I think it looks amazing and I think for a one off thing it would be a truly magical experience for your kids. It actually looks really similar to what we got up to in actual Lapland (apart from the temp and the real snow) the Elves look great too x
    Fritha Strickland recently posted…Gifting with HomeSense this Christmas. Why don’t you check it out?My Profile

  16. December 4, 2015 / 3:02 pm

    OMG ALISON IT IS ADORABLE. I would absolutely LOVE to take the twins and their hypothetical siblings there next year when the twins at least might actually know what is going on… but I don’t think that I would be able to afford to, which is such a shame. I’d love to be able to treat my children to this sort of thing and I think that if I had just one it would be do-able… but I scuppered being the ‘minimalist’ sort of family in terms of small dependents when I had two in one go the first time round!

    Beautiful, beautiful images.
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  17. February 14, 2016 / 12:33 pm

    Firstly, I didn’t know there was a UK Lapland. Secondly although when you look at the price it does seem expensive, I would say that what you are paying for is an experience that your child will remember for years to come. Isn’t that worth a little budgeting? We often spend so much on the plastic toys and stuff kids forget about within months of Christmas. But with UK Lapland they wont forget. My daughter is 11 now and I’m thinking I’ll take her there this Christmas 2016 because we’ll probably giggle our heads off and enjoy the memories when I’m old and gray and she’s a mommy.

  18. Tina
    June 2, 2016 / 10:56 pm

    Love this review!
    Have been trying to find a balanced review of this place as the website makes it sound magical and enchanting but it is expensive! My little ones birthday is in December so it’s been on my mind to take him as he’s still young to think meeting Santa on your birthday would be cool. Some saving up to do I think!
    Great post thanks!

  19. Michelle
    September 28, 2016 / 9:46 pm

    This Looks and sounds amazing!! The price is very steep but as a one off experience I love to take my daughter who is nearly 3 years old do you think that’s to young? As I won’t be doing it every year at that price that’s for sure ha
    Thanks Michelle

  20. Tina
    October 11, 2016 / 11:29 am

    Interestingly and more importantly!!!! The price has gone up 41% this year to £109 per person!!!- apparently they justify this by saying that they have scrapped booking fees although I see they are included on the site! And no longer charge for a photo with the big man himself but seriously – a price hike of £32 per person is crazy!

    For our family if 5 it would be £545

  21. Carly Griffiths
    November 26, 2016 / 8:40 pm

    It’s a shame that parents on a low income could never afford to take their children somewhere like this, even trying to budget I could never afford it, we looked at it would cost our family of four £400. I do think that they should have a cheaper option for us hardworking families never mind one day I will be rich and can treat my lovely children to this magical experiance.

  22. Jo Ralph
    November 27, 2016 / 3:26 pm

    We have just returned from Lapland UK. Yes it is expensive just before Christmas but we saved throughout the year to afford it. I can honestly say it was worth every penny. It is so well thought out and precision timed. To see their faces throughout the day was magical. Food is quite expensive but we took pasties and sausage rolls.

  23. Ellis
    November 27, 2016 / 9:06 pm

    Just got back from there. It really is very beautiful, but charging the same price for adults as kids is surely extortionate – but they get away with it. I had a biscuit and a go on an ice rink for £85. My advice would be to visit Marsh Farm in Essex. Very similar experience at half the price or less

  24. November 30, 2016 / 12:08 pm

    Thanks for this review & for your honesty. Lapland UK does look magical and I’m sure all who enter come away with the warmest of Christmas glows.
    But I also think that the tickets are too high a price to pay. As a family of four our ticket prices + food is nudging £300. Hopefully the organisers will read and listen to enough reviews to rethink it’s pricing strategy moving forward.

  25. Nick Wright
    December 5, 2016 / 10:26 am

    Went there last year. Yes, it is expensive but the experience was magical and when we left, I did not feel short changed at all. Infact, I wondered how they could afford to run the place even on these prices! One point, I think it is important to ensure you are there when it gets dark because it really becomes pure Christmas what with all the fairy lights etc.

  26. Rachel Hagen
    May 23, 2017 / 2:11 pm

    This looks amazing! And thank you for your review. This might seem like an obvious question, but is there real snow on the ground? We’re expats from the US living in London, and it’s never snowy here around Christmas! A lot of the excitement I feel, is from the snow!

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