Christmas visit to Bressingham – Norfolk and the hunt for the ‘golden Santa’

As Christmas approaches, so does the hunt for a suitable santa for you and your family to visit. Thinking back of all the Santas you’ve visited over the years from the typical ‘garden centre santa’ or potentially a decorated shed in a shopping centre santa, finding that perfect santa is a never ending conquest of any parent. Let me say now my oldest is 11 years old and therefore after this many years i have yet to find my go to Santa!

This year the Norfolk explorers found ourselves at Bressinghall in the hunt for the elusive golden santa. Let me be fair now, this is COVID times, therefore many of the standard criteria you’d judge a santa by ie knee comfort or the hopefully seamless connection between fake beard and the face of a 17 year old on minimum wage are shelved as we now live in a world where santa stands behind a sheet of glass, asking if you’ve been a naughty boy through a microphone as if you were visiting a convicted armed robber in an American prison.

Now I feel abit harsh saying that but I’m sure that vibe will be similar across many Grottos . I recently I saw one example of children being given their gifts on a slide after being shoved by misses clause from 9 feet away therefore the glass seemed a sensible middle ground.

Santa aside I have to say we were pleasantly surprised. The limited perks to a global pandemic mean that sites are operating on a limited capacity which meant no queuing, which was a bonus considering it was rather chilly, and there were four main attractions.

The Carousel 🎠

The carousel was the centre piece just outside the main entrance to the grotto and stood proud, blasting out Christmas  tunes in a traditonal Carasol format, much like an amplified musical box. My only feedback would be to reduce the speed of the rotation, it felt just that bit too fast where it detracted from the experience and I came off feeling slightly dizzy.

After this we went into the main steam museum which is also included. This was a great addition and would make a great day out alone, and was even better as they had jazzed up many of the exhibitions with Christmas lights and there was also an opportunity to play an old carnival game in which you had to pull a nail from a large board and if yours was coloured you won a prize – which we did ! Also within this area upstairs is the 00 gauge model railway which the gang really enjoyed.

Model train set in the upper area of the main museum

Following this we rode the two steam train journeys on site which was a great end to the evening. The narrower of the two trains is an open carriage train which loops through he woods, whilst the larger of the two trains has enclosed carriages that follow the parameter of the site with a series of light displays to see along route.

Main steam train journey around Bressingham

Overall the trip to see Santa was what you would expect during a global pandemic, different and impersonal. Prior to this I think we all took for granted those personal social interactions, but everyday as we move through the year, Easter was different, school days are different, Halloween was different and christmas is no different. Therefore this comment is no a reflection on Bressingham but a comment to reflect the world we live in today. They made the best of a challenging situation which I commend them for. The carousel , the museum and the train journeys were great and the whole family really enjoyed them. Therefore this get a solid thumbs from the Norfolk Exporers and we highly recommend that we all try and give our kids the Christmas that we enjoyed and as always support businesses that are trying their upmost to keep alive when the odds are stacked against them.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, as always there is plenty more content available on the site of our year round trips, adventures and projects so take a look. Next blog will land next Sunday after Christmas. Merry Xmas all!

Cost – approx £60

Distance – 1 mile

Catering – Yes

Toilets- Yes

Dog friendly- Not sure to be honest


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