Lifestyle,  Travel

UK Family Winter Staycations That Still Tick All The Festive Boxes

Family holidays during the winter are all about making memories and spending quality time together, however, when it comes to finding the perfect winter family holiday destination, we all know that there’s a certain set of criteria that needs to be met. The best winter family holidays need to include festive activities for all the family, it needs to be absolutely magical, and it needs to be a trip away that you can look back on in years to come with much fondness. 

*This post is in collaboration with Start-Rite.

Visiting Santa in Lapland or going abroad just before Christmas simply isn’t an option for many UK families.

With all this in mind, you may be wondering where you can take your family on holiday during the winter that ticks all of these wholesome family fun boxes but doesn’t break the bank. There are, of course, some truly magical winter holiday destinations such as Santa’s Lapland that promise the holiday of a lifetime, however, at £599 per adult and £275 per child, this simply isn’t an option for many UK families. 

UK Staycation destinations are much more affordable and just as fun! 

But worry not, because Start-Rite has done some serious research in the name of saving you money this winter. Their latest campaign, Train or Plane: UK Staycations That Are More Affordable Than Abroad showcases a wide range of UK based attractions and destinations that still provide fun and excitement, but at a far more affordable price. Let’s take a look at a few of the comparisons between the UK’s Christmas themed activities and those that are located abroad. 

Lapland UK vs Santa’s Lapland

Since we’ve already talked a little about Santa’s Lapland, it seems only right that we start off with discussing the UK’s alternative – Lapland UK – based in Ascot. 

Santa’s Lapland is a pricey winter holiday option, especially if you have a large family. During your trip, you’ll take husky sled-rides, enjoy reindeer rides, and experience some traditional arctic activities. Of course, you’ll also meet the big man himself.

Lapland UK offers an interactive and immersive Christmas adventure that’s based on the many myths and stories about Father Christmas. The experience lasts 3.5 hours and takes you through an enchanted forest, tours the magical toy making factory, enables you to visit an elven village and even visit Mother Christmas’s kitchen. All of this culminates in a private audience with Father Christmas.

These two experiences are very similar; both offer a day of activities and an immersive Christmas experience, and both offer the most important thing of all – meeting Father Christmas. In fact, one of the biggest differences is the price. With adult tickets costing £599 and children around £275 for Santa’s Lapland, you’re better off visiting Ascot and paying the far more affordable fee that ranges between £59 – £139. If you visit Lapland UK in November tickets are even cheaper. 

Husky Sledding In Norway vs Husky Sledding In Scotland

If one of the things that appeals most to you about Santa’s Lapland was the husky sledding, you’ll be pleased to hear that there’s also a fantastic UK staycation destination that offers amazing trail experiences. 

Husky sledding in Norway will set you back around £182.99 and the experience will last around 1, to 1.5 hours. Of course, you’ll get to experience the truly stunning scenery that Norway has to offer and you’ll have a go at both mushing and sledding. 

For a more affordable UK option, families can head to Stonehaven in Scotland for a magical husky sledding experience that’s much closer to home. There are 3 trails to choose from and each trail varies in price per person; whichever trail you choose to take, it’ll end with some delicious food and warm drinks. You can even just pop to Stonehaven to visit the husky kennels if mushing doesn’t take your fancy – this is a very affordable experience at only £15 per adult and £10 for under 16s for 1 to 2 hours. 

The UK’s Polar Express vs The Polar Express experience in Switzerland 

One of the most iconic Christmas movies of all time has to be The Polar Express. Riding on this majestic train is somewhat of a magical experience and is a great family Christmas activity for everyone. Switzerland’s Polar Express train ride takes you over 1,500 metres via cog train to the top of the mountain ranges, where you’ll see Santa waiting to greet you. If you’re lucky enough to have clear weather, you may even catch a glimpse of Mont Blanc in the distance!

The UK’s Polar Express can be found at Leeming Bar Station in Yorkshire. This experience is a little different to the train ride in Switzerland as it’s heavily based on the animated Christmas film. During the train ride (next stop, The North Pole!), you’ll meet characters from the movie, such as the singing chefs and the conductor. At the end of the train ride, you’ll also meet Father Christmas. 

Both Polar Express experiences have their own merits, however, when you compare prices, it’s clear that Yorkshire’s Christmas experience is certainly more family friendly and accessible to the average UK family unit. With prices starting from £27.95, compared to 138.76, I know where I’d choose to take my family for a fun Christmas getaway. 

Winter Getaways That Are Packed Full Of Fun and Memories

It’s truly great to see that there are so many festive places to visit and activities to partake in spread throughout the UK. These destinations certainly make it more affordable for the average UK family to take a winter holiday that’s still full of all the fun and excitement that they’d get if they’d travelled abroad. Take a look at some more amazing comparisons using the image below!

Wherever you choose to take your winter holiday, we hope that, as a family, you make great memories and have a lovely magical experience! Where’s your favourite winter break destination? I’d love to know, so feel free to leave me a comment below.

Rachael is a 31 year old mum to 10 year old Luke and 5 year old Oscar. She lives in England and writes about family life, crafts, recipes, parenting wins(and fails), as well as travel, days out, fashion and living the frugal lifestyle.

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