Dear Mummy, this is the third time I’ve walked through the portal at LaplandUK and been magically transported to see Father Christmas. With my elf passport in hand and an elf to guide me I’ve made this annual trip to the heart of Whitmoor Forest on the outskirts of Ascot, Berkshire before.
You see I was summoned here by an invitation that came down my chimney and I knew it was real as it was cold in my hands. It had come from Father Christmas with my name on it and an official seal. Along with instructions for my folks we made our journey into the forest. This time I was older (and wiser) so would the experience be the same?
Meeting up with Eeko and Sage they once more guided us to the portal, told us stories and sang to us. We were put into two small groups for the passage through the large oak doors and made husky sounds and reindeer sounds to rally the big folk. I was mesmerised.
A silent hush descended on all the human folk before the large doors opened to reveal white crisp light into the dark of Whitmoor Forest. I rubbed my eyes in disbelief having seen this wonder many times before it never ceases to amaze me. Gasps of delight were whispered on breaths of children, as the white glare stunned adults.
LaplandUK was covered in snow, not only that but it is snowing from the sky too (my folks look around in disbelief) its like a dream come true. The aroma of pine trees tickle our noses as we are transported to another world, snowflakes land on my mummy’s camera lens and the cold fills her lungs. We pass beautiful wooden lodges with little elf door bells and are guided to our first stop on our destination to the elf village.
Inside the Toy Factory a busy elf called Whittle and his team of elves are making Christmas presets by hand for Father Christmas to be delivered. A frantic call comes into the factory and the elves realise they are behind schedule. They need MY help. I gently rush to stuff the polar bears tummies and laugh at Conker being silly.
Whittle the wise old elf looks down his nose over his glasses in despair of this new elf, Conker, trying very hard to earn his first golden bell. We are joined by the most beautiful elf I have ever seen called Wishes and I’m impressed that her skirt is made up from the Northern Lights of our world where human wishes are collected.
But time is of the essence and we had more work to do at LaplandUK. We rush off down the snowy path to Mother Christmas’s kitchen to decorate some delicious gingerbread biscuits. The hot smell of baking wafts outside the wooden lodge. Along with her helpers Dough, Cinnamon and others, we are shown what to do as Mother Christmas reads us an extract from a wonderful book called Minikin.
A glint in her eyes reminds me of her love for all the children in the world and I know she remembers me from previous years. While we listen to stories in Mother Christmas’s kitchen the big folk get sneaky biscuits. (Don’t think I didn’t see Mummy and Daddy!)
My folks are amazed at all the beautiful detail in the lodge and often their attention diverts away from me to concentrate on the entertainment and hospitality that the elves are giving to us in their snowy world. Behind Mother Christmas a magical pot is stirring itself?! Gingerbread houses are on the shelves along with old clocks and books. It’s like stepping back in time.
We continue on our journey and signposts to Elf Village tell us (and my little legs) that we are nearly there. The shrill of laughter, twinkly lights and warm spiced apple fill the air with anticipation. I make a beeline for the ice skating rink with my daddy while my mummy makes her annual pilgrimage to find nuggets of joy in the elf boutique for family and friends. She’s clutching her little red bag of elf jingles, the only currency accepted in LaplandUK.
On the way she is distracted by steaming cups of hot apple spiced brandy and with ruby red cheeks enjoys a cheeky beverage while watching skaters on the ice rink. It gives her time to soak in the atmosphere and it was great to see the smile on her face though Daddy said something about it being the brandy!
We were so immersed with looking around the Elf Village that we almost walked past the Huskies, thankfully Amber and her handler find us and I stop to stroke her, she looks just like my LaplandUK husky toy from last year!? We make a connection and my new husky friend sits down by my side.
A quick pit stop for food sees us enjoy chicken schnitzel burgers, hot chocolate and Mother Christmas’s Christmas Pie. We missed the fantastic meatballs from last year though, it seems the elves have eaten them all. Naughty elves!
A quick visit to the post office sees me write another letter to Father Christmas and post it through one of the many magical letterboxes. Here you can purchase more elf jingles, post postcards while next door in the Baubles shop you can decorate your own tree decorations.
Then all of a sudden a flash of colour breaks up the snowy landscape. It’s not human folk it’s someone else. Elves, Bauble, Pixie Mixie along with Compass are telling stories and greeting children with their famous elf waves and we can’t resist taking a photo and exchanging smiles.
My mummy can hear children’s squeals of delight as she heads back to the ice skating rink and it reminds her why the founders of LaplandUK have transported us to this magical place. To see such delight on children’s (and adults) faces is a blessing. It’s lovely spending time together outside as a family experiencing all the wonder of Christmas and this is what fuels all the magic…along with our wishes of course! For a brief moment we are all kids and the atmosphere is positive and magical.
As darkness falls the twinkly lights of the forest show us the way to Father Christmases heartland home, we walk pass tall trees which line the maze of pathways. See Father Christmases sleigh along with his reindeer at elf Ambolt’s hut before checking in at Compasses study lodge. It’s good we have our own individual elf guide called ‘Icy’ for this last part of the journey. He is assigned to take us to Father Christmas as he hops along the snowy path while we chase after him.
We enter the warm inviting lodge and see Father Christmas in all his glory. Are my eyes deceiving me? I can’t quite believe that he’s there and reach out to touch his bushy beard (it’s even bigger than daddy’s). He knows everything that I’ve been up too and I tell him that I’ve been shouting up the chimney to him. He says that he heard me. We spend a long time talking and as we say our goodbyes for another year I can’t help but wonder if he watches me all the time.
Out we step into the frosty air and as we walk the pathway turns from snowy into brown mush as we step out of the portal and back into Whitmoor Forest. It’s reassuring to know that LaplandUK is there each year to guide me back to the elves and the home of Father Christmas. After a four hour immersive winter wonderland experience we are all content and happy, full of wonderment and Christmas promise.
Another year has past and a chapter of my book has closed. We can’t wait to see what delights LaplandUK has in store for the children of the world next year. It’s the most magical place on this earth.
Love Bella x
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Disclosure: We were offered tickets to LaplandUK in return for an honest review. All purchases on site and thoughts are our own.