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The Best Santa Experiences in Scotland

The Best Santa Experiences in Scotland

Ho, Ho, Hold up, is it that time of the year again? We’ll hear the angels sing and Christmas bells ring, and best of all: Santa’s coming back to town!

You’ll feel this merry season to the brim when you celebrate it in the country. Here are the best Santa experiences in Scotland that you and your little elves will love.

Santa Steam Train


Address: Bo’ness, EH51 9UD, UK

Contact details: +44 150 682 5855

Schedule: Saturday and Sunday from December 3 to 24, 2023 

Price: Starts at £20 per person for a reserved seat

Tell your little ones to buckle up for an adventure to the North Pole through the Santa Steam Train by Bo’ness and Kinneil Railways. It’s open every Christmas season; you can reserve a seat or a private compartment as you venture into Birkhill.

Upon arrival at Bo’ness station, Santa will meet your family and give presents to your kids who’ve been on the nice list this year. There are also festive singers, magicians, and complimentary refreshments during your trip.

Pro tip:

Pack a picnic that you can enjoy while you’re onboard the train. The entire journey takes around an hour.

Santa at St. Enoch Centre


Facebook: St. Enoch Centre

Address: 55 St Enoch Square, Glasgow, G1 4BW, UK

Contact details: +44 141 204 3900

Schedule: November 27 to December 19, 2023

Price: £10 per child

We may have heard of St. Enoch Centre as a great place for some Christmas shopping (Best Christmas Markets Scotland), but you might not know that Santa’s Grotto is here too. He makes a special visit during the holidays where families can take photos with him to capture the memory.

Proceeds from this event directly go to Glasgow’s Spirit of Christmas Charity, which helps local children undergoing tough times. These kids get to receive presents on Christmas Day as a way to celebrate the occasion.

Pro tip:

Before meeting Santa in his grotto, let your kids write a letter to him with the help of his elves. They’ll gladly welcome you and assist you whenever you need anything.
Don’t forget to ask Santa for some presents for being good this year!

Santa’s Grotto at Carberry Tower


Facebook: Carberry Tower

Address: Carberry Tower Estate, Musselburgh, EH21 8PY, UK

Contact details: +44 131 665 3135

Schedule: December 16 to 24, 2023


  • Child – £15.76
  • Accompanying adults – Free

Carberry Tower Castle and Estate was established in 1480, and we mainly know it now as a magnificent hotel with a grand interior. But at Christmastime, it palys host to Santa’s Grotto where our kids can meet him and get some presents.

For the past six years, many locals have been flocking to this grotto that’s found inside an enchanting Winter Pavilion. You can even buy some hot chocolate and delicious muffins to complete the experience.

Pro tip:

Their laid-back bistro which has a real log fire, where you can sit back and relax. We also love their dark chocolate drops and vegetarian tarts.

Christmas at the Castle


Facebook: Christmas At The Castle

Address: Crathes Castle, Banchory, AB31 5QJ, UK

Contact details: +44 122 496 1024

Schedule: December 8 to 24, 2023


  • Adult – £18
  • Children age 4 to 15 years old – £12
  • Children age 3 and below – Free
  • Entry to Santa’s Grotto – £9

Christmas at the Crathes Castle offers a jam-packed experience for all visitors. This includes a tour of the illuminated walled garden, a walk on the woodland trail, a fire pit for some s’mores, and a gift market for a little shopping.

But the best part is undoubtedly seeing Santa in his grotto and listening to a fascinating tale from him. And here’s a little secret: he listens to your wishes and surprises you with a lovely gift too!

Pro tip:

If you arrive early at the castle, we suggest you look around the area because they have lovely gardens. There’s even a Go Ape Tree that and your kids can climb for some fun bonding.

Beecraigs Festive Forest


Facebook: Beecraigs Festive Forest

Address: Linlithgow, EH49 6PL, UK

Schedule: December 1 to 23, 2023


  • Adult – £21.92
  • Children age 4 to 15 years old – £13.25
  • Children age 3 and below – Free
  • Family ticket –  £64.20
  • Entry to Santa experience –  £11.08

You’ll feel the Christmas magic in the air once you visit the Beecraigs Festive Forest in Linlithgow. It showcases an illuminated trail with laser shows, Santa’s Grotto, and a storytelling experience along with other attractions like the carousel and Santa Train.

What’s more, they have lots of market stalls that sell food and drinks. You’ll even hear the choir and carol singers in the background with their angelic voices.

Pro tip:

There are several car parks around the area, and the main one is at the visitor centre. But, you can also place your vehicles near the big kids’ play park which is a 20-minute walk from the main one.

Santa’s Woodland Experience


Address: North Ballochruin Farm, Balfron Station, G63 0LE, UK

Contact details: +44 136 075 2052

Schedule: December 1 to 25, 2023


  • Child – £16
  • Adult – £8
  • Infant (with gift) – £7
  • Infant (without gift) – Free

If you want something cosy for this Christmas, Santa’s Woodland Experience in North Ballochruin Farm is perfect for the entire family. It’s even recognised as the top outdoor woodland venue by locals.

The excitement starts with a tractor ride where you’ll see stunning scenery and even spot some of Santa’s neighbours. Then, you’ll arrive at a cabin where Santa will greet you personally and tell you all the best Christmas stories.

Pro tip:

Have some tea or coffee along with some hot food that’s for sale by the shed, where you’ll stop after the tractor ride from Santa’s cabin. 

Mrs Claus at Pollok House


Address: Bellahouston, Glasgow, G43 1AT, UK

Contact details: +44 141 616 6410

Schedule: December 11 to 24, 2023


  • Child – £7 (on peak season – weekends and December 21 & 24)
  • Child – £5 (off-peak season – weekdays excluding December 21 & 24)
  • Adult – £7.50
  • Concession – £5.50

Although you won’t technically meet the famous Santa, you’ll get a chance to get to know his better half, Mrs. Claus, when you visit the Pollok House in December. It’s a different take from the usual Santa experiences, but just as fun and interactive!

Your kids will receive a good-quality gift upon their visit, and even get to wander around the beautifully decorated halls of this Edwardian-style mansion.

Pro tip:

If you want the place all to yourselves, you can book the entire Pollok House with a tour, even on Christmas Day. It’s a great experience that comes with some afternoon tea and a stroll around this pristine home.

But, we highly suggest you book it ahead of time because the slots are limited.

Santa and the Snow


Address: Sora, INTU Braehead, King’s Inch Rd, Renfrew, PA4 8XQ, UK

Contact details: +44 871 222 5672

Schedule: November 24 to December 24, 2023


  • Child ages 3 to 16 years old –  £19.95
  • Adults and infants ages 1 to 2 years old – £9.95

As its name suggests, the Santa and the Snow experience in Braehead Centre lets you meet the famous character and play with real snow. Your kids will start with ‘elf school’, and eventually move to the ‘workshop’ to make some Christmas decorations.

Once that’s done, they can meet Santa and listen to his stories inside his cabin. The kids will surely love the experience and the presents that Mr Claus will give them.

Pro tip:

Apart from visiting Santa’s cabin, your little munchkins might want to ride the train. We loved how they gave us free chocolate chip cookies, which were delicious and well-baked.

Santa’s Bon Accord Winter Wonderland


Facebook: Bon Accord Centre Aberdeen

Address: 25 George St, Aberdeen AB25 1HZ, UK

Contact details: +44 122 464 7470

Schedule: Every weekend in December until Christmas Eve

Price: £4.50 per child with a gift

Bon Accord Aberdeen turns into a winter wonderland every holiday season with Santa as its main character. What we like most about this experience is that you’ll not only meet the popular figure in the Charlie House, but also give back to those less fortunate.

Buying a ticket is more than enough since all the proceeds directly go to the Archie Foundation. They give equipment and provide financial support to kids who are in hospital, especially those with life-limiting conditions.

Pro tip:

Even if you’re a person with special needs, you’ll have a great time in this relaxed session with Santa. All pathways are disability-friendly and an elf will even help you out.

Santa’s Magical Wonderland


Facebook: M&Ds Scotlands Theme Park

Address: Strathclyde Country Park, Bellshill, Motherwell, ML1 3RT, UK

Contact details: +44 169 833 3777

Schedule: November 25 to December 24, 2023


  • Child – £8.20
  • Adult – £5.50

As one of Scotland’s best theme parks, M&Ds has something exciting lined up for the holiday festivities. They call it ‘Santa’s Magical Wonderland’, where you’ll be immersed in a North Pole-esque world with a visit to his grotto and workshop.

You’ll even listen to Santa’s famous tales in an indoor heated theatre that lasts around 20 minutes. As a bonus, kids get to pick their gifts from his workshop and ride the indoor Italian Carousel.

Pro tip:

You won’t need to pay for anything for some refreshments since all adults will be given a complimentary voucher. You can pick tea or coffee, and any Christmas treat available like cookies and cupcakes.

Supper with Santa at Almond Valley


Facebook: Almond Valley Heritage Centre

Address: 37 Millfield, Livingston, EH54 7AR, UK

Contact details: +44 150 641 4957

Schedule: December 17 to 21, 2023 at 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM


  • Child – £12 with meal and gift from Santa
  • Adult – £8 with meal

Almond Valley Heritage Centre has a different approach for the Christmas season: here, you get to sit down, chat, and have dinner with Santa! They offer a complete course, along with a present for your little ones.

Aside from this, you can also take a good look around Santa’s grotto. Take note that your entry fee includes the meal, gifts, and even access to their soft play area.

Pro tip:

If you want to make it a whole-day family affair, we suggest you try the different attractions and activities in the centre. They offer tractor rides and animal feeding for an extra charge of £1 per person.

Lunch with Santa at NO10 Hotel


Facebook: Number 10 Hotel

Address: 10, 16 Queen’s Dr, Glasgow, G42 8BS, UK

Contact details: +44 141 424 0160

Schedule: December 3, 10 and 24, 2023, 12NN – 3 PM


  • Adult – £20.95 for a 2-course lunch
  • Children 2 years old and below – £6 for a 2-course lunch
  • Children ages 3 to 12 years old – £12.95 for a 2-course lunch

Alternatively, you can opt to have supper with Santa at the Number 10 Hotel. It’s a luxurious 3-star accommodation that’s suitable for families who want to spend the holiday season together.

You’ll be in a merry mood as you converse with Santa with delicious food. You can even visit the hotel’s makeshift grotto, where he’ll give out special presents for the kids.

Pro tip:

We had to book our slots in advance since the hotel doesn’t accept any walk-ins, so make sure to take note of that. Also, these are all non-refundable and non-transferable, regardless of the reason.

Brechin Castle Grotto


Facebook: Brechin Castle Centre

Address: Haughmuir, Brechin, DD9 6RL, UK

Contact details: +44 135 662 6813


  • Every weekend from November 26 to December 18, 2023, from 12 PM – 4 PM
  • December 23 to 24, 2023 from 12 PM – 4 PM

Price: £10 per child

During the Christmas season, the Brechin Castle Centre shines even brighter with its Santa grotto. Kids love having a chat with the bearded man here and receiving a special present from him.

This is a yearly event of the castle where they improve the grotto every time with new decorations, perfect for photo ops with the families. 

Pro tip:

Aside from dropping by Santa’s grotto, we also visited the castle during spring to see some beautiful flowers. They have a vast garden with great guides who know the castle’s history by heart.

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