Penshurst Place unveils a magical new Christmas grotto

See Santa’s secret study and workshop for a festive experience from a bygone era. A magical Christmas grotto awaits youngsters at Penshurst Place this winter, providing an opportunity to step back in time and experience festive fun from bygone years.

A world away from the commerciality of the high street, Penshurst’s new Christmas grotto will give young visitors a taste of Christmas from a more innocent time.

Trees festooned with giant baubles lining the pathway will greet visitors on Lime Walk, leading up to Santa’s Toy Workshop, which can be found in the Old Stable. Here children can opt to take part in a variety of Christmas crafts and activities such as helping to decorate the tree; Christmas crafts, quizzes and colouring; having their face painted; and making decorations, signs and cards to take home. 

Christmas fairies will be on hand to entertain the children and guide families as they tour some of Santa’s favourite spots at Penshurst Place.

A behind-the-scenes peek at Santa’s Study, located in the Garden Tower, will give little visitors a chance to see where Father Christmas works on his toy designs and gets everything ready in the run-up to Christmas Eve.

The fairy guide will then lead the way down the old stone steps, around the corner to a tiny blue door that is hidden underneath the historic house. This is Father Christmas’s secret Penshurst office, full of cubby holes, magic doors and passageways that lead him instantly to places like The Reindeer Stables, The Toy Factory and The Elves Workshop. Here, the man himself will be waiting in his sleigh to greet each child in an exclusive visit, chatting to them and regaling tales of his plans for Christmas before handing out a candy cane and a Penshurst Place unveils a magical new Christmas grottosmall Christmas present.

In addition to the Christmas grotto, Penshurst’s traditional adventure playground will be open for youngsters to let off steam, subject to the weather conditions.

The grotto experience will be open on 24th and 25th November, 1st and 2nd December, and then from 8th to 22nd December inclusive, from 10.30am to 6pm. Ideally suited for preschool children, the tickets cost £14.50 per child, and up to two adults can accompany each child free of charge. 

The Penshurst Place Christmas Gift Shop will be open and stocked with artisan local produce, speciality gifts and festive favourites such as handmade wreaths made using foliage from the estate and mistletoe harvested from the gardens.  A selection of Christmas trees and seasonal hampers are also available, with the option to create your own bespoke hamper. 

Meanwhile the Porcupine Pantry Café will be serving festive fare, warm drinks and Christmas sweet treats.

To buy tickets, visit


November 14, 2018

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