Grotto tickets for Kent 2019 including Leeds Castle, Hever Castle and Ruxley Manor Garden Centre

Bluewater Shopping Centre has fired the Christmas klaxon by putting both its grotto and ice rink tickets on sale.

Dobbies Garden Centres in both Gillingham and Ashford, Broadditch Farm in Southfleet, The Hop Farm and Kent and East Sussex Railways have also now opened up their festive booking lines to meet the man in red and many of Kent's other big attractions are about to follow suit.

Tickets for Kent's grottos are now going on sale
Tickets for Kent's grottos are now going on sale

If you're on the lookout for the perfect grotto for the kids this Christmas see our round-up below of what and when tickets are going on sale across the county...

Broadditch Farm, Southfleet

Farmer Christmas will once again be meeting visitors to the north Kent farm during the festive season and tickets are now on sale.

Climb on board the Tractor Sleigh and journey to the enchanted wood where you will be met by elves who will lead you to Farmer Christmas’s cosy cabin. Here you can listen to a festive story read by Santa before you meet the man himself and collect a special present.

The grotto opens for its first visitors on Saturday, November 30 and will then be open at weekends and select weekdays all the way up until Christmas. Prices for Farmer Christmas are £12.00 per child and £4 for accompanying adults. For a full run down of dates available and to make your family's booking please click here.

Santa will be stopping at various Kent attractions this Christmas
Santa will be stopping at various Kent attractions this Christmas

Dobbies Garden Centre, Gillingham and Ashford

Take breakfast or enjoy tea with Santa or swing by his grotto at two Kent garden centres this Christmas.

There are lots of opportunities to meet the man in red at Dobbies in Gillingham and Ashford and tickets are now on sale.

Santa's Grotto will be open between November 24 and December 24, costs £11.99 and children will get an age-appropriate toy from makes including Lego, Playmobil, Bigjigs and GALT.


Breakfast or tea with Santa runs between the same dates at selected times and costs £13.99. These events includes a hot or cold meal, fun activities and a gift from Santa and are best suited to families with children aged 12 and under who will be seated and served at their own table.

To book tickets to either event at your nearest Dobbies please click here.

Ruxley Manor Garden Centre, Sidcup

It might be on the north Kent/London border, but Santa's Grotto at Ruxley is always a firm favourite with families.

The garden centre has not yet confirmed the exact date for ticket sales but says it will be at some point in September. Prospective visitors can stay-up-to-date by signing up to Ruxley's email alert. Full details here.

Last year's Christmas Market at Leeds Castle
Last year's Christmas Market at Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle, Leeds near Maidstone

Father Christmas will be at the castle on weekends only from November 23 until December 15. Families can wander through the Christmas Market through to an enchanted path which will lead to a magical grotto.

Leeds Castle Grotto tickets are £17 per child plus a £1.50 booking fee and will be available to book online from 10am on Tuesday, October 1.

Admission tickets are not included with Father Christmas tickets and whilst only children require a grotto ticket to see Father Christmas all members of your group will require a Leeds Castle admission ticket. Full details available here.

Hever Castle at Christmas
Hever Castle at Christmas

Hever Castle near Tonbridge

This Christmas Hever Castle is taking visitors on a magical journey down the rabbit hole and into the enchanting world of Alice in Wonderland. The castle will once again be beautifully decorated whilst outside in the grounds a whimsical Alice in a Christmas Wonderland themed interactive trail can be found.

At this year's magical grotto visitors will be greeted by Mother Christmas and taken by an elf, through the snowy ‘forest’, to meet Father Christmas in his log cabin before each child is given a special age-appropriate gift to take home.

Christmas at Hever Castle takes place from November 23 until December 8 Wednesdays to Sundays and then daily from December 9 until December 24.

The pre-booked grotto experience will be available on November 23, 24 and 30, December 1, 7 and 8 and then daily between December 11 and Christmas Eve. Children visiting the Grotto require tickets for Father Christmas plus admission tickets whilst adults coming to the grotto require admission tickets only.

The castle is also once again offering a drop-in experience with Father Christmas at his workshop on December 7, 8, 14 and 15 and between December 20 to 23. This is for children who have not booked to visit the grotto and tickets are available on a first-come-first-served basis for £8.50 and only available to buy in the grounds on the day.

Tickets for all Christmas experiences at Hever Castle opened to members on September 11 and are on general sale from Wednesday, September 18. To make a booking and for all ticket admission terms and conditions please click here.

Brookside Garden Centre, East Peckham

Fans of the exceptionally popular grotto at Brookside will be sad to hear that Father Christmas won't be stopping in East Peckham this year.

Organisers have taken the decision to take a break from hosting Santa after the grotto became so exceptionally popular with families. Last October 16,000 people descended on the website looking for tickets with only 3,000 available. More details about this year's cancellation can be read here.

Bewl Water, Lamberhurst

Ticket sales to see Santa at Bewl Water are now open. Father Christmas will be beside the water at Bewl at weekends from Saturday, December 7 together with Monday, December 23 and on Christmas Eve.

The grotto will be open 10am until 3.30pm and tickets are £11 per child. To make a booking please click here.

Kent and East Sussex Railway is now selling tickets to its Santa Specials
Kent and East Sussex Railway is now selling tickets to its Santa Specials

Kent and East Sussex Railway, Tenterden

Take a magical steam train journey to meet Santa this Christmas with the popular Santa Special trains.

At Tenterden Station will be the beautiful Victorian carousel providing unlimited rides whilst the festively decorated steam trains will take passengers on a memorable hour and 10 minute journey where Santa's elf helpers will help hand out presents and there are festive refreshments from mine pies to sweets for everyone on board!

The Santa Specials, which are now on sale, are running on select dates from November 30 until December 24 and ticket prices begin at £22. To learn more or make a booking click here.

Hempstead Valley, Gillingham

The popular grotto opens on Saturday, November 16 at Hempstead Valley in conjunction with our sister radio station kmfm. Panto stars appearing in Cinderella at Chatham's Central Theatre will be on hand to help Santa officially open his grotto on the day.

Tickets will be available to book from November 1. Keep up to date via the shopping centre's website here.

Grotto tickets are now gradually going on sale across Kent
Grotto tickets are now gradually going on sale across Kent

The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood

Father Christmas is back at The Hop Farm on select dates during December and plenty of fun is promised in the Big Red Grotto.

The festive experience includes storytelling with Mother Christmas, craft and activity sheets, balloon models, the chance to meet his jolly helpers and a Christmas gift when you meet the man himself.

Ticket prices include free entry to the Family Park, animal farm and indoor soft play centre. Ticket prices to the grotto are £18 with two adults free with every booking. To learn more or to book your tickets please click here.

Bluewater has tickets for its grotto and ice rink now on sale
Bluewater has tickets for its grotto and ice rink now on sale

Bluewater Shopping Centre, Greenhithe

Bluewater has been one of the first this year to open ticket bookings for both its grotto and ice rink.

Both attractions, which open in November, are now available to book via its website. This year's grotto, by the lakes at The Village, has a Nutcracker theme.

Full details about Bluewater's grotto sales please click here.

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