Put your skates on and go to Bewl Water for festive fun
by Andy Tong | 6th December 2018
THERE'S a treat in store for children at Bewl’s Christmas Experience, which has a variety of ways to keep the young ones entertained for two hours. And after meeting Father Christmas in his grotto, they come away with a cuddly reindeer – and a big smile.
The largest body of water in south-east England already has much to recommend it, with stunning views, boat trips and long walks around the reservoir’s edge as well as excellent refreshments in the Boat House Bistro and Waterfront Cafe.
But in the build-up to Christmas there’s so much more to enjoy. You can skate on the synthetic ice rink, catch a train with the elves, ride reindeer – or carousel horses with antlers – and toast marshmallows in the firepit.
A quick tip to start with: when you arrive, tell the person at the gate that you are there for the Christmas Experience, so you don’t have to pay an extra £3 for parking.
I went with my six-year-old son and he loved every minute. After a quick spin on the tea cups ride we jumped on the road train and were entertained by Jingle the elf, singing Christmas songs and nursery rhymes as we took in the beautiful landscape.
Then it was off to the skating rink. Sonny is often a little cautious when it comes to trying new physical activities, and I had never been skating before. But Sonny was keen to give it a go, and we both turned out to be rather proficient at it. It was enormous fun.
The rink is not made of real ice, and the blades of the skates are not razor sharp, which probably helped. There were plastic polar bears and penguins to hang onto as well, but we didn’t need them as we cavorted around merrily - hardly ever falling over.
After that it was off to see Santa. Although we had to wait a few minutes while others in our time slot were ushered into the grotto, it gave us a chance to try out the soft-play area, take pictures with the festive props and hang our ‘wishes’ on the big tree.
Then we managed to gain entry to the grotto – the password is ‘Brussels sprouts’, in case you need it. Having made our way through the woodland wonderland, Santa’s cabin was warm and welcoming, and the big man himself was well prepped about Sonny’s interests.
Feeling full of festive cheer, we rounded it off with a handful of marshmallows toasted on the open fire outside, then went for one last fairground ride, on the reindeer, before heading off home feeling thoroughly happy and very Christmassy.
Opening days: December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 21-24
Prices: £35 per child | £18 per adult
Maximum of four adults and four children. If your group is larger than eight people, you will need to make a two separate bookings for the grotto.
All bookings must be made online through the Eventbrite booking system.