Grottos and Santa go together with Christmas, like mince pie and custard but this year it’s different. Thanks to Covid, Santa’s global festivities will be altered somewhat. At The Tiger Tales HQ we are also doing things a bit differently to fast-forward the holiday cheer. Courtesy Painshill Park, we went on a Snowfari.
Painshill’s Snowfari is a journey that will take you from viewing wildlife figures then stroll seamlessly into a winter wonderland. It’s a magical festive experience for all in the family.
The Snowfari follows Painshill’s the blue route around the park. It’s an accessible path and dogs on short leads are allowed. There are four realms to discover and it all starts at the Giant Nutcracker Forest then ends at Gingerbread Corner.
We arrived at Painshill around noon on Saturday. At the ticket point we bought Snowfari activity books (RRP £3 -£2.50 online in advance). Coincidentally it was also the start of National Tree Week, so I picked up a Tree Trail handout. Along the Snowfari the kids spotted the wildlife and festive figures, while I looked out for the trees. We were all engaged because there were many talking points along the way.
The figures were incredibly life-like, from thrilling tigers to goofy giraffes. Angelo felt the penguins were a little scary. I think it was the glint in their blue eyes, that’s now realistic the figures are.
Expect many Instagramable moments. Don’t miss the polar bear seat.
Off the path
We didn’t stay strictly on the blue path. I wanted a better vantage point to view the park, so we climbed the hill to the Turkish Tent. From that point, Painhill’s stunning vista opened up. In the distance 5 Arch Bridge could be seen, and majestic the Great Cedar Tree stood proud on its islet safe and strong.
Then, onto the Temple of Bacchus which is another spectacular vantage point. I could see the water wheel below which helps to circulate river water around the lake.
When we returned to the blue path, the kids went up to the ice house which is near Ginger Bread Corner at the end of the Snowfari. It was exciting for them to explore a different path along the park and spot the figures.
Snowfari runs until Sun 3 Jan however, between the time of our trip and now, tickets have sold out. Nonetheless don’t despair, there are exciting events coming up in the new year.
From January you can visit Painshill Park and enjoy its spectacular landscape. There are many points of interest to look out for, such as the hidden hermitage, the vineyard, the Ruined Abbey, adventure playground and more. You can wander through the woodlands and rewild your life for a day.
Come Spring, look out for events such as an Easter Eggs Hunt in April. Your Prince and Princess Knights will be pleased to know there will be dragons to discover later in the year. To stay in the loop see the Painshill events page https://www.painshill.co.uk/things-to-do-and-see/ or register for their newsletter.
About Painshill Park
The park is dates back to 18th century and is a Grade 1 Historic Landscape. It was created by Hon. Charlies Hamilton, who was painter, plantsman and designer, between 1738 and 1773. He was inspired by Renaissance art and his Grand Tour of Europe (the gap year of it’s time)
Unless you are a Painshill Park member, all visits must be booked in advance to avoid disappointment. It is accessible via public transport Cobham & Stoke d’Abernon Station (2 miles).
Walton-on-Thames and Weybridge Station (within 5 miles). You can get a cab from either station to the garden.
Parking is available on site. For more information and tickets visit the Painshill website.
What are you doing differently this festive season? Have you ever been to Painshill? What’s your favourite part? Comment below, I would love to hear from you.
I leave you with a video of our personal highlights from the Snowfari.
We were given press tickets to visit Painshill for the purpose of featuring their Snowfari.