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Review: Driftwood Land

Updated: Mar 7

Turning off the road onto a dark drive was a suspenseful start to our Driftwood experience. We didn't know what to expect, but saw other cars parked up and twinkling lights in the distance - and pretty soon, we were greeted with a high viz and a clipboard and were reassured… this was the place.

We wrapped up in extra layers, and wandered into the frosty night, welcomed by garlands and reindeer statues and a print out of a beautifully illustrated map of the site. Each lodge was a different station: Mrs Claus making tree decorations, elves toasting marshmallows, a post room, a gingerbread woodland... and Santa himself.

It felt like we had the place to ourselves, but we occasionally heard giggles and calls from other families exploring the site. Our little girl was wide-eyed and mesmerised by the lights, the intricate signage, the cheeky gingerbread people dotted throughout the trees, and the warm welcomes we got at each and every station. We chatted to the lady who kept the reindeer, and enjoyed feeling their fuzzy noses and comparing their antlers. We walked down a path to the wooded area and collected letters to make up a secret code word in order to enter a competition; we met elves wherever we went; we wrote our letters to Santa; and finally joined the queue in the tunnel to see the man himself. A handful of families eagerly awaited their turn, clutching hot chocolates and camera phones. Whilst we could partially see into the huge snow globe, we could only imagine what magic was inside. When it was our turn to go in, an elf zipped us into an entrance partition before we stepped inside Santa's beautiful grotto. He was sat beside a sparkling hand painted bus, cloaked in red and edged in fur. There were toys and trees and snow and sparkles everywhere. He knew it was our little girl's very first time so was gentle and patient and calm, ensuring she was comfortable and happy. She was curious and a little unsure. We hoped that Daddy's beard had prepared her to meet the big man, but she took a moment to assess her surroundings and then smiled and settled. The elf offered to take some photos of us, and Santa allowed us to choose a stuffed toy to take home with us. Our little one picked a monkey - who we called Marshmallow - to remind us of her first taste of toasted marshmallow on an open fire. Possibly not the best idea just before bedtime, but a delicious treat for all of us. We were impressed that there were vegetarian/vegan options available!

We finished off our visit with Mrs Claus, making a personalised tree decoration from laser cut wood and glitter. Her lodge was beautifully decorated and full of curiosities and things to look at. We could have stayed there for hours!

Finally, the cold air started creeping under our layers, so we wandered back to the car, marvelling at the reflections of the lights in the surface of the small lake that sits on the edge of the site. We said goodbye to the reindeer and took some final photos in order to remember our special evening.

Magical. To book, visit the Driftwood Land Facebook page or

Click the tab top left corner then click into Driftwood Land 2023

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