A few weeks ago we had the most festive overnight stay at Wynyard Hall, a luxury hotel in the North East.

It’s a place which we have totally fallen in love with as a family and only just discovered, but much to our utter delight, only a few weeks after our first stay, we were very kindly invited back to experience a special Christmas break.

We arrived on a Friday evening after a pretty challenging journey. It was dark when we arrived and suitably chilly but thankfully check in was a breeze and we soon got settled.

We stayed in the same beautiful cottage as our earlier stay and were so happy to return as a family, that when we pulled up outside, I joked ‘we’re home!’. (If only!) For those who have read my previous post, I won’t cover the same ground in regards to the cottage and hotel, but I will say that just as before, everything was pretty magnificent. (If you missed it, you can read all about it here.)

But what I do want to mention is how yet again both Jamie and I were in awe at how incredibly elegant yet totally unpretentious this place is. And, how utterly lovely, friendly and professional the staff are. Just like on our first visit, they could not do enough for us, something which is so refreshing to experience as a couple with two young children! (And something we’re incredibly grateful for!)

After a lovely evening meal on the Friday at the hotel’s restaurant and a much needed early night, we woke up to the most beautiful sunny yet frosty day and this lovely view at the cottage.

And after breakfast and an obligatory dip in the cottage’s amazing hot tub whilst Leo napped (Elsie keeps requesting a hot tub now for Christmas!) it was time to check out and enjoy some special festive activities.

First up was ice skating.

As Jamie had never been ice skating before, Elsie went with Daddy on the ice for the very first time, as I walked Leo around and admired their finest skating moves!

The ice rink at Wynyard Hall is actually situated up at the estate’s impressive garden centre, just a short drive away from the hotel itself and is beautifully positioned. We were booked in for an 11am slot and much to our astonishment and delight, there was no queue and although a few people were already on the ice, it was surprisingly calm, quiet and relaxed.

Elsie and Jamie put on their skates ( Elsie had special double skates that were attached to her boots) and away they went!

After a slight wobbly start, the two of them soon got to grips with the ice and very proudly want me to tell you all, that neither of them fell over. A Christmas miracle if ever there was one.

Both Elsie and Jamie loved the ice skating. And whilst it’s true we couldn’t have had a better day for it weather wise, they both found the experience great fun. Uncrowded in a beautiful setting, it was the perfect festive treat. (Next year, it’s my turn!)

After a spot of lunch, it was then time for the biggest festive treat of all, a meeting with Santa himself. We’d kept this from Elsie as a bit of a surprise, so it’s safe to say she was bouncing with excitement and thankfully Santa did not disappoint. In fact he was marvellous.

We got there a little earlier than our time slot as we expected it to be heaving with families, but again it was surprisingly peaceful (probably because this was at the end of November) and we were soon whisked in to see the big man in his special Santa hideout.

Before we went along, I’d already provided a few personal details to the team so imagine Elsie’s utter delight when she walked in and Santa greeted her by her name. Her face was a picture!

He also asked Elsie to look inside his special book to see if she and Leo were on the ‘good list’ which of course they were and it was this moment that made me a little teary eyed because it was just so wonderful. Her joy at finding both their names was utter Christmas magic.

After spending five or so magical minutes talking to Santa, telling him what she wanted for Christmas (and Leo too) Elsie was handed two gifts (one for her and Leo) and we soon said our goodbyes, before heading home after another perfect break.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure that Wynyard Hall could live up to our first stay, but I was wrong! Second time around, it was just as special and just as welcoming as the first time we arrived and as always, absolutely faultless.

If you’re in the area, do check out Wynyard Hall’s lovely festive activities and if you’re thinking of booking a special break away anytime soon, please do take a look at this wonderful, wonderful place.


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