Newmarket Holidays

Searching for Santa – a magical Lapland experience

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At Newmarket Holidays, we do our best to ensure that all of our guests have the best experience possible – which is why we love to receive feedback letting us know we’ve done a good job.

We recently received this letter from Averil, who travelled to Lapland on one of our Santa Experience Day Trips with her family. We loved how she captured the magic of the day, so we wanted to share her letter in full.

‘I know that I am really late with this letter – but hopefully better late than never! And I did want to thank you so much for our wonderful trip to Lapland which my three grandchildren, daughter-in-law and I took with you in December. It was magical! And so well organised that I wanted to congratulate you on creating something very special…

Picture this… we fly from Humberside in the dark and, before long – and sustained with breakfast on board – we can see the white world of Lapland below us, dotted with the darkness of fir trees.

A warm welcome greets us from the brightly clad Laplanders – “Gud Yule!” they cry as we board the coach which takes us from the airport of Pajala to Santa’s village. Our hosts meet us and guide us to the large wooden cabin where there is a café, (we’ll have our lunch of meatballs there later) a small gift shop and a huge hangar of a room where there is thermal clothing we can borrow.

We’re suited and booted and ready to explore. Being somewhat timid of nature, I’ve imagined myself standing on the sidelines, happy to watch my beloved grandchildren enjoying the activities in the snow. No way! Our guides inform us that there are sledges for our use; snowmobiles; a tepee where there is storytelling by the fire and – what’s that?

I can hear the excited barking of dogs. The huskies are harnessed to their sleds, desperate to get going. Forget standing on the sidelines! I hear the call of the musher. I can see him waving to us. I grab the grandchildren! Quick! He’s waiting for us! And we’re off! Across the snow to grab our places on the sled. The air is clear, the sky golden and the snow sparkling like diamonds as we hurtle off into the forest. It is exhilarating! Breathtaking. Magical!

As is the ride on the snowmobile – although this time I have snowball fun with the two little ones as daughter-in-law and older grandson take to the skidoo.

We have our lunch and then we’re off again. The guides tell us that Father Christmas has arrived from the North Pole – not that far away as we are all well into the Arctic Circle. But there are reindeer to see first and a sleigh ride through another part of the forest – this time at a steadier pace. The sky is darkening already. There are fires burning, candles in the snow, fairy lights, and lanterns hanging from the trees…

And now it is time to see if we can find the great man. Does he really exist? It’s only half past one, but the light is fading. Our way into the forest is illuminated by the lanterns. We follow the track… into the trees… there is a hut and a huddle of people and yes… another guide waiting for us. She points to the log cabin – Father Christmas is there! But, while we wait, she explains, Mother Christmas has made us hot berry juice and ginger biscuits which we eat by the brazier, glad of the light and warmth.

Then it’s our turn. We head up the path. It is quite unreal. The door opens. He is there! He is waiting to greet us. To ask the children what they would like him to bring for Christmas. Father Christmas is alive and well! The children are quite overwhelmed but they manage to present him with the letters they’ve written. He gives them a little gift with promises of coming to visit on December 25th. Wonderful! Even I am captured by the magic of it all.

Outside again, and we can see a miniature train with a skidoo pulling it. The forest is dark, really dark now, as we race through and back to the village. It’s almost time to go. Just time to play with the sledges, to make snow angels, to shed our borrowed clothes and put our own back on before we go outside to wait for the coach to take us back to the airport. And then… then…

There is a strange and eerie light… faint at first, but growing stronger and more powerful until the sky is suffused with an iridescent green… the Northern Lights… sent especially for us… I am sure.

What a wonderful day. Thank you so much, Newmarket, for a precious memory that we will all treasure for ever…’

If Averil’s letter has inspired you to create special memories with your children and grandchildren, visit our website now. You’ll find more details of this Christmastime family experience, including dates and departure airports.

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