Ribby Hall Village at Christmas, Preston, near Blackpool

As we drove into the five-star luxury holiday park for our Winter Wonderland mini-break, the Christmas lights were twinkling as far as the eye could see.

Situated in more than 100 acres of landscaped grounds, the village-feel complex has a mixture of self-catering holiday cottages and lodges, with several lakes and is surrounded by a woodland trail.

We stayed in a Ruby Cottage, which sleeps six people in three bedrooms. It was very modern and spacious, with a new kitchen and bathrooms and very cosy – making it home from home.

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Our cottage at Ribby Hall Village

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We were very impressed, it was ideal – clearly everything had been thought of, there was even every kitchen utensil you could possibly imagine – including a rolling pin if you get the urge to bake while away! Back in the real world there was plenty of wine glasses and champagne flutes which were perfect for my Prosecco!

That’s one well-stocked drawer, at Ribby Hall Village

We had patio doors leading to a terrace area with gorgeous field views – the perfect place for the kids to feed the visiting ducks.

Included in the price of the holiday is entry to the indoor swimming complex – complete with slides and a designated toddlers pool with toys.

Meeting Santa and the ducks at our cottage, at Ribby Hall Village

There’s a full programme of events for each week of the year – with individually priced activities – so there’s plenty to do.

Open 365 days a year, Ribby Hall is a fantastic getaway any time of the year, but it does feel extra special at Christmas.

The highlight is Santa’s Treehouse – you won’t be able to get away without a visit as it’s lit up in the heart of the resort. Its lights put Blackpool Illuminations to shame and make it really magical.

Santa’s tree house at night, Ribby Hall Village

If the kids weren’t excited enough, they got to climb the stairs to the top, where they were encouraged by an elf to knock on his door before entering.

At Santa’s tree-house at Ribby Hall Village

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And you won’t come away with the usual naff toy either – every child was given a lovely, quality teddy elf, which will last years. I know the present will be something different, but equally as special for Christmas 2016 – but I won’t ruin it by telling you what!

Inside Santa’s tree house at Ribby Hall Village

My nephew is convinced his is a magic elf – sent from the real Santa to report back on his behaviour and my children have slept with them every night since.

We booked a few activities before we went and my four-year-old son loved the balance bikes indoor session and my nine and seven-year-old nephew and niece really enjoyed laser tag.

TIP: Download the programme of events before you go and book your activities in advance

One event that was definitely worth paying the extra for was the Frozen Tea Party.

Think afternoon tea with mini sandwiches and exquisite cakes – beautifully presented with cookie decorating and a colouring competition – followed by party games with Anna and Elsa.

Jasmine Lovell with Elsa at the tea party at Ribby Hall Village

Held in the beautiful Lavender Tea Rooms, this wasn’t just a treat for the kids.

Scrumptious: Food at the Frozen Tea Party, Ribby Hall Village
The Frozen Tea Party at Ribby Hall Village

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Available during the Winter Wonderland programme is everything from breakfast with Santa, baby ballet, mini golf and segway sessions to Santa’s story supper time, archery, bike hire and junior fencing – to name a few, not forgetting the park.

My son, Oliver, 4, tries out the balance bikes session at Ribby Hall Village

There’s also a panto once a week – oh yes there is – and it’s free for all the family and a free family Christmas movie showing, on the big screen, in the Bar & Grill.

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For a nice family meal, I recommend the Bar & Grill. The food is excellent and far exceeded our expectations for a family restaurant, and it’s also in the same building as the nighttime show, which all four children really enjoyed. There’s also a more formal restaurant, a tapas bar and Harrison’s Bar which is for over-18s only.

The combo at Ribby Hall Village
Disco in the Bar & Grill, Ribby Hall Village

It was only when we came to leave I realised we hadn’t left the resort in three days despite only being a ten-minute drive from Blackpool. If you fancy going, there’s still some availability for pre-Christmas breaks.

Lewis and Emily outside Santa’s Grotto tree-house at Ribby Hall Village
  • Reviewed December 2015


INFO: Holidays at Ribby Hall Village start from £279 for a family of four, based on midweek stay between 18 Nov  –  22 Dec 2016. Ribby Hall Village’s Winter Wonderland is open from the end of November until the beginning of January – where families can enjoy a fun festive break and visit Santa in his magical treehouse up until 24th December.

Ribby Hall Village is open all year-round, 365 days of the year.

LOCATION: Ribby Road, Wrea Green, near Blackpool, Lancashire PR4 2PR.

CALL: 0800 1070336

VISIT: www.ribbyhall.co.uk