It’s already become a bit of a tradition for us, even though Boo is only 2… (well 3 in a couple of weeks time – how did that happen!) This will be her fourth Christmas and her third trip to see Santa at Birches Valley on Cannock Chase. We spend a lot of time on the Chase as Boo’s granddad works there (with the Gruffalo, don’t you know!). And I look forward to taking Boo there in the run up to Christmas.

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Towards the end of November, Santa arrives, this year he was pulled by reindeer and we always go for his “opening day”. We then head in to the grotto to walk round and see what a wonderful job the elves have done making everything all Christmassy (that’s a word right?) We read the story about the little Christmas Tree and then we see Santa. What I love is the fact that the children get a baby Christmas Tree along with their little Christmas themed-teddy.

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I didn’t take too many photos inside the grotto this year, as I was focused on Boo and her cousin. We all went as a family, my husband, Boo, my nephew, my parents, my brother and his wife and I. We had a lovely time and I was so busy watching the little ones that I forgot to take photos.

We have the Christmas Trees in pots in our garden, still growing, from each of Boo’s visits, two lovely, not so tiny Christmas Trees and now we have a third to add to our collection. I sometimes wonder how many Christmas Trees we will have for our forest before Boo is too big and doesn’t believe anymore, but then I think I will have to go in myself and get one!

While you are there at Birches Valley you can buy your real Christmas Tree – I love real Christmas Trees. I think that Fir Trees smell so lovely and I wish we could have one! Also at the site are lots of food vendors, as with a lot of places, as a captive audience (you are in the middle of a forest) the prices are a little on the high side. We paid £4.50 for a hot roast pork sandwich. But to be perfectly honest with you it was amazing and worth every penny. Mine disappeared before I even got a chance to take a photo – that’s how good it was!

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There is also lots of things for the children to explore, in addition to row upon row of Christmas Trees. And lots of places to get some lovely photos, including outside Santa’s House, with a very happy looking snowman and riding on the back of a polar bear with snow falling. Boo loved the polar bear in the snow best, and it was difficult to get her off it!

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If you are local to Cannock Chase I would definitely recommend going to see Santa at Birches Valley, and if you are not, there are lots of other Forestry Commission sites – dotted around the country.

Country Kids