Santa's Cottage is located in the heart of the Mourne Mountains in County Down, between Rostrevor and Hilltown. Completely secluded from modern life and surrounded by mountains and forests in one of Ireland's most beautiful natural areas, it is no surprise that Santa Claus chose here as his place of rest in preparation for the busy Christmas period.
The cottage itself is a traditional Irish cottage that dates back to the 19th Century. With white-washed walls, stone floors and open fires Santa's Cottage is truly a living representation of life in Ireland in days gone by. Like our ancestors Santa lives completely off the land. He grows fruit in the orchard, potatoes and other vegetables in the garden and collects the eggs that the hens lay each morning for his breakfast. Santa also gets his water fresh from the springs that flow out from the mountainside.
As well as the garden and orchard the grounds surrounding the cottage contain a large wildflower meadow that is really a sight to behold when in full bloom on a sunny summer's day. There are also three ponds that are filled from the water that runs down through the mountains and these ponds provide a bathing area for the geese. Santa really enjoys a large trout for his dinner and is often seen relaxing near one of these ponds with his fishing rod and net.
Geese bathing in the pond
The geese patrol the area around the cottage and make noise to let Santa know when visitors have arrived to see him. Turkeys and hens also wander around busily providing a farm-like feel and Santa's cats are normally found inside, curled up on a chair enjoying the warmth provided by the large open fire.
As Christmas approaches Santa, with the help of his elves and Mrs. Claus of course, decorate the cottage and the land around it with a spectacular array of lights that can be seen from miles away. This truly provides a magical setting for Santa Claus to greet his visitors in the heart of the Mourne Mountains.
In addition to the multitude of lights and decorations that surround the cottage, visitors will get a chance to explore Santa's very own igloo. The igloo is fully decorated inside and the presence of some of Santa's animals provides a feeling of real cosiness.
Guests will also be invited into the comfort of Santa's Underground Cottage. This is a beautiful building unlike any other in Ireland that will provide a warm place for visitors to sit down and relax in a unique Christmas environment. The main hall has a wooden floor and roof and entertainment will be provided for Santa's guests. The centre piece of the hall is the large stone fire-place and visitors will get the chance to see Mr. Claus himself arrive down through the chimney.
A family in the old cottage with Santa
Each family will then get their own individual time with Santa beside the glowing fire inside the old cottage. This is a chance for the children to have a chat with Santa and tell him what they would like for Christmas. Here each child will receive a gift from Santa. The old cottage is also the perfect place to take some special family photos with Mr. Claus.
Next stop is the elves workshop. The elves are busily working away here making toys for the children for Christmas. This is a busy period for Santa's elves and as you will see they have no time to stop if they are to have all the toys ready for Christmas Eve. The wooden toys on display here that the elves have handcrafted are a testament to the years of practice that the elves have had in the toy-making industry.
Santa's lazy elf fast asleep
Santa's helpers will then show each family into his bedroom. This is where Santa gets his rest in preparation for the work that lies ahead at Christmas. As you approach Santa's bedroom you might just happen to hear the loud snoring of one of Santa's elves. Obviously all the hard work that he has done in Santa's workshop has made him very, very tired and he has decided to sneak off for a quick nap. It may be wise to tread quietly as he might not want to be woken up just yet.
Santa Claus with Rudolph
As each family leaves Santa's bedroom they will make their way round to see Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. As Rudolph is the lead reindeer pulling Santa's Sleigh, this is a chance for the children to give Rudolph the directions to their houses so that Santa doesn't get lost when delivering their presents. Don't be surprised to see Rudolph taking a rest as he will need all his energy for the big journey that lies ahead on Christmas Eve.
Santa Claus with Rudolph
By this stage you will probably be ready for a rest yourself and there is no better place to do this than in Santa's very own Wooden Cabin overlooking the valley below. The Cabin is the ideal place to put your feet up and enjoy a nice warm cuppa and a piece of cake or perhaps something more filling that has been prepared freshly by Mrs. Claus that day. This provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on the unique Christmas experience created at Santa's Cottage and to prepare yourself for the cold night outside and the journey home.
So come and visit Santa's Cottage now and experience for yourself the wonders of the old time Christmas. Every child deserves something special at Christmas, so book now to avoid disappointment. All ages from 1 to 101 are welcome at Santa's Cottage in the Mournes.
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