Enter an Underground Christmas Grotto

If you’re close to the Forest of Dean and on the lookout for a fun and unique Christmas treat for the whole family,

you’ll certainly be hard-set not to be tempted by the wonderful Underground Christmas Grotto housed in the famous Clearwell Caves complex.

These natural caverns have been used for iron and ochre mining for well over 4,500 years, but they are best known today for offering a slice of history, providing caving routes for Britain’s adrenalin junkies, and, during the Christmas season, being transformed into a Winter Wonderland.

Fantastic colour displays will light up the upper caves, so you can wander through at your leisure to take in the sights while finding handcrafted gifts and locally-sourced snacks at the stall of a miniature Christmas market. For 2016, Clearwell Caves has even spun the story of Evie’s Aeroplane throughout the cave system. It’s a heart-warming tale of a young girl whose Christmas adventures begin by finding a simple toy aeroplane beneath her tree, and you’ll be able to see it unfold as if walking through a life-size pop-up book.

Once you’ve finished, you’ll be able to meet Father Christmas himself in his secret underground Christmas Grotto! If you’re in need of some refreshments, you’ll find a cosy subterranean café next to all the gift-laden Christmas stalls, so you can sip from a nice mug of coffee or hot chocolate while you toy with your new stocking fillers. If you come from 2pm to 4pm on December 10th, you’ll be treated to traditional festive favourites from the Forest of Dean Brass Band.

Though this year’s Christmas Fantasy is running from November 26th right through to December 24th, and then again from December 27th to January 3rd, it’s still expected to prove popular enough for you to book well in advance. Entry is allowed by pre-booked ticket only, and you can select the time of your entrance into the Christmas Grotto when you book. The Grotto is open daily from 10am to 4pm, though you’ll be able to enjoy late evenings every Friday up until 7.30. Once you’re inside, you can take the caves at your own pace.

With a visit to Santa’s UK workshop, a Christmas market, and a immersive storybook experience all filling the Clearwell Caves, this is a festive family event that you won’t want to miss, so book now to avoid any disappointments.