Head north for sea­sonal de­lights

There is no easy way to say this, but Christ­mas is com­ing! For Jane Walsh, nowhere bet­ter to get into the right frame of mind than Fin­nish La­p­land there is

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - GLOBE TROTTING -

THIS re­ally is the ul­ti­mate des­ti­na­tion to get you and your chil­dren ready and ex­cited for Christ­mas. From the be­gin­ning to the end of De­cem­ber, there is a se­lec­tion of trips avail­able for breaks of two to five nights.

It’s not just about see­ing ‘the big man’ him­self, there are so many other ac­tiv­i­ties that you can en­joy.

How about a rein­deer sleigh ride, or husky dog sled­ding?

Prancer, Don­ner and Bl­itzen will take you into the for­est and help find Santa’s cabin, rid­ing through the white land­scape in this amaz­ing re­mote area of stun­ning beauty and nat­u­ral tran­quil­lity.

You will pass warm and wel­com­ing com­mu­ni­ties perched on the edge of a vast wilder­ness. The si­lence is per­haps bro­ken by the sound of a nearby snow­mo­bile, for those who would like some­thing with a bit more adren­a­line. This and to­bog­gan­ing are cer­tainly some­thing to ex­pe­ri­ence.

There are many elves in the area and they will as­sist with post­ing Santa’s list at Santa’s post of­fice. They might even let you make ginger­bread or dec­o­rate cook­ies in the elf bak­ery.

De­pend­ing on the length of your stay, there is time to en­joy an af­ter­noon play­ing in the snow. Al­ter­na­tively, if you are in one of the big­ger ho­tels – for ex­am­ple, the Le­vi­tun­turi Spa – you can have a splash around in one of their swimming pools or whoosh down the wa­ter slide.

Ho­tels of­fer a range of op­tions, from bed and break­fast to full board. There are even some au­then­tic self-cater­ing apart­ments and log cab­ins – def­i­nitely some­thing to suit ev­ery­one, de­pend­ing on your pref­er­ence. And if you wish to in­crease your ap­petite by singing for your sup­per, some tours even in­clude carol singing at the lo­cal church.

All La­p­land tour op­er­a­tors pro­vide a list of what cloth­ing you need to take, and what is pro­vided (usu­ally ther­mal Arc­tic suits and snow boots, thick socks and mit­tens).

It is def­i­nitely ad­vis­able to take ther­mal un­der­wear, bal­a­clavas or hats with ear flaps, and wa­ter­proof gloves thin enough to go un­der­neath the mit­tens. It’s all about lay­ers!

It is im­por­tant to get kit­ted out prop­erly on ar­rival. Cru­cially, the boots need to be at least one size big­ger than your usual shoe size – the ex­tra air inside them will serve as much-needed ad­di­tional in­su­la­tion.

Tem­per­a­tures can drop to mi­nus 30C in La­p­land in De­cem­ber and there is reg­u­lar snow­fall. On the colder nights es­pe­cially, there could be a chance of see­ing the North­ern Lights.

If you would like any more in­for­ma­tion on Santa breaks, con­tact Jane Walsh at jane@freespirithol­i­day.co. uk. All trips are ATOL pro­tected.

What big­ger thrill is there for lit­tle ones than to meet Santa Claus?

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