Last Updated on March 12, 2024 by Suzy McCullough

In my opinion, one of the best Christmas days out is a visit to Stockeld Park. They even have a track that is only used in the winter for Nordic Skiing. I’m not sure there’s anywhere else in the UK where families can do this. They also happen to be very good at winter illuminations.

Plus there is so much more to do at Stockeld during their Christmas event including Santa Grotto, ice skating, a panto and lights in the maze. Some of these have an additional cost which I will mention more about below.

We actually have never been to meet Santa at Stockeld Park so it’s not something I can review in this post. The Grotto is usually open for around 4 weeks from late November until just before Christmas Day. It is an additional £13 per child and 2 free adults are included, extra adults are £3.

Although you book a time slot to visit Stockeld you can’t actually book a time slot to meet the main man and all I can say is that the queue was very long so make sure you leave plenty of time to queue.

We arrived at lunchtime so we headed to the new Playhive, indoor play area for pizza. There is also a large cafe with seating indoors. We love their pizzas though and they were as good as normal.

After lunch, we decided to have a go at Nordic Skiing. It was our second time and now my son is 9 he was a thousand times better than when we first tried it when he was 6. We purchased it as an addition with ice skating included, although we had no intention of going ice skating. Ski and Skate is a £7.50 upgrade per person.

Stockeld Park Winter Illuminations and Nordic Skiing Review

You have to exchange your shoes for their ski boots which I have to say have seen better days. You are then clipped onto your skis and handed ski poles. It’s then down to you to figure out what to do. Basically, you just need to glide your feet and try not to pick them up off the floor. It’s a lot less hard work than it looks. The track is really long as it goes all the way around the enchanted forest. We went pretty fast so it only took us about half an hour.

The track is made of astroturf and there is a mini slalom and somewhere to time yourselves along the way. At no point can you actually glide like you are skiing which is a shame but the way some small kids were falling it’s understandable why not.

Stockeld Park Winter Illuminations and Nordic Skiing Review

At the end of the trail, you will find their ice skating rink which my son really could not be persuaded to do. I had booked a time slot over in the Playhive so we headed here for a bit. This is a £3.50 upgrade per person and your timeslot is for an hour and 30 minutes.

We found it very busy so we only stayed about 30 minutes. Instead, we had a wander around the maze. The last time we were there it took us about 20 minutes. This time it took us about 3 minutes. We literally couldn’t believe it when we found our way so quickly. The first time we went in a few years ago it took us over half an hour!

I had also purchased a Forest, Maze and Illuminations ticket which cost between £15-22 per person. You can do all three as many times as you want although once for each is enough. You can purchase tickets just for the illuminations and ice skating which cost £20-25 per person.

When it was dark enough we headed out back around the Enchanted Forest, this time on foot. You can go around the Nordic track in the dark but I preferred doing it while it was light and then returning on foot in the dark. You can take your time to see the lights properly and also there are lots of fun play areas along the way which you can’t visit when you have your skis.

Stockeld Park Winter Illuminations and Nordic Skiing Review

There were some really lovely huge lanterns that were all lit up plus illuminations lit up just with lights. There was a really nice mix of things to see.

Stockeld Park Winter Illuminations and Nordic Skiing Review

The photo below shows one of the many play areas along the way. We entered the forest around 4:10 p.m. and didn’t leave until 5:45 p.m. In fact, we rushed the end a little as we were running out of time.

Stockeld Park Winter Illuminations and Nordic Skiing Review

If you’d like to see more of the trail and its play areas please watch our vlog below from our visit.

Stockeld Park Winter Illuminations and Nordic Skiing Review
Stockeld Park Winter Illuminations and Nordic Skiing Review
Stockeld Park Winter Illuminations and Nordic Skiing Review

Just over halfway there is a viewing platform where you can watch a light and water show. This was excellent and has improved greatly over the years.

Stockeld Park Winter Illuminations and Nordic Skiing Review

A new area to us was a section of the trail with hundreds of pretty lanterns and lots of large and very fun musical instruments. This was a great addition.

Stockeld Park Winter Illuminations and Nordic Skiing Review

There are then a few more illuminations to see and more play areas. It’s not one of the cheapest Christmas days out but it’s certainly one of the best.

Important Information

Address: Wetherby Rd, Wetherby LS22 4AN

Car parking at Stockeld Park – There is a huge area for parking with attendants assisting people in finding a space.

Ticket Prices – Ticket prices will vary depending on when you visit and what you want to do. It is essential to prebook a time slot online before your visit. Forest, maze and illuminations £15-22 pp, Additions – Santa’s Grotto from £12 per child, Panto £3.50 pp, Playhive £3.50 pp, Ski and Skate £7.50 pp,

Food and drink options – There is pizza and pasta inside the Playhive, a cafe near the entrance and other outlets selling food and drinks.

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