The little girl inside me just loves Christmas.. I never wanted to stop believing in Santa. Now that “yum” is 2 years old, I am so excited to relive the magic through her.. This weekend we experienced the Winter wonderland at Westport house.
Westport house is steeped in history, that goes back to the 1700,s.. So if you’re a fan of Downton Abbey and love the Christmas special. You will feel your right on the set with this experience. It has superb parkland setting with lake, terraces, wonderful gardens and magnificent views overlooking Clew Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, Achill, Clare Island and Ireland’s holy mountain Croagh Patrick.
On arrival, the rain had stayed away to allow us to hop on board the Westport House Express Train which takes you on the loop of the lakeside. I think “One yummy Daddy” was enjoying this the most. the views really are spectacular. I do recommend rain gear and putting on a few extra layers to keep “jack frost out”… and to not let the weather dictate your experience.
We then Entered the house which in all it,s grandeur is beautifully decorated with Christmas trees and candle lit guarded fireplaces. We had a complimentary mulled wine (sure it would be rude not to) and “yum” enjoyed a Juice. There are lots to do for young and old… this is not just a Santa visit!!
We took a walk around the basement and had a good laugh at the magic mirrors. Then we made our very own holly log.. (the elf helping to make them was so enthusiastic and really friendly) this is a lovely token to bring home for the Christmas dining table.
We also decorated our own gingerbread man and “yum” watched some children getting their faces painted… she opted out, getting her own done in favour of colouring in a picture (one of her favourite things to do!)
I thought the wishing tree was a lovely touch.. this is where you hang your wishes and Westport House donate,s €1 per family to Mayo Roscommon Hospice. This is is a great opportunity to talk about the “giving” and not just the receiving Christmas brings.. a lovely lesson for every child.
We also got to shake our booty,s in the large dining room, with a singsong and dancing with the Elves. After that, we were ready for a sit-down and a story from Mrs Claus by the fire.
It was getting near the time for the main event. Time to meet the big man in the red suit himself.
The elves brought us up to see Santa in a group. The lighting was just right and Santa nearly brought me to tears.. (he was the real one I swear) rosy cheeks, real beard and a booming “ho ho ho”. He had a naughty and nice list in his book.. and called out each child by name, told them exactly what they wanted for Christmas and had a little inside info on each child… (this really added to the magic…) Every child got a present (yum got a colouring set, which she was delighted with) and got a photo with the main man. Santa finished off the visit with his rendition of “Santa Claus is coming to town” with the kids singing along.
I was left with a warm fuzzy feeling .. .. (that wasn,t just the mulled wine I swear)
We had an excellent fun packed day… The magic of Christmas is well and truly captured in a unique setting of West-port house.