About Us

Introduction to Chessington Garden Centre

For 2013 London's 'biggest and best' Santa's Grotto will be hosted at Chessington Garden Centre offering a fun filled experience for the whole family.

As a family run business with over 40 years of experience of offering customers both high levels of service and expert advice, Chessington Garden Centre make festive fun and a visit to meet Santa in his magical grotto a truly memorable and enjoyable experience for all the family.

As well as offering a chance to meet Santa in London's premier grotto, Chessington Garden Centre also offers you a chance to dine in its award winning Sedum restaurant, browse one of the South East's largest Christmas and Gift departments, or marvel at the residents of our extensive Aquatics and Pet Care centre.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does Santa arrive?

Santa will arrive at 11.00am on the 16th November.

How often are the time slots for the grotto?

There are bookable slots for 10 children every 5 minutes.

How long will my visit to Santa's Grotto last?

Your visit through Santa's Grotto should take approximately 40 minutes.

What will my visit to Santa's grotto consist of?

Your visit starts with a fantastic, short collective animated film starring the much loved ‘Rocket the Reindeer’. You will then embark on a magical trip through the wonderland grotto to meet Father Christmas. Along the way you’ll journey through a Wonderland of stunning fairy-tale inspired scenes. Starting with an all new, ‘Who-ville’ inspired trip to meet the Grinch & Cindy Lou & the gingerbread workers in Candy Town. It’s then off to meet the impulsive Mr Toad and other residents of Toad Hall, including Ratty, Mole & Badger, not forgetting the mischievous weasels. Following an audience with the Queen of Hearts and Alice at the Mad Hatters tea party, you’ll travel through an Icy Winter Wonderland with its polar bear tea party & ice skating penguins and have a chance to dance along to our great new swinging polar bear band. Your trip will conclude with a rare chance to see inside the elves mystical toy workshop before your personal meeting with Father Christmas in his magical Ice Palace.

Who is welcome?

Everyone is welcome but ideal for children under 10 years of age.

Why should I book in advance?

As it is anticipated that only a small number of unsold pre-bookable tickets will be available for sale on any given day, we therefore highly recommend the pre-booking of tickets to avoid disappointment.

Can I book in advance by telephone?

No. Advance bookings can only be made on-line or in person at the Grotto sales desk or main shop tills.

When can I make a booking in-store?

You may book in-store at any time during normal opening hours, subject to availability

When can I make a booking on-line?

You may book on-line at any time, subject to availability and before midnight if booking for the following day.

Can I pre-book tickets "on-line" on the day of my visit?

No. As detailed above, pre-booked tickets can only be purchased up to midnight of the day before any visit.

If I choose not to book in advance, how can I obtain a ticket?

If you chose not to book in advance, it may be possible to purchase a ticket in-store on the day. This option is however, restricted to the number of non pre-book tickets available and the availability of non-pre-booked visits cannot be guaranteed.

How will any unsold pre-bookable tickets be made available?

Should any pre-bookable tickets remain unsold for any given day, they will be put on sale in-store on the day in question, on a strictly first come first served basis. These tickets remain only valid for the given un-sold time slot and once purchased cannot be transferred or cancelled.

Is there a charge for babes in arms under 12 months old?

No. Only for the adult, unless you wish for the child to receive a present, in which case a standard booking must be made for the child.

Once booked can I change the time or day of my visit?

Once booked, time slot and day of visit can only be altered in-store (at main tills) at least 48 hours prior to the original booking. Any changes undertaken are subject to the availability of alternative time slots and cannot be guaranteed. For changes undertaken in-store, full details and proof of purchase must be provided.

Once booked can I cancel my booking?

Once booked a total cancellation cannot be undertaken, but it may be possible to transfer your booking to an alternative time slot (see above for details). To avoid any later disappointment, we would ask that before completing the purchase of tickets you are confident in being able to fulfill your booking.

Where is Santa's grotto located?

Santa's grotto is located behind the new Sedum Restaurant building and is accessed via the main covered walkway running alongside the building.

When should I look to arrive at Santa's grotto?

We recommend that you look to arrive at the entrance no later than 10 minutes before your pre-booked time slot. Please note that at peak times our car park can become extremely busy and we ask that you consider this factor when planning the timing of your visit.

Is there somewhere to put pushchairs?

There will be an allocated area for pushchair storage. Please note that you leave them at your own risk.

Is there room for wheelchairs?

There is full disability access with flat surfaces throughout.

Can we choose where to sit for the film?

No. Seating will be allocated on the entrance to the seating area.

Is there parking?

Yes, large area of free parking. We advise you arrive at least 20 minutes before your scheduled booking.

Can we bring food and drink into the grotto?

No. We would ask that you refrain from eating and drinking whilst in the grotto.

Can we take photographs in the grotto?

Only personal photographs of the members of your own party, as well as that of the main grotto can be undertaken during your visit. Please note: Photography cannot be undertaken in Santa’s Ice Palace.

When does Santa finish for the year?

The last bookable slot is 4.00pm on Christmas Eve 24th December.

Are there toilets?

Yes, these are in the new building adjacent to the entrance to the Sedum restaurant and include baby changing and disabled toilet facilities.

Special needs groups and School party visits.

Here at Chessington we are delighted to welcome pre-booked parties. Please call 01372 725638 to discuss your visit, any special requirements and pricing options.


Offering a fun filled experience for the whole family, Chessington Garden Centre will again play host to London's biggest and best Santa's grotto.

Book Now