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“Absolutely Awful xmas experience on the santa train at Longleat”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of Longleat

Longleat
Ranked #1 of 1 Tours in Warminster
Certificate of Excellence
Useful Information: Activities for young children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for young children
radstock somerset uk
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Absolutely Awful xmas experience on the santa train at Longleat”
Reviewed 11 December 2013

I attended Longleat on 7th december with my two children & another family costing £140.00. What a disaster. The day was going really well until most of the attractions closed at 5pm when our train wasn't scheduled until 7:30. I feel that was a huge con after having to shell out on a day ticket, couldn't get on an earlier train and then having to hang around the park in the cold with very little to do after 5pm. The children got so bored they repeatedly went on the tea cup rides and then was told in no uncertain terms that they were not welcome on there anymore as they had been on them too many times!! We were then really looking forward to our magical train ride at 7:30pm. We started queuing at 7pm to be faced with utter chaos and mayhem, being informed when we got to the front of the queue by a poor elf that our train was delayed for at least an hour!! Firstly why couldn't Longleat have informed people of this delay either by over the t tannoy/loud speaker or quite simply with a person walking up and down the main square with a bell informing people of the problem? Its not rocket science. We were cold and hungry and after asking the guest services what we were supposed to do for another hour with young children? and that we were cold and hungry, they reluctantly issued some food vouchers. We did not want a refund of the train as we felt this was an easy option and in my opinion the least we & everyone else deserved was a refund of our day ticket too as we are forced to buy a day ticket to experience the santa train. This is not taking into the account the utter disappointment of all the children that day!! I will be emailing management demanding to know why we were not better informed of the delays and in this instance it was a failure on Longleats behalf not to inform guests and therefore we should be entitled to a full refund of our day as Longleat failed to deal with the situation effectively and appropriately when it all went wrong by not informing guests sooner the trains would be massively delayed.
We finally boarded the train at 8:30 and it was not surprisingly empty as everyone had either left or had refunds by this time. We sat on the train for a good 20 minutes in silence just feeling utterly depressed. The elfs did not interact with the children what so ever and the train ride to the grotto was best described as a ghost train and was scary & pitch black for the children. there were no lights or decorations anywhere, it was pitch black!! , eerily silent with out any music or carols being sung. We arrived at the groto and again were not med by any friendly elfs. We just followed the crowds and queued to enter the very disappointing and dismal santa groto, Actually the worst I have been to in 12 years including garden centre grotos that only cost a few quid!! There were 3 elfs just stood around santa and after having been rushed through to the production line on the other side to try and get more money from us for a photo. I couldn't believe the elfs were on full view taking money in front of everyone!! I thought I was mistakeingly in a theme park queue after riding a roller coaster!! The whole groto scene was very poor and very poorly managed with no interaction with the children what so ever apart from a few words from santa. We then hung around another 20 minutes just waiting to go on the train and the ride back was equally as dark, boring and scary for the children. In fact the children had no enthusiasm about the whole expe rience what so ever. I hope Longleat learns form their consistently poor comments this year and stops to think before they rip us off by , charging us lots of money for a very poor and cheap xmas experience. To top it all off we were promised that the restaurant would stay open to accommodate the last guests on the train and we were looking forward to spending our food vouchers for some very hungry and tired children, only to find that there doors were firmly closed (suprise suprise) therefore vouchers were promptly thrown in the bin and a trip to Mcdonalds in Frome was badly needed. Will not be using the xmas experience ever again and cant quite believe how awful it really was!!

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
11 Thank Louise K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Longleat_Resort, Manager at Longleat, responded to this review, 14 December 2013
Thanks very much for your review Louise K, some of our outdoor attractions have to close when it gets dark for safety and animal welfare reasons, this is advertised but we apologise for any disappointment if weren't aware; Longleat House, giant singing Christmas tree, Bat Cave and others remain open throughout the evening. It is of course never our intention for our Santa trains to be delayed. We sincerely apologise for the wait in this instance and have been reviewing the situation. Comments such as yours allow us to address any concerns appropriately and we very much appreciate your feedback, thank you again for your review.
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Tonbridge
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Visit to Longleat - shame about the monkeys”
Reviewed 9 December 2013

Visited Longleat recently. Very impressive place and well laid out with lots of facilities. During a tour of the House it soon became apparent that the staff had gone to a lot of trouble to put on a Christmas theme and almost every room had a representation of some children's nursery rhyme or other. The tour of the park was also enjoyable even though the wallabies looked bored and the cheetahs were hiding. Also did a trip on the lake which was all part of the entry fee. All in all, a lot to see at a reasonable entrance fee.
The downside was the monkeys. Despite the many dire warnings at the gate to their enclosure we still drove in and came out without a roof trim which the monkeys stole. They did leave a lump of poo where the trim should have been but I would rather have had the trim. I spoke to the "Guest Services" people who were not at all helpful and will now have to pay over £150 for a new section of trim to be delivered, painted and fitted. Not such a cheap day out after all!!

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank Mike L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yeovil, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Santa train - absolute disaster!”
Reviewed 8 December 2013

We have annual passes but as an extra pre-Christmas treat paid for the Santa Train and Ice Skating this year. We were told that because they had added an extra carriage early on in the day each and every subsequent train took longer to load/unload. We booked 19.30 and were quoted an hour and a half possibly more delay when we turned up at the requested 15 minutes early. Bearing in mind we have almost an hours journey home this was quite unacceptable.

Why do they have to be so greedy? It was a sad end to a lovely afternoon and I will be booking somewhere else next year having read the review of the people that went on 6 December plus our experience there today - not magical at all.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank FamilyWood2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Longleat_Resort, Manager at Longleat, responded to this review, 9 December 2013
Thank you very much for your review FamilyWood2013, we were very sorry to hear your concerns from your recent visit. It is of course never our intention for our Santa trains to be delayed and we sincerely apologise for the wait in this instance. We are reviewing the circumstances and very much appreciate your feedback. We hope that aside from this you enjoyed our many other attractions throughout the day. Thank you again for your review.
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Portsmouth, UK
Level Contributor
48 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“It was all going so well!”
Reviewed 8 December 2013 via mobile

We are coming to the end of a 3 night stay at the Longleat Caravan Club which is adjacent to the Longleat Estate. Pitches on the caravan park are a good size. The park is well laid out. On arrival, the welcome is friendly and informative. The price of the pitch includes entry into the park which is incredible value.
The Longleat Adventure park has been decked out for Christmas. The decorations are great. The house has a pantomime theme with each room taking on a different theme with enthusiastic actors playing the character parts.
The train journey was, I have to say, nothing short of a 'train crash'. Badly organised, and badly run. If they had thought about it, it could have been amazing. In reality it was a trip on a train, in the dark, to a place in the forest set up as a grotto. A few illuminations on route would have made all the difference, as would having trains moving around, rather than sitting there waiting.
The safari park was brilliant. It's always brilliant!!
On the whole, the weekend has been very enjoyable. The train journey hasn't ruined it, but we will certainly not be going on it next year. As a Christmas themed day out its a winner. The caravan park, being so close, is incredible value, clean, and well run.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank jeff261159
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Longleat_Resort, Manager at Longleat, responded to this review, 9 December 2013
Thank you very much for your review jeff261159, we are very sorry to hear you didn't fully enjoy your recent visit. We generally receive positive feedback about the Santa train experience, and apologise if we did not meet expectations this time. It is feedback such as yours that helps us to continue improving the experience we offer for all our guests, thank you again for sharing your views. We are glad to hear that aside from this you enjoyed Longleat House and our decorations, and had an enjoyable weekend overall.
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Dorset
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great day, shocking wait for Santa Train”
Reviewed 8 December 2013

We had a great day here yesterday (7th Dec) Safari, penguins, animals, tree and house are fantastic. Skating is great too, but we didn't do it this year. Had booked for the train for 7pm, but upon arrival at 630pm there was a huge disgruntled queue. Delays since 930, (train broke down, which can't be helped) but a little communication would have helped. No signs, just one person dealing with complaints and trying to sort people out. Trains running approx 1hr 15 mins late. No joke with young children and waiting in the cold. Some people eventually managed to get refunds, but many were advised to rebook another day - with no slots to rebook. Could have been handled so much better (no management around?) Will think twice about doing this again.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank babs2961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Longleat_Resort, Manager at Longleat, responded to this review, 9 December 2013
Thank you very much for your review babs2961, we were very sorry to hear you didn't fully enjoy your visit to the Santa Express on the 7th December as you should have done. It is of course never our intention for our Santa trains to be delayed and we apologise for the wait in this instance. We are reviewing the circumstances and appreciate your feedback. We are glad to hear that aside from this you enjoyed many attractions, and had a great day overall. Thank you again for your review.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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