Dear Valued Customers,

We wanted to take a moment to share an update on our Santa’s Grotto with you.

As you may know, for the past four years, we have made the difficult decision to not run our Santa’s Grotto, due to the ongoing challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The safety and well-being of our customers, team members, as well as Santa himself, have always been our top priority. We have all greatly appreciated your understanding and support during this time.

We understand that Santa’s Grotto has been enjoyed by so many of you, and we genuinely appreciate your loyalty and enthusiasm for your Santa visits year after year. Last year we received feedback that our decision was made later than our customers would have liked so this year we are providing you with an early decision, allowing you to plan your festive celebrations accordingly.

This year, once again, we have had to take the decision not to run Santa’s Grotto.

The planning and execution of the Grotto experience requires extensive coordination, involving countless hours of preparation and a dedicated team of Santa and his helpers. We must also acknowledge the ongoing challenges posed by Covid-19, which make it exceptionally difficult to ensure the safety and well-being of our customers and team members.

The health and wellbeing of our team are always at the forefront of our decisions, and the strain of hosting the Grotto at this time would be substantial. Moreover, the potential risk of Covid-19 transmission to Santa, his helpers, and the families visiting us is a significant concern. If our team were to become unwell, we would face the regrettable necessity of cancelling the event at very short notice, leading to immense disappointment for the children who had eagerly planned to visit Santa.

While it saddens us not to offer the full Grotto experience this year, we remain committed to exploring new opportunities and enhancing other aspects of our business that will bring festive joy and excitement to our customers.

During the years when we have not been able to run our Santa’s grotto our team have instead turned their hand to preparing lovely Christmas lunches on Christmas Day for any single local residents in the Ottery St Mary area who would otherwise spend the day alone. We believe that this effort aligns perfectly with the spirit of the season, and we’re proud to be part of such a caring and supportive community.

We have other festive activities lined up for this Xmas season at our garden centres. You can look forward to a special Festive Shopping Evening this year, where Santa himself will make a special appearance at our Ottery St Mary store to spread cheer. Our magical Christmas displays and popular animations will transport you to a winter wonderland, and we’ll also be hosting live music performances by local bands throughout the festive season.

So, while Santa’s Grotto won’t be a part of our festivities this year, there is still so much to look forward to at Otter Garden Centres this Christmas. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating the spirit of giving, community, and the magic of the season.

We truly appreciate your continued support and understanding.

All the team at Otter Garden Centres.