The Gateway to Christmas continues to delight visitors at Cotswold Water Park

By Jamie Hill - 15 December 2020


Festivities, food and fun were on the menu this weekend at The Gateway to Christmas, a new attraction which is nestled perfectly within the grounds of Cotswold Water Park, in South Cerney.

Since launching on 4th December, visitors have been invited to take advantage of FREE parking and entry to The Gateway to Christmas, which features a hand-picked Christmas Market of marshmallow firepits, doughnuts, cheeses, hand-made fudge, hog roasts, Christmas decorations and more, as well as funfair rides including a heady helter-skelter and traditional carousel.

As the sun sets, the grounds come to life through lighting and a 19-metre festive projection installation, whilst beneath enchanted garlands of foliage, glistening ornaments, ribbons, baubles, holly, and mistletoe, an array of delicious treats are available from within The Gateway Café including grilled free-range turkey burger topped with bacon jam, stuffing and chestnut pickles, right through to 8-hour slow cooked hog roast rolls.

The Gateway to Christmas also features an exclusive socially distanced Santa Experience, which since opening on 12th December has seen bookings soar. The experience offers families the opportunity to meet Santa within their bubbles across a 10minute session and includes a personalised story-time, the chance to take your own photos and videos, plus a visit to Santa’s Christmas Tree, where presents are individually labelled for each child, to take home and enjoy. The Santa Experience is open until 23rd December. 

Simon Ellis said, "We visited The Gateway to Christmas as a family of five and there was something for everyone from the Christmas Market and to the amazing food inside the Gateway Cafe. Our teenage son especially enjoyed the artisan pizzas and our 4-year-old just loved visit to Santa and the storytelling. A great family day out.” 

The Gateway to Christmas attraction was developed by award winning, local companies, Relish Group and Robert Lawrence Event Production Resource. Rob Goves, Director at Relish Group said, “We are thrilled to see so many visitors and families making memories at The Gateway to Christmas and Santa Experience - there’s an abundance of free parking and space for cyclists, as well as accessibility for walkers, bird watchers, families and real foodies. The feedback has been wonderful, and we’re looking forward to being able to grow the event in years to come.”

Continuing the foodie theme, those looking for a fusion of authentic and local cuisine should try the wood-fired oven at Pizzeria 720° - a new pop-up authentic pizza brand that combines an artisan Italian hand-spun dough base with local, fresh ingredient toppings.

The Traditional Christmas Tree Company is also selling the classic Nordmann Fir; the UK’s most popular tree thanks to its symmetrical shape, strong bushy branches and excellent needle retention. From 4ft 9 to 6ft 8, they can even deliver your chosen tree to your doorstep.

The Gateway to Christmas is open from 10am-9pm* daily

*Gateway Cafe closes at 8pm I Pizzeria closes at 9pm I Car Park closes at 9.30pm

For more information visit,

To book your exclusive, personalised Santa Experience until 23rd December, visit

Your Comments

Be the first to comment on this article

Login or Register to post a comment on this article

Registered in England & Wales. No: 4513027, Positive Media Group, Old Bank House, 5 Devizes Road, Old Town, Swindon, SN1 4BJ