Visiting the reindeer
|The Centre in Glenmore is open from the February half-term holidays right through the year to early January. A daily guided Hill Trip with one of our experienced reindeer herders takes visitors up onto the mountainside where the main herd live all year round, and the paddocks and exhibition in Glenmore offer an alternative easier way to see the reindeer for those unable to make the Hill Trip. The reindeer’s soft velvet noses mean they are a delight to hand-feed and with their endearing and friendly nature, a visit to see the reindeer on the hill is an unforgettable experience.
Daily Hill Trips (except early Jan – early Feb): Depart at 11.00am (please arrive as early as possible as places are limited – before 10am on weekends/in holiday time)
From May to September: Depart 11.00am + 2.30pm
July and August: Additional trip at 3.30pm (Mon – Fri ONLY)
Winter trips are weather dependent and may be unsuitable for children or those unsteady on their feet.
Unfortunately we cannot allow dogs on our Hill Trips or Paddock visits, as reindeer are very scared of them.
These leave daily (from the beginning of the February half-term holidays) at 11am, and take you right up to where the herd live on the mountain. There is a short drive along the main road at the beginning, which you use your own vehicle* for, followed by a 20-40 minute walk up to the reindeer. We don’t take pre-bookings but do have a limit on numbers – tickets are first come, first served. We’re open from 10am, so please do arrive early to buy your tickets and to give yourself the best chance to get a place.
From May to December, this is a 20 min walk mostly along a rough gravel track, and does drop into a valley and back up the other side, but we go at a relaxed pace and take our time, so it is usually suitable for all ages and abilities. Between February and April however, the visit varies a lot as it is dependent on where the free-ranging reindeer are, and is likely to be a 30-40 minute walk over rough, snowy and icy terrain, so you must be well equipped with appropriate clothing and footwear, and have a fair level of fitness. In the winter months it is important to not underestimate the weather – if you don’t have suitable clothing we will not be able to take you up if we feel you would be at risk from the cold.
Once with the reindeer, you will be right in amongst the herd, with opportunity to hand feed, stroke and take photos. The whole trip usually lasts around 1 1/2 hours, depending on the reindeer and the weather! The trip can be muddy or icy, so wellies or boots are a good plan (we can hire wellies out for £1/pair) and a waterproof jacket is also always recommended.
We run the trip in virtually all weather – only extreme blizzards mean that we can’t get up the hill – if the weather is bad give us a call to check the trip is still on. From February to April, the trip is also dependent on us actually finding the reindeer, so give us a call at about 9am to confirm that the herd has been located.
Hill Trip Prices:
Under 5s are free.
* If you are arriving by public transport, we will endeavour to give you a lift up to the start of the walk, however this is not guaranteed, as we only have a few seats in our van. It is therefore on a first come, first served basis.
From Easter to New Year a small group of reindeer are cared for down at the Reindeer Centre in Glenmore. The reindeer here are alternated regularly with the reindeer on the hill and we often choose reindeer for the paddocks who may benefit from a slightly easier life off the hill.
The Paddocks are open from 10am-5pm daily and are perfect for children and for visitors who are unable to go on the hill visit. They are wheelchair and pushchair accessible, and as well as being able to see the reindeer, there is lots of information about every aspect of reindeer. Children will also enjoy exploring Santa’s Bothy and the Elves’ House and finding the answers to our quiz.
On December weekends leading up to Christmas, we run “Christmas Fun” with extra crafting activities, and Santa visiting from 12pm – 3pm. On these days, the Paddock prices are £4 for adults, concessions and children, with under 3s free.
Please note that whilst you will get a close up view of the reindeer here, and are welcome to touch them if they choose to come up to the fence, we don’t offer handfeeding in the paddocks – the reindeer would get too fat!
Under 5s are free.