Speedboat Santa at Llanishen and Lisvane reservoirs, Cardiff – review

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Thanks to Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoirs for inviting us to review Speedboat Santa

Speedboat Santa at Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoirs is the newest Santa experience to arrive in Cardiff this festive season.

As the event name suggests, the man in red arrives by speedboat across the reservoir, waving to his guests as the driver of the boat whizzes him around to the delight and excitement of children and adults watching from the undercover balcony of the visitor centre.

Speedboat Santa Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoirs review

As Santa settled down in his cosy chair in front of the fireside scene, we were served our meals.

My nine year old had a pigs in blanket burger with skin-on chips while I had a warm roasted winter vegetable salad with fresh cranberries, toasted seeds and spiced pumpkin dressing. Other options on the lunch menu included, for children, plant-based chicken nuggets with skin on chips and peas, or Christmas butternut squash soup served with mini potato crispies and, for adults, a festive turkey, stuffing and cranberry burger with chips.

Watch our Instagram Reel of Speedboat Santa

Speedboat Santa Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoirs review
Speedboat Santa Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoirs review
Speedboat Santa Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoirs review

It was a lovely and relaxed dining atmosphere with each family invited by turn to meet Santa.

Santa was as friendly and charismatic as you would hope, making jokes and chatting away on everything from Christmas films and mince pies to sooty chimneys with us. When he realised my son was in a Welsh medium primary school, he started speaking Welsh too.

You are welcome to take as many photos as you like – people were helping each other out so that families could get a picture with all of them in it. Each child receives a good quality age-appropriate gift – my son got a wooden mini-Jenga style game, while other younger children got craft sets and books.

Speedboat Santa Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoirs review

Santa is at the reservoir on weekends in the run up to Christmas and there’s still availability to book. We loved this charming experience. Having seen a lot of Santas over the last 14 years, this was certainly a fun and different Santa experience and a great way to showcase the new attraction of the reservoir – the visitor centre is lovely and spacious with beautiful views through the large floor to ceiling windows, and the food being served to non-Santa diners also looked really good.

Speedboat Santa Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoirs review

You can combine your Speedboat Santa session with a walk around Llanishen Reservoir, the bigger of the two (although the paths around Lisvane Reservoir are closed for winter between October and March to protect the overwintering bird population. Watch an Instagram reel of our walk around the reservoir, back in the summer when it first opened. 

Santa will be at Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoirs on Saturday 9, Sunday 10, Saturday 16, Sunday 17 and Saturday 23 December – and there’s still good availability on most dates. 

Breakfast 10am-11.30am, lunch 12.15pm-1.45pm, afternoon tea 2.30pm-4pm. 

Children £17.95, adults £13.95, under 2s free 

For more information, including booking details, visit the website here.

Thanks to Llanishen and Lisvane Reservoirs for the photos of Santa on the speedboat and Santa giving my son a present

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