A HEREFORDSHIRE charity's system crashed as families rushed to get tickets for its Christmas grotto. 

St Michael's Hospice said that it couldn't cope with the phenomenal demand after tickets went on sale on Wednesday (November 1). 

In a further update yesterday (November 2), the Bartestree-based charity advised people that, if they are not part of the online queue, they could join a waiting list here.

The grotto always proves to be incredibly popular, with various experiences available. 

Held from December 1 to 23 between 4pm and 6.30pm with 15-minute booking slots, families can choose an original grotto experience for £15 or a premium experience for £25. However, the latter is only available on Saturdays. 

The journey starts on the terrace where children and parents can hop into Santa’s sleigh for a festive selfie. Children can then collect a fun quiz sheet before families descend the winding slope down to the grounds below where the adventure really begins.


The magical light trail takes families to the naughty elf garden, reindeer stables – complete with a singing reindeer, and snow garden and they can even toast marshmallows along the way,

As you pass through the light tunnel you’ll meet the elves. Your very own elf will escort you to the grotto where Santa will be waiting to meet you and hear your Christmas wish list. The entire family are welcome to say hello and you’ll be invited to take your own photographs to capture the special moment.

After you meet Santa you’ll enter the toy store where each child will be able to choose from a vast array of gifts. 

However, the fun doesn’t stop there. You’ll then climb aboard the St Michael’s Express train which will take you back up to the walkway where you head to the Christmas Café to enjoy a hot drink and snack before you head home.