IF you want to see Santa’s animals this Christmas then don’t bother going to Lapland – and just head up to Scotland.

Britain’s only herd of wild reindeer roam the Scottish highlands and visitors are welcome.

Roughly 150 wild reindeer live in the Cairngorms mountain range

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Roughly 150 wild reindeer live in the Cairngorms mountain rangeCredit: Getty

There are roughly 150 reindeers living in the Cairngorms mountain range, who have been there since 1952.

It is the only place in the UK where the reindeer roam free, due to its “sub-arctic ecosystem” so you might see Dancer, Prancer and Vixen too.

Don’t expect to see the leader of the pack however – the website jokes: “Rudolph lives at the North Pole with Santa, helping him to organise Christmas every year. He sometimes pops by to check that all of his relations here are doing well.”

Visitors to the national park are welcome to go to see the tame and friendly reindeer at any time, either during the festive season or not.

You can go on hill trips which includes a 30 minute guided walk with the reindeer up the mountain path, where you can take photos with the animals.

There are also summer and winter visits to the paddock, with festive-themed visits in the run-up to Christmas.

Kids will love the activities on offer, with the paddocks decorated with tinsel and decorations, as well as a festive quiz and a Santa visit, who will give out chocolates.

Fancy getting someone a Christmas present for the whole year? You can adopt the animals too, with reindeer including Clouseau, who pulls the sleighs, or Merida, the oldest of the herd.

However, as the animals are free-ranging, don’t expect to always get up close to them, and visitors are warned not to pet or hug them.

Don’t worry if you can’t get up to Scotland, as there are other festive events you can do instead.

You can spend the night on a reindeer farm in the Cotswolds, although it has already been booked up for Christmas.

Or, take the kids to popular annual event Lapland UK, but you will have to get tickets for next year.

We’ve rounded up the best winter light shows you can visit this year.

And here is the first look at London’s Winter Wonderland ahead of it opening on Friday.

You can go on hill trips and day visits with the creatures, as well as visit during Christmas for themed events

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You can go on hill trips and day visits with the creatures, as well as visit during Christmas for themed eventsCredit: Getty
The reindeer are tame and friendly, so there is nothing to worry about.

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The reindeer are tame and friendly, so there is nothing to worry about.Credit: Getty
Learn how to draw a Christmas reindeer with Rob Biddulph
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