Christmas has officially arrived at SouthGate as the centre unveiled its frozen forest installation last week.

Visitors will find the forest behind a magical walk-through wardrobe. The winter wonderland will be a permanent fixture until early January and makes for an ideal festive day out for the whole family.

SouthGate’s magical forest, located in front of Debenhams, includes 15 real Christmas trees, cosy heated cabins complete with blankets and cushions and a Nordic-themed bar serving hot chocolate, mulled wine and turkish delight.

Children can meet a life-sized reindeer and polar bear, before donning big fur coats with mum and dad for a peep board family photo.

Snowfall is guaranteed to fall every hour, thanks to the return of its popular snow machines.

The rest of the centre will also be transformed for Christmas, including the SouthGate tree which will be adorned with twinkling icicle lights, and a giant interactive snow globe in Brunel Square, providing fun photo opportunities.

Guy Henderson, centre manager at SouthGate, said: “Christmas is usually a special time at the centre, and this year even more so with the launch of our first festive forest.

“The installation is ideal for the whole family and is the perfect addition to a day’s shopping – parents can get comfy with a hot chocolate while their kids enjoy our hourly snow showers!

“We’re expecting a record number of visitors this Christmas with the forest and new arrivals such as Swarovski and Franco Manca drawing in shoppers and diners from across the region.”

SouthGate’s late night opening hours started on 22 November, with shops open from 9am – 8pm every Thursday in the lead-up to Christmas.