Billed as a Christmas village where ‘dreams really do come true,’ the Lapland New Forest website promised real log cabins and snow; elves meeting families at their cars and taking them to have their picture taken with Santa; real reindeer and huskies; and a nativity scene.

What visitors found when they got there, however, was an expensive "rip off" – as many of them described – that looked nothing like the marketing photographs.

They have complained that the ice rink was broken, the animals inside were chained up, and that the nativity scene was nothing more than a painted billboard in the middle of a muddy field.

"The park was a complete misrepresentation, leaving my children heartbroken," complained Amanda Goodenough, of Blandford, Dorset, "The website is totally misleading, including photographs which bear no relation to the reality which awaits you on entry."

But Henry Mears from Lapland New Forest Limited refuted the claims: "I would like to point out that 95 per cent of the people who come to Lapland New Forest are extremely happy with it," he said.