Property Hot Spot: Des res includes on-site parking for eight reindeer; The North Pole

EVERY YULETIDE, one of the coldest regions on earth is a hot spot - the North Pole. Only one property exists at the Pole itself, and although it is far from lavish, it is a large and interesting piece of real estate which, should it ever come on to the market, is sure to attract considerable interest.

The occupier is an elderly man who would seem ripe for joining the bungalow brigade. Managing director of his own global delivery firm, he is corpulent well into the red zone, and his job is physically punishing, even though he works only one day a year. He nevertheless seems determined to see his lease out, even though it still has about 550 years to run.

The property itself contains - in estate agent terminology, comprises - a massive workshop, ample staff accommodation and on-site parking for a minimum of eight reindeer.

The lease contains a highly unusual restrictive covenant. These covenants generally prohibit work altogether or strictly limit the kind of work that may take place in a property, but these premises must be used as a workshop producing children's toys. This highly unusual covenant is the notorious sanity clause.

Several countries claim the property. The Arctic Circle includes parts of America (Alaska division), Canada, Greenland, Finland, and Russia.

Santa's familiar red and white are the national colours of Canada. Danish children address their letters to the "Julemanden" in Greenland, and receive replies.

In fact, Santa replies to children from many countries. Erja Tikka, press counsellor at the Finnish Embassy, says: "These other countries don't have reindeer, and our Santa post office receives 700,000 letters a year, so Finland has clearly won

that competition."

Try telling that to the Canadians. Lynne Boyer of Canada's Office of Strategic Communications Planning, notes: "The North Pole is on Canadian territory, so Santa is, technically, a Canadian citizen."

In Finnish Lapland, Mr Claus maintains an office, complete with Web server and Internet address, at Napapiiri, near Rovaniemi, and he makes daily appearances in nearby Korvatunturi. This part of Finland has abundant ice and snow but is hardly the most northerly of Finnish towns and villages and, for nearness to the North Pole, might as well be in Ecuador.

Canada's northern territories are also closer to the Pole and contain a huge swathe of government-owned land ideal for squatters. The Canadian High Commissioner has revealed, almost exclusively to The Independent, instructions for building an igloo based on Inuit building practices.

For starters, says the helpful information sheet, you need plenty of snow and, rail officials in Britain will be heartened to learn, preferably the right type of snow - crunchy and hard-packed.

The blocks are laid down in a spiral shape, and the entire structure's strength depends on the placement of the final block at the tip. Large families can be accommodated in several igloos connected by passageways.

Crucially, "the best location is beside a gently sloping hill." Even for igloos, location is everything.

Lowdown

Transport: The world's most northerly railway line is at Ny Alesund, Norway. Otherwise, transport goes to the dogs.

South-facing gardens? At the North Pole, they all are.

Council tax: For 1998/1999, Band A: Frankincense. Band H: Myrrh.

"No, it's not my vanity number plate": The correct postal code for Father Christmas in the United Kingdom is SANTA1, and in Canada it is HOH HOH. His Finnish website address is http://www.santaclausoffice.fi

Furs R Us: Shopping options are limited. When winter arrives there is not much to do except wait six months for summer and daylight to return. Otherwise, the Arctic has waterfalls, geysers, sulphur, mud and mineral pools, dog-sledge races and the Northern Lights. Rovaniemi is a winter-sports resort.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Former Communards frontman Jimmy Somerville
music
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne as transgender artist Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl
filmFirst look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Arts and Entertainment
Season three of 'House of Cards' will be returning later this month
TV reviewHouse of Cards returns to Netflix
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford will play Rick Deckard once again for the Blade Runner sequel
film review
Arts and Entertainment
The modern Thunderbirds: L-R, Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John in front of their home, the exotic Tracy Island
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
film review
Arts and Entertainment

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith arrives at the Brit Awards (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn's beheading in BBC Two's Wolf Hall

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Follow every rainbow: Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music'
film Elizabeth Von Trapp reveals why the musical is so timeless
Arts and Entertainment
Bytes, camera, action: Leehom Wang in ‘Blackhat’
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Libertines will headline this year's festival
music
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Dean Anderson in the original TV series, which ran for seven seasons from 1985-1992
tv
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable