11 Santa Express and Polar Express Train Rides – UK

10 Santa Express and Polar Express Train Rides UK – I think there are few things more seasonal and exciting than a special train ride at Christmas!  With that in mind I have compiled a list of fabulous, festive Santa Train rides around the UK.  Many of these book up quite quickly, so make sure you get your tickets early for this wonderful Xmas tradition!  The Christmas trains will be decoration in all their Yuletide finery, ride the Polar Express and meet Santa himself!  Also have a look at our list of Christmas Events and Attractions in the UK.


The North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR)

Pickering, North Yorkshire

The NYMR has a Santa Train as well as a brand new Christmas train service – Join us this winter for a trip on our new, Northern Lights Express! This truly spectacular illuminated journey starts at Pickering Station, where our train with heritage carriages awaits you – decorated with thousands of lights.

You will travel through an enchanted forest which is transformed by a multitude of lights and surprises. You will then arrive at Levisham Station, where a dazzling light show will begin. Experience a light extravaganza and a snow covered authentic heritage station, like you’ve never seen before!

See the Northern Lights Express illuminated at Pickering Station.
Travel through an enchanted forest, transformed by a multitude of lights and surprises!
Experience a 60-minute journey on board the Northern Lights Express.
Travel to Levisham Station, where you will see a dazzling light show, as our heritage steam engine prepares for the return journey.

We have reviewed The Northern Lights here.


The Northern Lights Express - Christmas at North Yorkshire Moors Railway


NYMR Santa Train

Santa Claus is coming to the… North Yorkshire Moors Railway!

Join Santa and his special helpers on a magical adventure aboard the Santa Express, which will take you on a festive journey you won’t forget!

Departing from Pickering Station, the Santa Express brings Christmas to life and gives children the chance to meet the legendary man himself on board the train. They will be able to tell him what they would like to open on Christmas morning – providing they’ve managed to keep themselves off the naughty list this year!

  • Santa will visit you in your seat and see if you’ve been good or bad? 
  • Meet Santa’s Helpers onboard as they tell Christmas stories along the way!
  • Age appropriate present for each child.
  • Approx. 75 minute journey on board the Santa Express.
  • Christmas Activity Bag.
  • Mince Pie, Hot Drink & Alcoholic Tipple for each adult.
  • Juice and a piece of fruit for each child. 


NYMR Santa Railway


The Polar Express™ Train Ride at Wensleydale

Wensleydale, North Yorkshire

Join us at The Polar Express Yorkshire for a magical Christmas Experience. We are the ONLY licensed Polar Express in Yorkshire. This Christmas experience is unlike any other. Brought to you by the organisers of the number 1 voted Polar Express in the World, Wensleydale Railway hosts The Polar Express Yorkshire new for 2019.

Your journey begins just like the 2004 Motion Picture where The Polar Express will pick you up to take you to the North Pole. You will get to meet all the characters from the film including the conductor, the singing chefs, the hobo and of course the main man himself Father Christmas. You and your family, hopefully dressed in PJs, will experience and fun filled theatrical adventure as you make your way to the North Pole. Throughout your journey you will tangle with the Caribou, see the magic of the Northern Lights and have the story of The Polar Express told you by the singing Chefs. Don’t forget to have a bite of your cookie and authentic Hot Chocolate before arriving at the North Pole to meet Santa Claus.

Santa will join you and, if you are on the nice list, hand you your first gift of Christmas, a Silver sleigh Bell just as in the Motion picture we all love. You will get to speak with Santa and he may even sign your Polar Express Book available to purchase with your tickets.

Once you arrive back at the station your journey is not at it’s end far from it. Next you will get to experience Santa’s Workshop where you can write a letter to Santa, check if you are on the naughty and nice list and buy a little souvenir of your experience. There may even be a little surprise in the workshop to, you will just have to wait and see. The Polar Express Yorkshire at Wensleydale Railway is truly the best Christmas experience in Yorkshire if not the UK.

See our review of The Polar Express here.


polar express santa train


The Midlands Polar Express Ride

Telford, Shropshire

The Midlands Polar Express Ride – We encourage our guests, young and old to wear pyjamas just as in the book with a dressing gown for good measure also. Children love it and if you can persuade our older guests, Mums, Dads, Granny and Grandpa to also join in, the atmosphere in the train comes alive for a truly magical experience!

Polar Express UK


Mid Norfolk Railway Polar Express Train

Dereham, Norfolk

Do you believe? We do at the Mid Norfolk Railway Polar Express Train and that is why we are proud to be hosting an exciting magical experience like no other. After the success and fun of previous years, THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is returning to the Mid-Norfolk Railway again with the magic of the 2004 motion picture THE POLAR EXPRESS™ being theatrically re-created so you and your family can be immersed in the sights, sounds and intrigue of this classic children’s tale. Prepare to be surrounded by the magic and wonder of the Christmas season!


The Polar Express Christmas Train


The Train to Christmas Town – Weardale Railway

Stanhope Station, County Durham

Climb aboard the The Train to Christmas Town, a train ride expertly designed to bring the spirit of Christmas to life for another year. Bringing the whole family together for a special ride to remember, experience festive fun with fabulous characters and interactive entertainment.

Arriving at our beautifully decorated Stanhope Station, you will collect your tickets from the ticket window then be transported into a seasonal delight. You’ll have chance to take advantage of our gift shop and Olde Worlde sweet cabin, or maybe you would like to relax with a hot drink and a bite to eat. Delicious Christmas stew, pulled pork or maybe a hot dog will be your choice as you sit in our warm and welcoming waiting area. The young ones can pay a visit to our children’s corner where they can write a letter to post to Santa Claus or maybe hang a message on our Christmas Tree.

Once the Weardale Railway Conductor makes his “All Aboard” call you will be transported into a magical atmosphere created by caroling elves ready to board the Train to Christmas Town, where the magical elf folk are waiting to share the spirit of the season with everyone as we make our way to collect Santa Claus. Can we create enough happiness and energy to make it all the way there?


The Train to Christmas Town – Dartmoor Railway

Okehampton Station, Devon

Once the Dartmoor Railway Conductor makes his “All Aboard” call you will board the The Train to Christmas Town, where the magical elf folk are waiting to share the spirit of the season with everyone as we make our way to collect Santa. Can we create enough happiness and energy to make it all the way there?

The music will begin as we depart the station and you will be delighted with singing, dancing and storytelling from the Elves and Conductor. They will also introduce you to some wonderful new characters inspired by The Train to Christmas Town book and serve delicious refreshments in fantastic fashion. Feast on delicious chocolate chip cookies and maybe dip them into scrummy Hot Chocolate. Those in premium will also receive a commemorative Hot Chocolate mug to take home.

Before we know it ,we will reach the North Pole at Christmas Town where Santa Claus himself is waiting to climb on board along with his wondrously naughty Dancing Elves. Each child will be greeted by Santa as he makes his way through the train and presents them with a special Train to Christmas Town gift. Be ready to join in The Dancing Elves will have the whole carriage singing and dancing along to your favourite Christmas songs.

But wait, have we forgotten something… of course not, the Dartmoor Railway Christmas Town Conductor will be sure to punch all of the children’s tickets; So keep them handy and listen for the call “Christmas town tickets please, tickets”.


The Polar Express

Churnet Valley Railway is celebrating the arrival of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride. Tickets for Christmas 2021 will be on sale from the 1st June 2021 starting from £24.95.  

Staffordshire’s much-loved heritage railway is tipped to be one of the best places for believers to experience a magical Christmas this year. The immersive family-oriented experience hosted over 1.4 million riders at 54 locations in the UK, US, and Canada in 2019. Popular dates and times for the 2021 event in Staffordshire are expected to fill quickly. Early registrations are advised, giving access to the best ticket prices 48 hours prior to general release.


The Polar Express Churnet Valley, Staffordshire (


Santa Train Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway

Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire

For many families Christmas starts here, at Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway.  The fires are lit at Bolton Abbey station, and the Refreshment Room and Buffet Cars will be bulging with mince pies and other seasonal fare and festive decorations will be all around.

Santa will be on the train, giving out presents to well behaved children who are in possession of a valid ticket.



Audley End Railway Santa Train

Saffron Walden, Essex

Enjoy the most magical Christmas Experience with your family at the Audley End Miniature Railway. Take our Santa Express deep into the woods of the Audley End Estate where you will arrive at Father Christmas’s Winter Wonderland! You will meet the big man himself, along with his VERY cheeky Elves, receive a special gift and also watch a crazy Christmas Dance!

Once you have returned from Father Christmas’s Winter Wonderland, you can then visit the Activity Area where you can write Father Christmas a letter and post it to him at our festive post office. Also enjoy craft making, face painting, story telling and our dance tent!

Why not treat yourself to a warm cup of Mulled Wine from our Signal Box Cafe and get your last minute gifts from our Station Shop too!

Included in the ticket price:

Train ride to meet Father Christmas, Gift for every Child,  Letter Writing, Face Painting, Story Telling, Craft Making and our Dance Tent

Booking is required. Tickets will not be available to purchase on the day.

Santa Train Essex


Nene Valley Santa Express

Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

At Nene Valley Santa Express, your Santa Steam experience starts with a welcome from our station staff and badge team – entertainment is provided at busy weekends. This is followed by an exciting visit to Santa’s log cabin where each child receives a special present from the old gentleman himself. Following a short wait families then join our steam hauled, decorated train for a fun-filled ride to Peterborough and return.

During the journey our train staff serve the children with a drink and chocolates. Parents and other adults are not forgotten with a mince pie and either an alcoholic miniature, wine or a hot drink. Santa walks through the train to see the children, providing an opportunity to take photographs and to wish everyone the compliments of the season.


Santa Train Nene Valley




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