6 magical Christmas train events for families in Suffolk 2019

The Santa Special in full steam . Picture; STEVE ALLEN

The Santa Special in full steam . Picture; STEVE ALLEN - Credit: Archant

Christmas and trains, The Santa Special, have long held a special relationship, particularly since Robert Zemeckis’ animated film The Polar Express captured the imaginations of young and old alike. There is something magical about families clambering aboard a steam train and heading off for an adventure together.

Santa special at Colne Valley Railway. Father Christmas gives out present abord the train.

The Santa special at Colne Valley Railway. Father Christmas gives out present abord the train. Photo: James Fletcher

Here are some of the Santa Special train events across Suffolk and East Anglia

Mid-Suffolk Light Railway - December 7, limited places on December 7,8,14

Passengers will travel from Brockford Station to meet Santa at the North Pole Halt. Each child will receive a special ticket and be given a present by Santa in his 'magic brake van'.

All aboard for the Santa Specials Photo: Archant

All aboard for the Santa Specials Photo: Archant - Credit: Archant

The Middy will be decorated in festive fashion for each of the Santa Special days, with a band of elves also on hand to ensure everyone is having fun. It's the type of event that memories are created for the whole family. All tickets for this christmas extravaganza must be pre-booked - so don't miss out and get your tickets fast.

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The idea is to provide a seasonal appeal to families with the objective of introducing the museum to new generations who may never have seen a stream train before.

This is a pre-booked event only. December 15, 21 and 22 are now fully booked, with limited spaces available on 7, 8 and 14. Please contact the railway museum if you would like to book dates that are already full and they will add you to the waiting list in case of cancellations.

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Tickets £12.50 per person adults and children.

The Santa Special will be running again at various locations this December Photo: Archant

The Santa Special will be running again at various locations this December Photo: Archant - Credit: Archant

Colne Valley Railway - December 7-8; 14-15; 21-23

Join the heated special train as it gently steams along the one mile of line near to Castle Hedingham in Essex whilst Santa delivers a present to every child on the train. It's one of the most special events of the year and everyone can recapture the excitement of those days of steam. Trains run at 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30 & 16:30, so there is plenty of opportunity to jump aboard.

Full refreshment service available with mulled wine, Christmas hot chocolate, childrens meals and snacks.

The Mid Norfolk Railway Polar Express.

The Mid Norfolk Railway Polar Express. Photo: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A limited number of wheelchairs can be accomodated on each train but please phone to book. Unfortunately, there is no room for pushchairs on the Santa train due to the age and historic nature of the coaches (narrow internal passageways and doors) but can be left on the platform in designated areas (at owners risk).

Please note: There are no toilets on the trains. Tickets are £12 with babies (0-2) £5

Enjoy travelling along an award winning period country railway with relocated station buildings, signal boxes and bridges all lovingly restored and rebuilt. A large and varied collection of vintage steam and diesel engines, carriages and wagons that represent much of our railway heritage.

Bressingham Steam Museum - From Nov 30, Dec 1; 7-8; 14-15; 20-24.

Christmas at Bressingham is hosted by Father Christmas, his wife and a workshop full of elves. Ticket numbers are limited so it's best to book online, in person at the ticket office or by telephone on 01379 686900.

Entry times vary depending on the day. You can arrive at any time during your two hour entry slot and then can stay as as long as you wish. You are not required to leave at the end of an entry session.

This year Santa is including in his Christmas package: a ride on the steam train on the Fen Railway for everyone; for those up to the age of 12 entry will include a visit to Father Christmas and a present from him. Rides on the Gallopers are included too.

Tickets in advance are £12.50 (adults); £15.50 (children 3-12) and £8 (Babies and toddlers under 3). Tickets on the day will be £1 per person more than in advance.

The Dads Army Exhibition will be decorated for Christmas and a childrens entertainer will be in the Village Hall. There will be food available at the Garden Centre if you arrive before Santa is ready and at The Steam Museum too during your visit.

Why not stay all afternoon and visit Walmington on Sea at Christmas. This year Bressingham are holding some cinema evenings in the Dads Army Exhibition Hall.

On December 6 at 7pm, they will be screening The Polar Express (U); December 7 at 7.30pm Rocketman (15); December 13 at 7pm Muppet Christmas Carol (U) and December 14 at 7.30pm Love Actually (15).

Cinema ticket prices are: £6.95 (adult) and £6.50 (children).

The Polar Express - The Norfolk Express from end of November until Christmas

Love the movie? Then you'll definitely love this.

The Polar Express Train Ride is returning to the Mid-Norfolk Railway again in 2019, with the magic of the 2004 motion picture being theatrically re-created so you and your family can be immersed in the sights, sounds and intrigue of this classic tale.

The fun starts at Dereham Station, in Norfolk, and once on the train - which you are encouraged to board wearing your pyjamas - scenes from the film will come to life as dancing chefs and waiters arrive to serve cookies and hot chocolate, and tell the tale of the Polar Express.

Upon arrival at the North Pole, keep your eyes peeled for Santa's sleigh, a bag of toys and a giant Christmas tree, before returning home with more surprises on the return.

Different prices apply on different days - the experience is the same but the prices differ.

Tickets on peak days, including December 20, 21, 22 and 23, cost £27.50 for standard seating and £42 for premium seating.

Tickets on classic days, including December 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18 and 19, cost £26 for standard seats and £40 for premium.

Saver day tickets on November 22, 23, 24, 28, 29 and 30, and December 27, 28 and 29, are £24.50 for standard and £38 for premium tickets.

Audley End Miniature Railway - From November 23 to December 24

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 the festive post office. Also enjoy craft making, face painting, story telling and our dance tent.

As the temperatures dip, why not treat yourself to a warm cup of mulled wine from the Signal Box Cafe and get your last minute gifts from the Station Shop.

Included in the ticket price: a train ride to meet Father Christmas, gift for every child, letter writing, face painting, story telling, craft-making and entry to the dance tent.

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

Ticket Price: £11-£16 per person. 0-24 Months and carers travel free.

East Anglia Transport Museum - December 14-23, 2019

Santa Specials need not just be confined steam trains. At the East Anglia Transport Museum you can catch the Santa Tram. The museum is just a few miles from Lowestoft. Hop on a vintage tram and head off to the Woodland Wonderland to meet Santa and his helpers. You'll see Santa and his helpers at work and receive a special gift from Santa himself. Admission is by pre-booked ticket only using the form on the website or by phoning 07759698437 between 4-10pm.

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