Last week we went on a very special trip to see Santa. We took a trip to Wansford in Cambridgeshire to ride the Nene Valley Railway Santa Special train. It was a great day out and it really got us in the festive spirit. I went with Ollie, my Mum, sister and 1 year old nephew. We all had a lovely time and it’s a perfect way to spend a day together as a family this Christmas.
You need to book online in advance, and get a time to board the train. They recommend you arrive at the station about an hour before so you can have a look around and see Santa before you board.
When we arrived, the kids were given a badge with their age on, which ensures they get an age appropriate gift. There were a couple of craft stalls and a man making balloon animals. We also got the chance to see Thomas the Tank Engine on the tracks which Ollie was very pleased about! The thing that stood out straight away was how lovely all the staff are. They’re volunteers and you can really tell that they genuinely want to be there. Every one of them made an effort to speak to the kids and make our trip more enjoyable.
We got in the queue to see Santa, which was quite long but actually went down pretty quickly. We went midweek at the beginning of December, so I’m sure the queue at weekends would be much bigger. There was a model train set which the kids loved watching go round while we waited. Santa was really lovely with the kids, but they did NOT want a photo! They both received a really nice present which is always a good thing as we’ve had some pretty poor gifts at other grottos in the past!
We then boarded the train and set off for Peterborough. It’s the first time Ollie has been on a train and he was so excited! He really loves trains anyway so actually riding on one was a big deal for him. I really like the fact that it was an old, traditional steam train which really added to the experience.
Santa made his way through the carriages during the journey and stopped to talk to all the children. It made the journey really special and Ollie couldn’t believe Santa had been on the train with him!
During the journey, the kids were given Christmas crackers, chocolate and juice. The adults get a mince pie and the choice of a hot drink, soft drink, wine or Baileys.
You can also choose to order food platters when you book your tickets. If you choose not to order food, there is a cafe in the station, as well as a gift shop.
I think it was a really special experience for the boys, and we won’t forget it in a hurry. If you’re looking for something a bit different this year, I would definitely recommend it.