Things might look and feel a little different this year, but one tradition which is still going strong despite coronavirus is the Nene Valley Railway’s Christmas experience.
Known as the Santa Special to many, this year it’s been rebranded as the Santa Steam, promising to be a wonderful Santa experience for people of all ages.
The team have been busy elves, working hard to make sure that current coronavirus rules and regulations are complied with so that everyone, Santa included, can have a safe and enjoyable experience.
When you arrive at the station, the staff and badge team will welcome you and there’s entertainment while you wait to board.
But before you get onto the train, make sure to stop and see Santa in their heated marquee.
In true Christmas tradition, each child will receive a special present, which can be collected from the elves collection point.
Then it’s on to join the steam hauled, decorated train for a fun-filled ride to and from Peterborough.
There are different service levels, but no matter which one you choose all children will receive an age appropriate present, treats and a drink.
Adults will be treated too with a choice of soft drinks, tea or coffee and a mince pie – how festive!
The Classic Santa is described as a “party atmosphere” within the classic carriages. Drinks and a mince pie will be served to the grown-ups, while the children are given a drink, a Christmas cracker and some sweet treats too – because what’s Christmas without a bit of overindulgence?
For those after something with a little luxury there’s First Class tickets available.
Once you board the train you’ll find your first class seats individually reserved with crackers on the table.
The surroundings are described as “opulent” with upholstered seats and traditional luggage racks.
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Passengers in first class will receive two complimentary drinks, and a mince pie – while children will get a drink and sweets.
And for those who want a truly special and luxurious experience there’s Premier First Class Compartments.
For these you pay per compartment, rather than per person with each compartment holding up to six people – due to social distancing measures.
In these compartments you can experience rail travel from a bygone age in your own private compartment with food, unlimited hot drinks, one round of festive drinks and fruit juice for the children.
One-way systems and social distancing rules are in place, with allocated seating and group sizes of no more than six to make sure everyone stays safe.
To keep everyone safe face coverings are required during the booking in process and throughout the journey with the marquee, and must be worn in the open carriages. If you’ve booked a private carriage then you can remove your face covering when seated, and of course they can be removed for eating and drinking in open carriages.
Due to social distancing there’s a reduced capacity running this year, so it’s best to book now to avoid missing out on this magical experience! You can find out more about booking tickets here.
Santa Trains depart from and return to Wansford, on the outskirts of Peterborough and run from Saturday 12 December through until Christmas Eve.
Certain dates have been given a traffic light style system, when they are expected to be busiest.
December 16 has been marked as a yellow date.
While December 5,6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 22, 23, and 24 are all marked as red dates which are expected to be busier and will also cost slightly more.