(Please note that this post features businesses that I have worked with in the past year.)
If you’re a longtime follower you may have noticed that I’ve recently refound my love for steam engines. Since Llechwedd no longer have a Santa Grotto, what better way to recreate my childhood memories with my girls than by combining my long term love of steam with the magic of Christmas? Without further ado, let me run through the list of Santa Trains here in Snowdonia.
Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway
Top of the list has to be the best railway in the world – the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway. This is the one that ran by my childhood home and as a child I loved seeing the Santa trains fly by the house. Naturally I want to experience this with my own children so I’ve booked tickets for it already!
There are two routes available – return journeys from Caernarfon to Rhyd Ddu and from Porthmadog to Beddgelert. Santa and his elves will travel on the train and hand out gifts to the children. At Rhyd Ddu and Beddgelert there will be opportunities to have a photo taken with Santa. On the return journey us adults will receive a glass of sherry and mince pie. If you’re travelling the Porthmadog to Beddgelert route you will be treated to Christmas Carols at Beddgelert station.
Santa Trains will be running on weekends up to Christmas (December 7th/8th, 14th/15th, and 21st/22nd). Prices vary from £15.50 to £21 each depending on the route/class you choose. Children under 2 travel for £2 or £3.
Welsh Highland Heritage Railway
Not to be confused with the above, the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway in Porthmadog will also be running Santa Trains on December 14th/15th. Book in advance for your trip on this little railway to meet the big man (Santa in case you were wondering)and nab yourself a mince pie and a gift for the kids.
Rheilffordd Llyn Padarn Lake Railway
This one is also a firm favourite and we’ve attended various special events on Rheilffordd Llyn Padarn Lake Railway. Take in the scenic views of Llanberis, the Slate Museum and the lake before visiting Santa in his grotto. His Grotto will be open on weekends of the 7th/8th, 14th/15th and 21st December. Kiddiwinks will receive a present whilst there’s mince pies and a seasonal drink for all the adults.
(If you fancy spotting some elves then stop off at Gilfach Ddu for the Amgueddfa Lechi where Santa’s elves will be hiding).
Bala Lake Railway
If you’re in or heading towards the other side of Gwynedd you can find some Santa trains over at Bala Lake Railway. This year Santa and his elves will be busy in his grotto at Llanuwchllyn on December 8th and 9th. Tickets cost £9 peradult, £10 for children and the under 1s travel for free!
Fairbourne Miniature Railway
Heading South you will find Santa Specials visiting the Fairbourne Railway on December 14th and 15th. With three trains on each day it’s essential to book in advance. Tickets cost £9.50 (children) or £8.50 (adults) which will see the little ones receiving presents whilst you enjoy a mince pie with a lovely warm drink. It’s not to be missed as the views of the Mawddach Estuary is spectacular… especially in winter sun.
At the far end of the National Park you can visit Santa on the Talyllyn Railway. The Santa Specials will be running between 21st December and Christmas Eve. Tickets for Santa Special trains are £13.50 each for anyone over 3 years (under 3s travel for£5 each).
If you want a festive gathering but not too fussed about the man himself then you could also visit the railway’s Carol Service on December 14th. You have to be really quick because there’s only 2 tickets left.
Or if you fancy a post Christmas pick-me-up then how about the Mince Pie Specials which run from Boxing Day through to the New Year.
Rheilffordd Corris Railway
Last but by no means least is the most Southern railway in Snowdonia – the Corris Railway! Santa will be visiting Maespoeth station on December 7th/8th. The beauty of this event is that you don’t need to pre-book tickets and you can simply turn up on the day. Plenty of trains will be running during the day and tickets will be £8.50 for children, £6 for adults of snag a family ticket for £25. Sounds like a great day out!
Which Santa Trains in Snowdonia will you do this year?