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7 festive trains to ride in Norfolk this Christmas

PUBLISHED: 13:52 11 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:17 11 November 2019

The Polar Express on the Mid-Norfolk Railway is one of the Christmas trains you can ride in Norfolk. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Polar Express on the Mid-Norfolk Railway is one of the Christmas trains you can ride in Norfolk. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

From The Polar Express to Northern Belle, all aboard this Christmas with these trains across Norfolk bound to get you in the festive spirit.

The Polar Express on the Mid-Norfolk Railway Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe Polar Express on the Mid-Norfolk Railway Picture: ANTONY KELLY

1. What: The Polar Express Train Ride

Where: Mid-Norfolk Railway, Dereham, NR19 1DF

When: Select dates November 15 to December 29

Cost: From £24.50, midnorfolkthepolarexpressride.com

If you're lucky enough to get a golden ticket, then you're in for a real treat this Christmas as The Polar Express returns to Norfolk.

The festive train is based on the hit 2004 film and is fully interactive and you will be greeted by a train conductor on the platform who will welcome you "all aboard" before you take your seats.

The train makes a return journey from Dereham to the 'North Pole' and you will be served cookies and hot chocolate and the actors will chat to your children about what makes Christmas special for them.

The Mid-Norfolk Railway Polar Express. Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe Mid-Norfolk Railway Polar Express. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

With a warm, fuzzy feeling in your stomach, you will then be told the Polar Express story, which follows a young boy who doubts the existence of Santa and on Christmas Eve is awoken by the arrival of a steam train outside his house.

He is then taken on an extraordinary journey to the North Pole and after a jingle bells comes loose from the reindeers' reins, Santa gives it to the boy as a gift but he will only be able to hear it if he truly believes.

Guests are encouraged to wear pyjamas, like in the film, and there will be plenty of surprises along the way and Father Christmas will also be giving each child their 'First Gift of Christmas'.

READ MORE: 11 of the best Christmas markets coming to Norfolk

2. What: The Norfolk Lights Express

The North Norfolk Railway is planning a new 'Norfolk Lights Express' service this Christmas Picture: North Norfolk RailwayThe North Norfolk Railway is planning a new 'Norfolk Lights Express' service this Christmas Picture: North Norfolk Railway

Where: North Norfolk Railway, Sheringham Station, NR26 8RA

When: Select dates November 20 to December 31

Cost: £15, nnrailway.co.uk, 01263 820800

The train is fully decorated with multi-coloured lights will depart from Sheringham in the darkness and then steam through the countryside to Holt.

You will be treated to a mesmerizing light show with illuminated festive scenes along the way and there will also be a bar and a range of refreshments.

The experience lasts approximately one hour and 20 minutes and on-board there will be an immersive experience to keep you entertained.

The Norfolk Lights Express includes flashing lights which may not be suitable for those with photosensitive or light sensitive epilepsy.

The North Norfolk Railway is planning a new 'Norfolk Lights Express' service this Christmas. Picture: North Norfolk RailwayThe North Norfolk Railway is planning a new 'Norfolk Lights Express' service this Christmas. Picture: North Norfolk Railway

3. What: Christmas at Bressingham

Where: Bressingham Steam and Gardens, Low Road, Bressingham, IP22 2AA

When: Weekends November 30 to December 15, daily December 20 to 24, various times

Cost: Advance £12.50 adults, children (3-12) £15.50, under 3s requiring a present £8, bressingham.co.uk

Father Christmas and his wife and elves will be at Bressingham this Christmas and tickets include a visit to him and a present, a ride on the steam train on the Fen Railway, rides on the Gallopers, a children's entertainer in the Village Hall and The Dads Army Museum will be decorated for Christmas.

The Gallopers at Bressingham Steam & Gardens Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Gallopers at Bressingham Steam & Gardens Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

READ MORE: 11 places you can meet Father Christmas in Norfolk

4. What: Twelve Days of Christmas

Where: The Wells and Walsingham Light Railway, Wells-next-the-Sea, NR23 1QB

When: December 6 to 9, 13 to 16, 20 to 23, from Wells 11am, 12.45pm, 2.30pm

Cost: Adult return £9.50, child return £7.50, under 4s free, Booking not required

Enjoy a festive steam ride as The Wells and Walsingham Light Railway opens for the 12 days of Christmas, which also features festive stalls at Wells Station.

Wells & Walsingham Light Railway. Pictured: The train heads towards Wells. Credit: Ian BurtWells & Walsingham Light Railway. Pictured: The train heads towards Wells. Credit: Ian Burt

Hot drinks, breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks will be available in the Signal Box Cafe and the journey time from Wells to Walsingham is 30 minutes in each direction. 


5. What: Steam Trains to Santa

Where: Bure Valley Railway, Aylsham, NR11 6BW

When: Weekends November 30 to December 15, daily December 19 to 24

Cost: £17, bvrw.co.uk, 01263 733858

A three-hour magical experience with a personalised present for each child on board which is bound to get them excited for Christmas.

The Bure Valley Railway runs from Aylsham to Wroxham and from December 27 to January 5, every passenger gets a free mince pie.

Bure Valley Railway Santa and Mince Pies Specials Credit: SuppliedBure Valley Railway Santa and Mince Pies Specials Credit: Supplied

6. What: Northern Belle

Where: Norwich Station

When: December 12, departs 12.30pm to 5.30pm

Cost: £260, northernbelle.co.uk, 01270 899681

Step into Christmas in style this year on board Britain's version of the Orient Express which is coming to Norwich and guests are in for a cracker of a day with a seven-course meal to enjoy.

The luxury locomotive will arrive into the city at 12.30pm, where it will stay for around ten minutes for boarding, and will then go on a round trip, including a stop in Ipswich at 1.30pm to pick up passengers.

The Northern Belle Christmas train is coming to Norwich Credit: Northern BelleThe Northern Belle Christmas train is coming to Norwich Credit: Northern Belle

Father Christmas will be putting in an appearance too and there will be live musicians and a conjuror adding a touch of magic across the seven 1930s-style Pullman carriages.

READ MORE: 11 Christmas lights switch-ons taking place in Norfolk

7. What: Santa Specials

Where: Whitwell & Reepham Station, Reepham, NR10 4GA

When: December 14 to 15, December 18 to 23, hourly 4pm to 7pm

Guests will enjoy a seven course meal on board the Northern Belle Credit: Northern BelleGuests will enjoy a seven course meal on board the Northern Belle Credit: Northern Belle

Cost: £14, under 2s free or £5 each with a present from Father Christmas, whitwellstation.com/shop

Enjoy a Santa's Grotto with a difference and take a train ride to meet the man in red, with mince pies, mulled wine and soft drinks on the train and there will be a present for each child under 14.

The gin train is also back by popular demand on December 20, which costs £30pp, and includes a choice of five 25ml gins with Fever Tree tonics in your ticket price and canapes and nibbles to enjoy on the train.

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