Festive Season 2019

Festive Trains

If you run a relevant festive event that’s not listed yet (or if you’re a parent with a recommendation) please feel free to get in touch with details.

Basic listings are free, information on upgraded listings (with up to 200 words, social media links & photos) can be found here.

Christmas Train (Puffing Billy)

Selected dates Sun 8th Dec – Thurs 19th Dec

Tel: 0191 520 8880

Puffing Billy is a 2-carriage road train decked out in Christmas lights taking Father Christmas, Mrs Claus and elves on a tour around Sunderland and Durham to meet and greet children. You can track Billy’s progress with a free app. Puffing Billy festive books are also available (£3 or 2 for £5). 50p from each book sold go to the children’s heart unit Ward 23 at the Freeman Hospital.

Festive Train Ride (Stephenson Railway Museum)

30 Nov and 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22 & 23 Dec

Middle Engine Lane, North Shields, North Tyneside, NE29 8DX
Tel: 0191 200 7146

Festive heritage train ride to meet Santa Claus and his guests, with a 3.5 mile heritage train ride with traditional music, on-board entertainers and Santa giving out gifts to children 0 – 12 years. Plus lots of activities in the museum to take part in.

Booking essential. From £14 per person (plus booking fee)

Meet Santa (Redfox Gardenworld)

Selected dates Sat 16th Nov – Tues 24th Dec
**fully booked 4th Dec & 24th Dec**

Newcastle Road, South Tyneside, NE10 8YS
Tel: 0191 4380821

A magical (virtual) train journey to join Lucy, Edmund, Peter and Susan and a magical wardrobe! Creep through the wardrobe to discover a host of characters in the wintery wonderland, meet Father Christmas and receive an early Christmas present.

Drop in or book online.
£12.99 per child with 1 adult.
£4.99 each additional adult.

Mince Pie Specials (Tanfield Railway)

Thurs 26th Dec & Sun 29th Dec, 10.30am – 3.30pm

Old Marley Hill, Gateshead, NE16 5ET|
Tel: 07508 092 365

Take a steam train journey along the World’s oldest railway, with a complimentary mince pie. Tickets give unlimited all day travel, with the option of stopping at Causey station for a walk around the wooded Causey valley, or Marley Hill with Europe’s oldest working engine shed.

No pre-booking required.
Adult: £10.50
Child: £6.50
Family (2 & 2): £27.50


North Pole Express (Tanfield Railway)

Sat 23rd Nov – Tues 24th Dec

Old Marley Hill, Gateshead, NE16 5ET
Tel: 07508 092 365

An unforgettable Christmas experience aboard the North Pole Express on a four mile return steam train ride to see Santa Claus in his magical grotto. Includes hot drinks and mince pies for adults and soft drinks and snacks for children plus a small gift.

Booking essential.
£16 – £17 per person.

Santa Experience (Saltwell Park)

Sat 14th, Sun 15th & 22nd, Mon 23rd Dec

Saltwell Park Southern Shelter, 3 East Park Road, Gateshead, NE9 5AX

Festive activities and games followed by a Christmas road train to Santa’s Magical Grotto for tales from Santa, including milk, cookies and a gift. Experience lasts around 30 minutes, then meals, treats and drinks can be purchased from a variety of street food vendors and pop up performers will play Christmas songs.

£12 per child (plus booking fee), book online on Eventbrite.

Santa Express (Exhibition Park)

Sun 1st Dec, 11am – 3pm

Exhibition Park, Newcastle, NE2 4PZ (behind Wylam Brewery)

Ride a model stream train to Santa’s secret workshop to meet with Santa and tell him what you would like on Christmas day. Hosted by the Tyneside Society of Model & Experimental Engineers (TSMEE).

Donations welcome. No booking required.


Santa Special Train Ride (South Tynedale Railway)

Sat 14th Dec, 10.15 am – 11.45 pm

Tynedale Railway, The Railway Station, Alston, Cumbria, CA9 3JB
Tel: 01434338212

You’ll be greeted by Elves who help you board your train. You’ll be able to join in with some carol singing and given activity sheets for the journey. When you return our Chief Elf will lead you to Santa’s Grotto to receive a gift. While you wait there will be crafts and seasonal refreshments.

Adults: £14
Ages 1-14: £11
Under 1 year: free
Dogs: £2

Train to Christmas Town (Weardale Railway)

Selected dates Sat 23rd Nov – Mon 23rd Dec

Stanhope Station, Station Rd, Bishop Auckland, Durham, DL13 2YS
Tel: 08000 232 383

At the station enjoy the gift shop, sweet cabin and refreshments, with children’s activities writing a letter to Santa or a Christmas Tree tag. The 1.5 hour long train ride involves singing, dancing and storytelling Elves and refreshments. Santa Claus will then board the train to greet each child and present special gifts.

Adult from £23
Child from £18