Santa by Steam takes place on Saturdays and Sundays throughout December, giving youngsters a wonderful Santa experience, and parents and grandparents a nostalgic ride in a restored steam train. This is one trip where everybody's happy!
Everyone knows that Santa gets around by sleigh from his North Pole home, but when he reaches Cornwall he prefers to travel by train, probably because the weather is far too mild to entertain snow!
Book your seat aboard the Santa by Steam Train
This great event is organized by the Bodmin and Wenford Railway and is a great way to start the buildup to Christmas for families. Booking is essential for this popular ride and as well as being offered on weekends, it is also runs on 23rd and 24th December for last minute trips. The all-inclusive fare of around £12.50 for all riders includes a goodie bag from Santa for the children and mince pies and refreshments for adults.
Rides depart at 10am, noon, 2pm and 3:45pm, so get there in plenty of time to enjoy the atmosphere. You can take a look at the restored engines and take photographs before taking your seats. Listen out for the guard's whistle, then the train pulls slowly out of the station in an authentic cloud of smoke.
The one hour journey gives everyone plenty of time to enjoy the views of the countryside around the outskirts of Bodmin as well as relaxing with complimentary seasonal refreshments and a visit to Santa's grotto.
Bodmin and Wenford Steam Railway
The Bodmin and Wenford Railway (BWR) is the only full size railway in Cornwall which operates restored steam trains. It relies totally on voluntary support from Bodmin Railway Preservation Society and the Bodmin and Wenford Railway Trust to supplement the income from ticket sales. Your support by taking a trip aboard the Santa by Steam is essential for keeping this part of Cornwall's railway heritage alive.
The Santa by Steam trip starts form Bodmin General Station, just half a miles from Bodmin town centre on the B3268 Lostwithiel Road. Other stations along the 6Â½ mile long track include Bodmin Parkway and Boscarne Junction.
Bodmin General is the home of the Head Office of the BWR and you can see the equipped workshop where locomotives and carriages are restored and maintained. You should get a glimpse of some of the rolling stock as part of your visit.
The railway line is surprisingly steep with many inclines, both up and down to keep the fireman busy stoking the engine to keep a head of steam for the uphill bits. The track also has several curves and it runs over the River Fowey just outside Bodmin Parkway Station, along the top of the landmark multi-arched viaduct.
Visit Santa and enjoy seasonal refreshments
Santa is of course on the train and youngsters can pay him a visit in his grotto. There's plenty of time to leave a long wish list and receive a goodie bag as part of the all-inclusive ticket price. It really makes this Santa by Steam trip a magical event which will be the highlight of the Christmas preparations for most youngsters.
The bar/buffet coach serves complimentary mince pies and drinks, but you can opt for more adventurous refreshments including alcoholic drinks from the bar for an additional charge if you wish.
With the additional treat of seeing Santa and having plenty of time to chat with all the passengers, this is a top Christmas event for families. And once you've seen the walks, tea rooms, workshop viewing area and exhibition coach you're sure to want to return for another ride with the BWR (daily from May to October) and see Cornwall at its summer best!
We'd love some personal feedback from anyone who's taken a trip on the Santa by Steam from Bodmin. There are several other Santa Steam Trips in the Westcountry and we'd love to hear your thoughts about those trips too. Feel free to share with us all below.