Visiting Father Christmas is one of those ‘must do’ activities in the lead up to Christmas; there’s nothing quite like meeting the Big Man himself. So, way back in September (a few months in advance!), I booked us all onto a very special train to see a very special chap.
I’m not sure how I managed to keep this secret for so long, as I’m dreadful at keeping my mouth zipped when I’m excited, but I surprised myself.
Last Sunday finally came around, and Father Christmas left the children a little invitation on our Christmas tree. Cue two very bouncy, excited children… followed by a two(ish) hour car journey where Busby repeated “Are we going to miss the train?” about 50 times!
When we arrived at Grosmont station, we were greeted with hot chocolate (or juice) and mince pies.
We had a little explore of the platform and watched our train the ‘Santa Special’ pull in.
Then it was time to get on board!
The children were handed activity packs as we chugged along.
And H-Bear was even allowed to wear the ticket inspector’s hat as he made his way down the carriage!
There was snow everywhere outside – which definitely helped add to the magic.
After about thirty minutes on the train, we were invited to see Father Christmas in his grotto. It was extremely dark in there, so the photos aren’t the best sadly.
Nevertheless, the children were starstruck! Busby had drawn Father Christmas a special picture, and he was very chuffed with it.
H-Bear even got a high five from the Big Man!
Then we made our way back to our seats to open our presents.
The whole journey lasted about 90 minutes.
Once we were back at the station we waved goodbye to the train, and explored for a little bit longer before heading home.
Although we had a lovely afternoon, I have to admit that I was left feeling a little bit disappointed. It wasn’t a cheap Christmas treat, and there were a few aspects of the trip that let the experience down. For example, the lack of Christmas music playing in the carriages, the amount of time spent stationary, and the outdated Grotto, which needed a bit of TLC.
However, the children had a wonderful time, which is the most important thing at the end of the day. Also, the presents were excellent and well-suited to both children.
Despite the slightly disappointing aspects of our trip, we can’t wait to visit the North Yorkshire Moors Railway again in the New Year on our own adventure… with Bertie in tow! Goathland looked like the most magical station, so we’ve added it to our ‘must visit’ list for 2018, along with another visit to Levisham.
*I bought our ‘Santa Special’ tickets myself and am under no obligation to write this post. I just adore the photos from the day and wanted to share them with you too!*