South Downs Light Railway

Santa Special Trains

Come and meet Santa and ride the steam train!

Our Santa Specials for 2020 run on:

5th & 6th December

12th & 13th December

19th & 20th December

23rd December


Booking for Santa 2020 is currently not available. We hope to have everything ready by July/August.

What our visitors have said

"Thank you for such a fabulous time on the Santa Specials today. The big man was fabulous with the kids and we received a lovely gift at the end of a very amusing chat"…

"Wonderful Santa Special today, absolutely magical and no massive queues. Our girls thoroughly enjoyed themselves (as did we) and they were thrilled with their presents. We'll certainly be back next year and also when the railway reopens in March"…

"Santa visit yesterday was great. Our twins loved it and the presents were lovely. Definitely recommend a visit to see Santa"…

"Fantastic place for families to take little ones to see Santa. Relaxed atmosphere, very well thought out. The grotto is awesome very well decorated. We had a lovely time. The train ride to the North Pole was brilliant - highly recommended."…

"We had a lovely experience on the Santa Special train today. No queue at all. Staff were incredibly warm and friendly. Santa and his helpers were extremely patient with my son who was a bit nervous at first. Really lovely gift for my son and mulled wine for the adults. Would heartily recommend."…

"We had a very enjoyable afternoon at the SDLR yesterday. The Santa Special train perfect as was the mulled wine (for the adults) and presents for the children. Santa and his team of helpers - excellent. Must be our 7th year of attending the Santa Specials - hopefully a few more to come."…

"We had such a wonderful time today with our boys (4,5 & 6). They loved talking to the volunteers to find out more about the engines, enjoyed the little trips with the steam train. Father Christmas allowed time to talk to the boys (and a lady kindly took a photo of our whole family together) all of the volunteers were welcoming, helpful and added to the experience and our boys had amazing gifts! Well worth the visit, will recommend this to everyone both at Christmas and throughout the year. Our boys have already said they would like to come back again next year. Thank you so much for all your hard work, you have certainly given some Christmas magic to our children. Merry Christmas to you all! XXX"…

Some important information about your visit to Santa

1. The whole experience will take between 45 minutes and 1 hour. Trains run every 20 minutes.

2. We book 24 seats in our three covered carriages on each train. There is also one open carriage.

3. In your own interests to avoid disappointment and for the benefit of other travellers it is essential that you arrive in good time for your train. The advertised times are when the trains depart so we advise you to arrive at Stopham Road Station at the latest 10 minutes before the departure time. If you are late and your train has departed we regret that we cannot guarantee that you will be able to travel on another train.

4. When the train arrives at North Pole Station you will be invited to alight and go into the Waiting Room to wait to visit Santa in his Grotto. In the Waiting Room adults will be offered a glass of mulled wine and children a sweet (or two). There is a model train to interest the children while they wait.

5. One of Santa's helpers will invite you into the Grotto where you will be greeted by Santa and an appropriate present will be given to each child (we take great care to ensure that the gifts are relevant to the age and gender of the children). Santa is very happy to feature in your photographs and he will take account of any special requests or needs.

6. The arrangements fully comply with all relevant safeguarding requirements and there is always a second adult in the Grotto.

7. After visiting Santa you will wait to take a train back to your starting point. Because there are no booked seats on this train it is possible that there will not be room for all intending passengers in the covered coaches and some will need to travel in the open coach or otherwise wait for a later train. This might involve a wait of 20 minutes. There is limited space under the station canopy.

8. Unless weather conditions are really bad all advertised trains will run. You should treat your visit as an outdoor activity and wear appropriate clothing. If trains are to be cancelled we will announce that on our Facebook page by 9am on the day affected.

9. If you decide not to travel on the day you have booked and the trains are not cancelled then you will not be entitled to a refund. If the trains are cancelled becuase of inclement weather or other unavoidable cause we will refund the ticket price you have paid less an administration charge of £5 if we are unable to offer you an alternative day for your visit.

Contact us:
By phone: 07518 753784
By email:

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© South Downs Light Railway, 2018.

South Downs Light Railway Society Ltd
Stopham Road Station
Pulborough Garden Centre
West Sussex. RH20 1DS

A company limited by guarantee number 6426315

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