All aboard the magical Northern Lights Express in Yorkshire

When you’re 10, Christmas can be a tricky time

Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 11:54 am
Updated Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 11:54 am
The Northern Lights Express at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway
The Northern Lights Express at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway

You’re that bit too old to meet Santa but not quite ready to give up on the magic and want to hedge your bets just in case.

If your tweens have outgrown grottos, try a trip on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, a glorious old fashioned steam train which powers through woodland in the frosty night.

Keep your eyes peeled on the Northern Lights Express to spot some hidden elves, reindeers and glowing decorations amid the fields and trees.

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The first-ever Christmas train, swathed in rope lights, departs from Pickering station. It’s like a scene from the Box of Delights with archways wrapped in fairy lights, trees decked in baubles and old fashioned trunks.

Arrive 15 minutes before departure for a countdown to the lights being switched on then climb aboard.

The train is comfortable and spacious, with seats of four around tables, and it’s a welcome change from the cramped and overheated carriages of the 21st century. It’s a smooth and relaxing journey.

En route you can buy refreshments, although a bit more festive fare such as mince pies and mulled wine would really capture the Christmas spirit.

The train travels for around half an hour then pauses and readies itself for the return journey. You’ll be asked to switch seats with the guests opposite so everyone has the chance to see the attractions on both sides.

During the break, a few carols and some song sheets would have really added to the nostalgia and atmosphere.

It is suitable for younger children and our train was packed with adults so it’s a journey the whole family can enjoy. Leave a couple of hours for the experience from beginning to end.

Tickets are £25 each - for both adults and children - so it is a pricey evening for a family of four but if you’re looking for an alternative to the panto, this could be it.

The Northern Lights Express runs until December 23. For more details and to book tickets, visit