REVIEW: Our Santa experience with the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.
We have had our seats booked with NYMR since september and I am so glad that it finally came today! Not only do we love steam trains but we got to meet Santa too! I have to admit I try to not to look too much into others peoples reviews otherwise I will either be expecting more or not much at all. I like to keep my mind open so I can give an honest review that is fair for everyone. We booked our tickets with the Grosmont station Santa special which, for two adults and three children, came to £110 (£22 per person) Included in the price was a piece of fruit, choice of cartons of juice, hot chocolate, coffee or tea and delicious mince pies that looked homemade. Sadly the boys demolished them before I could take a picture. You did have to queue in the cafe to go into a marquee to collect these. We made our way to the train that was getting ready to take us on our journey.We had booked seats in coach A, it is only 4 around the table seats so Craig sat opposite and ended up with 4 seats to himself! The coach was freezing when we first got on but they quickly turned the heating on and it soon warmed up.
(Elliot really did enjoy his journey, although his face says otherwise! He has a habit of pulling horrid faces when anyone tries to snap a pic of him!) One of the staff members came round and offered goodie bags to the boys, which were also included in the ticket price, and another staff member came round to tell us that our coach would be first to see Santa. Then we were off on our train ride. At this point Elliot got very excited and realised why we were actually there and not the meeting that we told them we were going to! (Surprise!) Hiding something from the boys in this house for that long, now that is an achievement. One of the staff members came over and asked us if we were ready for Santa, to which the boys sprinted up the aisle to the queue. They had decorated a section of the guard van for the Santa’s grotto and the queuing system they had set up. The lovely lady chatted with the boys before they went in which I always like, nothing worse than going somewhere and you get miserable staff members. Then it was our turn to see Santa. The Santa was ok, I have seen worse! He chatted to the boys briefly and then handed them a gift and that was that, but I was expecting the boys to be in there a little longer. We then went back to our seats to enjoy the rest of the journey. The boys sat and opened the gifts and they were good quality and age appropriate. (Lego, Magic set & Car with a transporter)
The only bad things we have to say are Could do with a few more decorations to make extra magical for the kids, longer with santa as it really did seem like a rush to get it over with, when we first got on the train a lady came over with a step ladder to hang up an mp3 player from the tinsel which you couldn’t even hear anyway, Some form of signage or staff members on the platform greeting you and telling you where you need to go would be a good idea, as it was all a little confusing on arrival. The layout for the hot drinks and mince pies etc was a bit silly, queuing in the only doorway to the cafe, to gain access to a marquee. My husband remembers going on the Santa train when he was younger every year and they always came around on the train with the goodies, personally I would have prefered this too. It was a great experience and the whole journey lasted for around almost 2 hours, the boys enjoyed themselves and we will maybe try a different station next year and see how that one goes as they also do it in Pickering. I appreciate the work they do and some volunteer a lot of time and effort into this piece of fascinating history for others to enjoy. We are regular passengers on the NYMR and will continue to support the work they do so thank you!