Monday 31 January 2022

All Aboard The Polar Express - Seaton Tramway, Devon

 We love a festive day out in this house and over the years we have visited some fantastic locations including The Festival of Lights at Longleat, Santa at the Sealife Centre, various garden centres and even a Santa experience at the Winchester Science Museum

For Christmas 2021 I wanted to do something new so after a quick google, I came across The Polar Express at the Seaton Tramway, Devon. The reviews were all very positive so I decided to book it there and then..and I'm glad I did because I've been told this is a really popular event and sells out! 

Having booked it in October, we had a little while to wait but before we knew it, December had arrived and it was the day of our trip. We only told the kids that morning - so many things had been cancelled previously so I wanted to save any disappointment if we couldn't go. Needless to say, they were very excited and luckily (thanks to me!) we had watched The Polar Express film a few days before so it was fresh in their minds. 

Clad in their warmest Christmas pyjamas (like the film!), we headed down to Seaton (which is just over an hour away from us) and arrived just as the sun was setting. The tramway is very easy to find once you arrive in the town and there is a large pay and display just a few minutes walk away. 

We followed the twinkling lights and headed for the entrance where we were ticked off the list and given special golden Polar Express tickets - we were told to keep these safe but you'll find about that a little further on :) 

Once all the guests had arrived for our time slot we were taken through to the large tram shed. Here we were introduced to some of the "chefs" from the Polar Express and the Conductor who sang and danced for us. The attention to detail was fantastic, even down to the actors all speaking with an American accent like the film! 

Soon, the familiar music from the film started, the huge doors of the shed opened and we saw the trams all lit up for the first time. I won't lie, it gave me a lump in my throat - it was quite moving! 

We boarded our trams and soon we were on our way to "The North Pole"..otherwise known as Colyton Station. It's a half hour trip but the time flew by. We were given hot chocolate and cookies, there was singing and a story and before we knew it, the twinkling lights of the station were coming into view. Colyton Station looked so festive, made even more so by Father Christmas on the platform giving us a wave! I think Erin genuinely believed we'd reached the North Pole but she did wonder why there wasn't any snow. It certainly felt as cold as the North Pole!

We had an hour to enjoy Colyton and this gave us plenty of time to meet Father Christmas. Each family were sat at a separate table and he came round with a couple of his elves to meet the children. It didn't feel rushed and the kids loved the silver bell they were given, just like in the film. 

Afterwards we were free to explore the station before our tram arrived for the return journey. It felt so Christmassy and it was lovely just to enjoy the atmosphere on the platform. There was a well stocked gift shop, plus a kiosk selling burgers/hot dogs and drinks. There was also plenty of time to have a pic with Father Christmas on his sleigh! 

Soon it was time to return back to Seaton Station and we boarded the tram. Again, the journey flew by and the actors made the trip really enjoyable with jokes and singing. We even got our golden tickets clipped by the conductor, just like in the film. 

We had a really enjoyable time on the Seaton Tramway and I think The Polar Express is one of the best Christmas themed activities that we have done. As I said before, the attention to detail was fantastic and all the staff involved were really friendly and engaging with the children. My only criticism was that Father Christmas seemed quite hard of hearing so the kids had to repeat themselves quite a lot when speaking to him! 

The cost of the trip was just under £125 for the four of us which certainly isn't cheap but this might be the last year that Elliot believes so I'm glad we did something special. Opting for an early evening slot made it even more magical because everything looked so twinkly. 

I'm not sure how early the tickets go on sale for 2022 but keep an eye on their socials for updates, I'd definitely recommend booking early. 

For more info, check out the Seaton Tramway Website here. You can also view my Instagram reel from the evening here.


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