Meeting Father Christmas is a magical experience for any child — so imagine the excitement of meeting the man in red after a festive train ride!

Santa Specials will be held on steam trains in Yorkshire this Christmas, with grottos based in stations or on board the trains themselves.

Many are already taking bookings for this year's festive season — and some, like the Kirklees Light Railway Santa Specials, fill up fast.

Here's our guide to festive train rides across the county — and how to book your tickets!

Santa Specials at Kirklees Light Railway

Visit Santa in his grotto at Kirklees Light Railway's Shelley station
Visit Santa in his grotto at Kirklees Light Railway's Shelley station

Clayton West, Huddersfield, November 26- December 24

All aboard the Santa Express for a festive train ride to Shelley Station, where Santa will be waiting in his grotto.

Adults can enjoy a mince pie and 'festive tipple', with biscuits and juice foe the children, who will also have the chance to write their letter to Santa before meeting the man himself.

Twilight Santa Specials will be held on selected Friday evenings: December 2, 9 and 16, with regular Santa Specials every weekend in the run up to Christmas.

Tickets cost from £7.50-£15.50 (depending on age and seat preferences) with dates and booking available on the Kirklees Light Railway website (kirkleeslightrailway.com). You can also call the booking office on 01484 865727 or visit the Clayton West Ticket Office during railway operating hours.

Santa Steam at Keighley and Worth Valley Railway

Festive trains: Santa Steam at Keighley and Worth Valley Railway

The Railway Station, Howarth, November 26 - December 24

Climb aboard at Oxenhope, Haworth or Keighley for a 10-mile, one-hour return journey on the Santa Special.

Father Christmas and his pixies will visit every child during the journey to deliver presents while adults are served mince pies and a seasonal drink. The trains also have a buffet car serving real-ale, hot and cold drinks and snacks.

Adults and children aged three and over cost £17, with toddlers aged six months-under 36 months cost £8.50. Babies under 6 months go free.

For dates and to book online, visit kwvr.co.uk.

Santa Express at North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Festive trains: Santa Express at North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Pickering Station, Pickering, December 3-21

The Santa Express gives kids the chance to meet Santa and his magical helpers in his on-board grotto and receive a gift. The hour-long journey, which departs from Pickering Station, also gives adults the chance to enjoy a mince pie and festive tipple.

The festive trains run on December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 20 and 21, with four services a day.

Tickets cost £20 per person — to book, visit nymr.co.uk.

Santa Specials at Middleton Railway

Festive trains: Santa Specials at Middleton Railway

Middleton Railway, Middleton, Leeds, December 3-24

Santa Specials will run at Middleton Railway every weekend in December and on Friday December 23 and on Christmas Eve. Children up to age 12 will receive a present from Santa himself on the train, and parents can enjoy a hot drink and mince pie once the train returns to the station in Moor Road.

Pre-booked tickets cost £7.75 for adults, £10.75 for children aged three to 12 and £6.75 for children under three. Fares on Christmas Eve or tickets bought on the day increase by £1. Christmas Eve trains must be pre-booked.

To book, call the Santa Hotline on 0845 680 1758 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm or visit middletonrailway.org.uk.

Santa Specials at Murton Park with the Derwent Light Valley Railway

Festive trains: Santa Specials at Murton Park with the Derwent Light Valley Railway

Murton Park, Murton, York, December 2-23

Meet Santa on board the festive trains before taking a guided tour of Santa's Village at Murton Park. All children receive a gift from Santa and adults get a complimentary mince pie and sherry.

Tickets cost £7 for adults and £9 for children. Trains run on December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 22 and 23.

Doors open 9.30am, last admission 3pm. No pre-booking required.

Santa Specials at Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway

Festive trains: Santa Specials at Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway

Bolton Abbey Station, Bolton Abbey, Skipton, November 27- December 24

Take an hour-long ride and meet Santa on-board giving out presents to the children. The fires weill be lit at Bolton Abbey Station and there will be mince pies and seasonal fare in the Refreshment Room.

The trains will run on November 27 and every weekend in December up to Christmas Eve, when there will be a reduced service. On Saturday 17 December there will be an evening Santa Special at 6.30pm with complimentary mince pies, mulled wine and entertainment.

Tickets cost £14 for children aged three to 15, £8 for children two and under and all other fares are £14. Free parking is available for passengers. To book, visit embsayboltonabbeyrailway.org.uk or call 01756 710614.

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