Spa Valley Railway »
Bookings for our 2017 Santa Specials will open in July!
Christmas at the Spa Valley Railway starts at Eridge station where visitors are met with the smell of hot chestnuts and a roaring coal fire in the festively decorated waiting room. Whilst you are waiting to board your train why not visit our award winning bar car "Kate". To get you into the festive spirit, located inside our Waiting Room will be our two popular face painters ready to decorate your cheeks with Christmas trees or snowmen!
You will board your train to the strains of traditional Christmas music, then sit back and enjoy a ride through the winter countryside to Tunbridge Wells West. During the journey Santa will visit every child on board the train with a gift for all those good boys and girls so make sure you’re well behaved!
Keep an eye out at our stations (including Groombridge) for our ‘Spot the Snowman’ competition, for those who spot all the snowmen you will be entered into a prize draw to win tickets for a character day during 2018.
The train journey to Tunbridge Wells West will last around 40-45 minutes where upon arrival Santa will disembark from the train to make his way into our Victorian engine shed where his sleigh can be found. You will have approximately 40 minutes at Tunbridge Wells West where you can sit with Santa in his sleigh for photos, view our spectacular Christmas tree, watch the model trains go round (subject to a small 50p charge), view traditional Christmas shows in our small cinema and also play on the Victorian penny machines.
Prior to departure you will be able to visit our well stocked shop and pick up those all-important Christmas gifts, the return journey to Eridge will take approximately 20 minutes. On the train will be our popular balloon modeller who during your journey to or from Tunbridge Wells West will visit every child on board!
Dates of operation:
Time of operation:
All trains depart at these times from Eridge Station:
11:15 - Not on 2nd, 3rd, 21st or 22nd
13:15 - Not on 2nd, 3rd, 21st or 22nd
15:15 - Not on 2nd, 3rd, 21st or 22nd
Classes of Travel
Every baby aged 0-2yrs & every child aged 2-10yrs will receive a present from Santa himself as they journey over the Spa Valley Railway. A balloon modeller will travel along the train too with a balloon for all the well behaved children!
At Tunbridge Wells West enjoy meeting Santa again in his sleigh and partaking in all the activities we have to offer. Every adult will receive a complimentary mince pie to enjoy and a shortbread train biscuit for every child. Please note there is NO alternative to the mince pie or shortbread train biscuit.
Travel in style this Christmas in one of our dining cars, which will be complete with antimacassars on the seat backs and white table cloths on the tables. A cracker for the family to pull will be placed on each table and Santa will pass along the train with a present for every baby aged 0-2yrs & every child aged 2-10yrs. A balloon modeller will travel along the train too with a balloon for all the well behaved children!
Also provided per table will be a Christmas snack box which will contain a selection of snacks for you to enjoy on your journey to Tunbridge Wells West. Premium Class is available in Coaches B & C and only on the 10:15, 12:15 & 14:15 services.
Christmas Snack Box*:
Mini Sausage Rolls
Mini Cheese & Onion Rolls
Shortbread Train Biscuits
Carton of Orange 'Just Juice' per person
*Contents may vary dependent on stock levels, please note it is only a snack box to share per table and not a complete lunch/dinner or meal.
How to book?
Please select the date & time you wish to travel on the left hand side of the page.
Once you have selected the date you wish to travel please select the tickets you require by using the drop down box for the correct number you require. If you need more than 10 you will be able to amend this on the shopping cart page.
You must then select your seats, the booking will not complete unless you select your seats correctly.
Once you have selected your seats you must click 'save seat allocations'.
You can then click 'Checkout'.
Enter the required information and make sure you have a card or PayPal login ready for payment afterwards as otherwise the system will not accept your booking.
lf you selected e-Ticket, you will receive them in an email shortly afterwards to the email address you have provided. If you selected printed and posted these will be sent out by our provider Wilsons much closer to the event.
How to find us?
Let the Southern train take the strain! – Coming by Rail:
You can travel by National Rail Southern services to the Spa Valley Railway’s Santa Specials which means you can leave the car at home and avoid those dreaded queues
You can travel on Southern services from London or Uckfield to ride on our Santa Specials. Southern trains from central London on Saturdays usually arrive at 4 minutes past the hour at Eridge, which means you could travel on all our services if you arrive by mainline trains.
If you're coming from Uckfield or Crowborough, your Southern train arrives at Eridge at 9 minutes (51 minutes past) to the hour so you could travel on any of our Santa Special trains and leave the car at home!
If coming by rail please check National Rail Enquiries before travelling. Connections to or from Spa Valley Railway Santa Specials are subject to Southern (Govia Thameslink Railway) & Spa Valley services running as scheduled; they cannot be guaranteed.
Bringing the family in the car? – Coming by Road:
Eridge mainline station has a large pay & display car park (parking fee not included in the ticket price and carpark not operated by the Spa Valley Railway) please make sure you bring change for the machine!
The station is signposted off the A26 between Tunbridge Wells and Crowborough.
Sat Nav: TN3 9LE.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is my booking confirmation?
Your booking confirmation is either an E-Ticket or a confirmation email pending your tickets being sent out by our ticket agent.
When will I receive my tickets?
All tickets are sent out by our ticket agent, they process these weekly so you should receive yours soon, if you’ve any queries regarding your tickets please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where do Santa Specials start from?
All Santa Special trains start and finish at Eridge Station, East Sussex, TN3 9LE.
Can I travel to Eridge by Public Transport?
Yes, indeed we would recommend this. You may arrive by train or bus. Eridge station is on the Southern mainline between London Bridge, East Croydon, Oxted and Uckfield.
Bus routes 28, 29, 228 & 229 stop on the A26 about 100 yards from Eridge station.
Is there a carpark at Eridge?
Yes, the station has a large pay and display car park. Please note spaces may be limited on weekdays due to commuters who regularly use the station. The current daily charge is £2.00 at weekends and £2.60 on weekdays. This may be subject to change and please be aware that the car park is not operated by the Spa Valley Railway.
How long should I allow for my visit?
Please allow at least 2 hours for your visit. You will be on the train for 40-45 minutes while it travels to Tunbridge Wells West, you will then have 40 minutes at the station itself followed by a 20-minute return journey back to Eridge. At Eridge there is face painting in the Ladies Waiting Room on Platforms 2 and is free of charge and included as part of your visit, so don't forget to pay them a visit before or after your train journey!
What happens on the train?
Whilst on the train Santa and his Elves will pass through. Each child will receive a gift from Santa himself, there will then be another opportunity to see Santa at Tunbridge Wells West, this is the best place for photographs. The train will steadily travel towards Tunbridge Wells West allowing Santa enough time to visit each child on the train.
What happens at Tunbridge Wells West?
You will visit Santa once again if you wish in his sleigh in our engine shed, where there will also be a model railway,vintage penny machine games and our cinema showing Christmas films. Our shop, stocking a range of Christmas gifts, will be open for all to visit for some Christmas shopping. Outside the shed our buffet car 'Emily' will also be open serving hot & cold drinks and light refreshments and you can also visit the steam engines cab and meet the driver too!
What happens in the event of extreme weather?
All the while we are able to run a train we will not issue refunds. In the event of the train not being able to run we will offer an alternative date if we are able to do so. In the event of this not being possible a full refund will be given. The responsibility is yours to reach the Spa Valley Railway, Eridge Station, for the train you are booked on, and you will not be entitled to a refund if you miss your train. We will of course do our best to accommodate you on a later train that day if there is space available.
When should I arrive?
All visitors coming by road should arrive a minimum of 15 minutes prior to departure time to find a car parking space and make your way to the station platform. We recommend you arrive earlier to take part in the Face Painting we have on offer in our Waiting Room. Our trains will normally arrive at least 30 minutes before departure time. There may be a short delay whilst the train is quickly cleaned by our volunteers.
How far is it from the carpark to the station?
Eridge station car park is right next door to our platforms. However allow yourselves 5 minutes to walk from the far end of the car park if you have to reach our platform. Please note our platform at Eridge can only be accessed via 5 steps from the car park.
Can I bring a pushchair?
Yes of course, but please appreciate there is limited room on our trains so all push chairs should be folded securely when on board the train and stored in the Guard's van or other signposted push chair area.
Who will receive a present from Santa?
All children (age 2-10 years) and babies (age 0-2 years) will receive a gift from Santa Claus.
What will pull our train?
All services are scheduled to have a steam locomotive at one end and a heritage diesel locomotive at the other. The trains will normally be hauled by the steam locomotive from Eridge to Tunbridge Wells West, and the diesel on the return, however in the event of steam locomotive being unavailable a heritage diesel locomotive may need to be substituted.
How to book?
Please select the date you wish to travel from the left hand side of this page, then follow the simple instructions to checkout and buy your tickets!
What is the booking fee?
If you're wondering why you are being charged a booking fee for buying tickets on this site, here's the reason: (from Wilson Digital Media).
The www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk website is owned and operated by Wilson Digital Media Ltd trading as Online Ticketing. When you buy tickets on this site you are buying them from us (Wilson Digital Media), not the Spa Valley Railway.
The booking fees are how we generate our revenue for creating, maintaining and hosting the site, processing your payments, issuing your tickets and working with the Spa Valley Railway to ensure your booking experience is smooth, secure and simple. The fees are kept as low as possible and are actually capped to be no more than £2.00 per booking no matter how many tickets you buy.
Unlike with many other ticket agents this means the more tickets you buy, the lower the fee you pay as a percentage of the overall cost.
Please don't be too disappointed that the Snowman competition does not include actual real Snowmen, and remember that snow itself cannot be guaranteed, we have no control over the weather!
Eridge Station is a heritage station in its original condition, and hence access is not on the level. Our platforms are reached via 5 steps from the car park or via the footbridge from Southern's platform. Please email the General Manager here to discuss your requirements and click here to learn more about the accessibility of the railway.
Please note that some of our trains have tables, some do not, a table is not guaranteed as part of your booking. Bookings are for a seat on the train and not a table.
All changes to bookings incur a £10 admin fee.
All Spa Valley Railway Santa Specials are run by dedicated and hardworking volunteers.