Santa-by-Steam 2019

Father Christmas is back on the South Devon Railway this December!


Santa-by-Steam trains start at Buckfastleigh, where there is a large free car park, café, gift shop and toilets, and head off for Staverton before returning to Buckfastleigh.

Santa asks that everyone checks in at the check-in desk using their booking confirmation, when a boarding card with a reserved seat number will be given to you. The check in desk opens 30 minutes before the departure of each train.

Santa in the Dark

There will be a special evening trains for those who would like to experience the magic of travelling by steam train in the dark!

Santa’s Special Grotto Train

Once the guard has waved the train away from Buckfastleigh, refreshments will be served by Santa’s helpers: a drink and biscuits for children, and a mince pie and a non-alcoholic fruit punch for adults. Dairy- and gluten-free alternatives are available on request.

Other refreshments, including light snacks, crisps, drinks, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, wines, beers and spirits are available from the buffet car on the train throughout the journey.

It’s fun all the way: you’ll be able to enjoy entertainers on the train and Father Christmas will be meeting all the children in his magical Grotto on the train during the journey, when each and every one of them (including under 1s) will receive their Christmas present.

Santa-by-Steam takes about an hour and a quarter. On arrival back at Buckfastleigh, Santa will be available for photos and to say goodbye to everyone.


Pre-booking is essential (so that Santa’s elves know how many presents to wrap!)

The train has a limited number of wheelchair spaces so, if this is required, please call us when booking.

Ticket prices include all travel, entertainment, refreshments (except drinks from the buffet car), a visit to Santa and a present for every child.

Sorry, but we cannot accept dogs, except guide dogs.


Please note that the formation of seating on the train is fixed and comprises seats in groups of 2 (limited number) and 4 around a table.

We will attempt to allocate your group an appropriate set of seats but this may leave some spare seats around your table. These may then be booked by other families. If you wish to ensure exclusive use of a set of seats, you may buy the extra seat(s), for a reduced rate. Please add a ‘Seat Block’ ticket when booking.

(Please note that a passenger may not travel on a ‘seat block’ ticket. If you subsequently wish to use your blocked seat for a passenger, please contact us and we will arrange to upgrade it to a full ticket).

Please ensure you book all your group’s tickets as one booking in order to be seated together.

Thank you – and have a great time this Christmas!