Shropshire Star

How Severn Valley Railway gets Christmas festivities right every single year – Our review of a 'magical' journey on the Enchanted Express

Want to know the perfect way to kick-start Christmas for all the family in style? Well, for us, every single year the answer lies with the Severn Valley Railway.

The SVR's Enchanted Express

SVR go that extra mile to make Christmas right each and every time - and this year as we boarded the Enchanted Express - it became quickly clear that this experience was going to be no exception.

We very much enjoyed having our own compartment, for up to six people. The experience lasts around 90 minutes as well as including lovely gifts and a return pass for the little ones so when you break it all down you can't really argue with the price.

We departed from Bridgnorth on the Enchanted Express and met a whole host of characters along the way from Pip the Mouse, Brigadier Dimple and the main man Santa himself. It is a captivating on-train interactive experience based on the poem ‘Twas the Night before Christmas, narrated by the voice of Dame Julie Walters.

On the journey, a host of costumed characters visit each group’s private compartment. Once again, hot drinks are included for all passengers, we went for the hot chocolates as it was very frosty Saturday morning.

Services run at weekends up to Christmas Eve only but top tips for those booking - the parking is very busy so arrive early to grab a space. It costs £4 to park for the whole day.

The train set off and, amidst a cloud of steam our magical journey began with Christmas tunes blaring out when Dame Julie paused from narrating the story.

So how do SVR get Christmas right every year? It's because it has the basics mastered. A steam train ride (all kids love this), Santa on hand (all kids love him) and all of the little extra touches like the complimentary hot drinks and gingerbread biscuits (that the parents appreciate).

It's the perfect combination for any family and while it may seem like a lot to pay out – the cost of our six person carraige was £238 - when you think of what this involves it's really value for money. The gifts from Santa are exceptional quality, the trip also includes a copy of the Enchanted Express book which you can read along the way and get signed by all the costumed characters.

There's also the fact that your custom goes a long way to support the heritage railway - which has recently launched its own survival fund and involves a lot of hardworking volunteers.

In the words of my five-year-old: "This was the best day ever", sums up the true magic that these special Christmas trips bring to families.

Tickets are also on sale for a variety of other SVR festivities including its Santa Trains and dining experiences.

The SVR’s Santa Trains will be departing Kidderminster on a steam train journey to Arley. Each group has a private compartment or reserved table, and after arriving at their destination, passengers disembark to watch a new-for-2023 panto show. Complimentary hot drinks and sweet treats are included in the price and each child receives a gift and a free ticket to come back to the SVR next year.

Services run at weekends up to Christmas Eve, and on Friday, December 22.

Premium Yuletide Evening Dining Experiences departing from Kidderminster on 16, 22 and 23 December will also be running over the Christmas period. This involves a crafted four-course menu, fine wines and table service. Tables of two or four are available.

For more information and to secure tickets for all these events, go to or call 01562 757900.

The SVR is running Santa trains
The Enchanted Express with Severn Valley Railway
The Enchanted Express with Severn Valley Railway
The Enchanted Express with Severn Valley Railway
The Enchanted Express with Severn Valley Railway
The Enchanted Express with Severn Valley Railway
The SVR's Enchanted Express