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“Santa Special”

Severn Valley Railway
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The Severn Valley Railway offers a fantastic heritage steam and diesel service between Kidderminster, Worcestershire and Bridgnorth Shropshire. We operate over 200 days a year and offer a perfect day out that includes a superb visitor centre at Highley Station called The Engine House.
Reviewed 9 December 2012

We took the kids on the Santa Special, a steam train trip from Kidderminster to Arley (and back) with a visit to Santa's Grotto (in a set of converted train carriages). The event is very popular, so Kidderminster station is very busy, you're advised to arrive 45 minutes before departure time as boarding all of the passengers (many of whom have pushchairs that need to be handed over to the train staff for loading in the guards' waggons) takes a considerable amount of time. On the way out, you have "allocated seating" - which basically means the number of seats of the train is equal-to or greater-than the number of booked passengers but because the return journey can be taken at leisure (with the option of getting off at Bewdley), seating it not guaranteed coming back (but on the whole there are enough seats anyway).
The kids really enjoyed the day out, and so did we as parents. The only fly in the ointment of the day was the journey home from Kidderminster which, thanks to LondonMidland's ongoing staffing issues meant that our intended train home was cancelled and we had to wait 30 minutes in the cold at Kidderminster station for the following service.

5  Thank Stuart M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,852 - 1,856 of 2,139 reviews

Reviewed 8 December 2012

Wasted my time and money on the Santa special railway journey today. The staff at Kidderminster were really rude and grumpy and could'nt organise a kids party. We were called to board our train and unfortunately we were at the front of the queue. I say unfortunately because then platform staff then proceeded to want to board to large parties that had booked and they steamed straight past us paying common folk to get on the train first and squashed my 5 year old in the process. When I commented on the order in which they wanted us a member of staff then spat at me 'well if you got a complaint then tell Bewedley." Which don't worry I will be first thing on Monday morning. The confrontation really but a dampeners on the start of the day. Then we were left waiting on the platform as second class customers waiting for staff to organise the two group parties so that they could sit together. When finally got to Arley the grotto is shappy and the present cheap old tat which I would have expected in the 70's, a cheap plastic marley game and a fold away kite. Do yourself a favour and save your money and time. First time I've ever been and it will most definately be my last.

14  Thank Emma M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
nickralls, General Manager at Severn Valley Railway, responded to this reviewResponded 12 December 2012

I am sorry to note that your visit to see Santa on the SVR did not go as expected, please would you email feedback@svr.co.uk with full details to allow us to deal with your complaint as effectively as possible.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2012

Our 21 month old son loved seeing the full size steam trains and also enjoyed riding on the scale model steam railway that runs alongside the platforms.

The little museum was surprisingly interesting to someone with a modicum of interest in railway history and its little cafe was friendly and welcoming.

1  Thank d0gwalker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2012

The weather was cold but dry, ideal for this December trip.
The Santa Express from Kidderminster was well organised and fun for the children (and adults).
The adults were allowed in to see Santa as well as the children, and what a good Santa he was!
The whole experience was well worth the effort of booking. A good few hours entertainment.
There are plenty of facilities for everyone at Kidderminster, Bewdley and Arley.
Car parking for the day at Kidderminster station £3 on a Sunday.

3  Thank Denise O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 December 2012

Our trip on the Severn Valley Railway was a treat bought for us for our 40th weddjng anniversary and it was such a memorable day. We know the Severn Valley well and being able to get off whenever we wanted at the different stations was lovely, we love going to Arley and Bewdley. We spent time in the visitor centre at Highley and thoroughly enjoyed watching other trains go past. We then had time in Bridgnorth a super little town and really enjoyed our trip back to Kidderminster.

1  Thank Rosemary L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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