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.
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