Gwili Steam Railway Santa Special


I wasn’t sure how things would be this Christmas with us not going to Centerparcs for the first time in my life, but we had a fantastic time.

Mummy was very busy blogging working up to Christmas Eve, but we still managed to get out and about for nice coffees, and have lots of snuggly times watching Christmas movies. The weather has been awful – rain, rain and more rain, but thank goodness we haven’t flooded like a lot of poor people have.

gwilli railway

On 23rd December, Mummy had a real treat planned, my first Santa Special trip on the Gwili Railway in Carmarthenshire, South Wales. I loved it, except when the steam engine ‘chooed’ at me – I jumped so much, I nearly fell off the platform! The engine also had to let off excess steam when we got off at the end of the trip, and I didn’t like the noise at all.

We managed to park at the station – if it is full, there is a park and ride running for special events. There is a railway carriage which is a little cafe too – it is very cute, but very limited with what it offers, and there is not much seating either. At the other end of the station are toilets, and you cross the railway line to climb on board the steam train on the other side.

gwilli railway

The train is amazing. I loved it inside – it is a really old train with compartments with sliding doors – like in an old film. It was really warm, and steam was coming out from under the seats. I was very excited. After a short fifteen – twenty minute trip, we arrived at another station and got off. There was a huge marquee where inside there was face painting, a small bouncy castle, a magic man and a pop up cafe serving hot snacks, and delicious coffee and hot chocolate.

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We queued for Santa, I was a very brave little boy and had my first ever photo with Santa without Mummy or my bro or sisters holding me. Anyway, he was only a helper, because I met the real Santa at Lapland UK!

gwilli railway

I had a fab Jenga game, and I sat and played it with Luke whilst Mummy and Nana and Grandad had a nice coffee.

gwilli railway

We then caught the train back to the car park.

It was going dark by this time, and the station looked so pretty.

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‘The Gwili Steam Railway operates a standard gauge preserved railway from Bronwydd (near Carmarthen) in South Wales along a short section of the former Carmarthen to Aberystwyth railway that closed for passenger traffic in 1965.

The Gwili Railway was formed in 1975 and, by 1978, had purchased and rescued about eight miles of trackbed and was running an initial steam-hauled service on a one-mile section of it.  The Gwili Railway has the distinction of becoming the first standard-gauge preserved railway to operate in South West Wales when it re-opened the one-mile section of the Carmarthen-Llanpumsaint route from its base at Bronwydd Arms, three miles north of Carmarthen.’

The Santa Special train will be running again next December from the 3rd to the 24th on selected days, and there are other events throughout the year including afternoon tea trains and an Easter Special to meet the Easter Bunny. Check their website for events, dates and prices.

The prices for our Santa Special trip were £10 for us children and £12 for the grown ups, any baby’s were £5.50. It was well worth it for the train ride, my visit to Santa and present, and the grown ups had a mince pie and tot of sherry too! Us children also had a goody bag with a drink, and a bar of chocolate.

Have you ever been on a real steam train?


  1. What a lovely trip to see Santa, it brings back the magic in a completely different light. I went on a steam railway when I was about 9 a long time ago but it felt great. Glad you enjoyed your trip x
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  2. What a magical visit this sounded and so reasonably priced, wow, I was expecting it to be more than double the price x
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  3. Oh wow what a treat for Christmas – I am a huge fan of vintage trains and this sounds truly fantastic and as good as centre parks 🙂 Have a fantastic New Year

    Laura x
    Laura recently posted…Our 2016 travel Wish ListMy Profile

  4. There’s something so fun about steam trains I think – and even better to have Santa (or his helper) at the end.
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  5. I have never been on a steam train before but looks and sounds like it was so much fun. Well done for taking your picture with santa and not crying lol. Happy Holidays.
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  6. Oh wow, this looks so amazing and a great price also. My kids would love to visit this, shame we don’t live close enough as it looks wonderful x
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  7. That looks like an amazing Christmas adventure. The price seems really good too! We’ve never been on a Santa train but I think it’s one to try!
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  8. I do like a nice Santa train. Steam engines are always a lot of fun – we often go to one near us.
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  9. We took Monkey on a steam engine trip too. It sounds like you had a great time and the prices are really reasonable. Love the photos and Im very impressed with you being such a brave boy. x
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  10. This looks incredible a real magical way to see Santa. Even without Santa my 3yo would love the train (obsessed) as a full day out its good value for money too (though I hate when I have to pay for the Baby!)

  11. aww this looks like a santa special we visited in December. It was at Llangollen and it was just magical. xxx Popping over from Mummy 2 Monkeys xxx
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  12. This sounds way better than Brecon Mountain Railway which we did last year…..rubbish! 2 hours of waiting on a cold, wet, dark train for all the people to see Santa with NO entertainment for bored 3 year olds! I would defo go to this if we lived closer to Carmarthen.

  13. This looks amazing. We love Gwili Railway- my son loved the Thomas days when he was little. I must take mine on the Santa Special next year! Great post x

  14. So glad you enjoyed your steam train ride and meeting Santas helper! I think Mummy enjoyed it too xx
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  15. My mum used to take me on one every year when I was little to meet santa. A tradition I need to start with Eva as I loved it. This one looks very reasonably priced and I love the fact it had a marquee with things inside x
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  16. I want to take Taylor on a Santa train in the next couple of years! They look so magical! 🙂
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  17. It sounds like he had a fantastic day out, he looks so happy – what an adorable little boy 🙂 x
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