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Mother and child at a Christmas market meeting Santa in Devon.

Santa loves the West Country! We know because we’ve spotted him on trams, trains and boats…

At this time of year, the most important VIP of all leaves his reindeer fuelling up on oats to enjoy a refreshing West Country break.

We’ve seen him flashing by; a streak of red bobbing on the water, whizzing past on the train, and gliding on a tram!

Read on to find out where to meet Santa in Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset in 2023…

Santa at Lynton and Barnstaple Railway

Image credit: Lynton & Barnstaple Railway

Where to see Santa in Devon

The Polar Express Tram Ride, Seaton Tramway

Don’t miss a chance to see Santa in Devon at Seaton Tramway!

They have teamed up with the Polar Express to provide an exciting, festive tram journey based on the popular Christmas film.

Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate as you ride to the North Pole to find Father Christmas in Devon.

Children will also receive a gift from Santa himself.

Dates: 24th – 26th November; 29th November – 3rd December, 6th – 10th December, 12th – 17th December, 19th – 24th December.

More information: Seaton Tramway website

Christmas Train of Lights & Santa, Dartmouth Steam Railway

The UK’s first steam train of lights, a magical journey awaits aboard the Dartmouth Steam Railway.

Travel on this festive illuminated journey from Paignton to Kingswear and back, with vintage carriages to carry you along.

Santa will be making an exclusive apperance on the Christmas Train of Lights for those with Train of Light+Santa tickets, where each lucky guest will receieve a gift from the big man himself!

Seeing Santa in Devon has never been so amazing!

Dates: 24th November – 30th December

More information: Dartmouth Steam Railway website

The Polar Express Train Ride, South Devon Railway

Be blown away by this amazing replica of the Polar Express train and meet Father Christmas in Devon!

Children will gasp in amazement as the train pulls in to Buckfastleigh Station, with a pre-show 20 minutes before the train’s departure to get you excited for the journey.

Meet Santa in Devon at this spectacular event, with the man himself and one of his elves climbing aboard the train to greet everyone.

Dates: 24th – 26st & 30th November – 3rd December; 7th – 10th, 13th – 17th, & 20th – 23rd December.

More information: South Devon Railway website

Where to see Santa in Cornwall

Santa Special Christmas Train, Bodmin Railway

Find Santa in Cornwall on the Santa Special Christmas Train with Bodmin & Wenford Railway.

Be greeted by Santa’s elves at Bodmin General before stepping aboard the train to Bodmin Parkway.

Children will have a chance to write their Christmas lists aboard the train, afterwards meeting Santa in his unique Victorian coach and receiving a gift.

Dates: 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, & 17th – 24th December.

More information: Bodmin Railway website

Fowey Christmas Market

You’ll have no trouble locating Santa in Cornwall at the opening of the Fowey Christmas Market on 26th November.

Enjoy a nautical entrance from Father Christmas in Cornwall as he makes his way to this harbour town on a tug boat!

Watch as he then leads the Christmas Light parade through the town.

Stay for The Big Light Switch On in front of the Church and check out the fantastic stalls and shops open late.

Dates: Friday 26th November

More information: Fowey Christmas Market website

Where to see Santa in Somerset

Santa Express, West Somerset Railway

Enjoy a scenic steam train ride and meet Santa in Somerset!

Step aboard and admire the festive decoration, before beginning the wonderful journey from Bishops Lydeard to Williton and back.

Catch Father Christmas in Somerset aboard the train to ensure you’ve received your presents.

Dates: 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 20th – 24th December.

More information: West Somerset Railway website

Santa Special 2023, East Somerset Railway

Over in East Somerset find Santa and his elves at Cranmore Station.

Enjoy a 30-minute train journey on the Santa Special train to the North Pole Station.

Here you’ll find Santa waiting with a present for your little one!

Dates: 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 20th – 24th December

More information: East Somerset Railway website

Somerset Reindeer Ranch

We’ve tracked down some of Rudolph’s cousins at the Somerset Reindeer Ranch! One for the adults, come and meet lots of beautiful reindeer.

Indulge in a mug of Mulled Cider and some toasted marshmallows as you enjoy a spot of festive music in the Reindeer Lodge.

Dates: 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 22nd, 23rd December

More information: Somerset Reindeer Ranch website

Where to see Santa in Dorset

Poole Sail with Santa, City Cruises

Stuart Line Cruises are back for another year to offer the best way to see Santa in Dorset!

Setting off from Poole Quay, you’ll sail past Brownsea Island, Sandbanks Peninsula, Studland Bay and more.

The big man himself will be making the rounds on the boat, giving every little one a chance to meet Father Christmas in Dorset.

Each child will receive a Christmas present directly from Santa too!

Dates: 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th – 24th December

More information: Stuart Line Cruises website

Make some wonderful memories this Christmas in the West Country.

Discover a host of amazing Christmas markets in the South West to visit and buy some special gifts. 

There’s lots Christmas events in Somerset happening to check out too.

Enjoy a relaxing Christmas cottage break this year with Helpful Holidays.