A magical musical steam train ride through a winter landscape to see Santa and walking trails through beautiful woodland are offered at Exbury Gardens in the run-up to Christmas.
|Santa Steam Specials at Exbury
The now traditional ‘Santa Specials’ at Exbury have become part of the family fun at Christmas, as children are taken through a landscape filled with story-book characters before they meet Father Christmas in his grotto and receive a present
Entrance to the world-renowned Gardens in the New Forest is free to everyone who buys a ride on the Santa Special, and the Christmas Trail through the woodland walks is something the whole family will enjoy.
“Our steam train ride to see Santa is an adventure that all children and lots of grown-ups love, and everyone finds a bracing winter walk round the Gardens a lot of fun,” said Exbury’s manager, Nigel Philpott.
Exbury’s head gardener, John Anderson, has devised the winding trail through the award-winning Gardens, so that visitors are able to see the winter beauty of the 200 acres of woodland walks.
“The shapes of the trees, the berries and colourful leaves make this a very special time of year at Exbury. Because we are closed for most of the month not many people get to see this wonderful winter garden which we think is lovely at all seasons,” said John. “The trail takes visitors to winter highlights, including ‘Christmas Cheer’, a December flowering rhododendron,” he said.
The Santa Specials are train rides with a difference – passengers board the Exbury Gardens steam railway for a trip through a garden filled with favourite Christmas characters. There’s the Ice Queen with her sleigh, snowmen, reindeer and Santa himself. Christmas music plays and passengers can sing along with seasonal favourites.
Exbury Central Station is decorated with fresh greenery cut from the world-famous Gardens. Each child has a personal chat with Santa in his magical grotto and receives a present. There is hot punch and mince pies for adults, while Christmas presents can be bought from the gift shop and plant centre.
Mr Eddy’s restaurant will be open, selling delicious food, including warming soup and Christmas roasts.
Santa Specials are on December 12 and 13 and on December 19, 20, 21 and 22. They are very popular and must be pre-booked by calling 023 8024 5750 between 9.30am and 4.30pm daily.
Tickets are £11 for adults and children (ticket price includes entry to the Gardens and the children’s ticket includes a present from Santa) and £6 for under-threes, who will also receive a present.
Please visit www.exbury.co.uk for more information.