“I suggest we all hold on… TIGHTLY” aboard The Polar Express this Christmas as it sets off from train stations across the UK, including some less than two hours from Manchester. You can relive the magic of the holiday classic, as you climb aboard this immersive experience – which sees the Christmas tale theatrically recreated on board heritage carriages, hauled by a real steam engine.
The Polar Express train ride is inspired by the 2004 Christmas movie, which is in turn based on a 1985 children’s book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg. But here you’ll be immersed in the sights, sounds and intrigue of this festive story like no other way.
The film follows a young boy who boards a mysterious train to the North Pole in his pyjamas, along with other children, taking them on an epic adventure to meet Santa and learn about the spirit of Christmas. Thus, guests are encouraged to show up in their PJs and nightgowns to the Polar Express train ride too!
Leaving Embsay & Bolton Abbey station near Skipton as well as Churnet Valley railway in Staffordshire during December, Mancs are blessed with two options in order to experience a ride aboard The Polar Express. Both less than two hours away from the city, you can either head north or south of Manchester to witness this magical, immersive experience.
Leaving every weekend as well as over the Christmas holidays right up until December 24 for Bolton Abbey and until December 27 for Churnet Valley, the whole experience should take around two hours, with opportunities afterwards to take selfies with the cast in front of the steam engine. Singing, dancing chefs will serve everyone the most delicious warm hot chocolate, and glorious chocolatey cookies.
As Santa and his elf assistant arrive in your carriage, they will give everyone their very own silver sleigh bell as the ‘first gift of Christmas’. Each carriage will be filled with dancing chefs and other characters throughout, while everyone will meet the conductor.
Tickets for The Polar Express start at £36.95 per person, but there are two types of carriage to choose from. Tourist class carriages have seats arranged around tables of four. Pullman carriages have more luxurious seating arranged around tables of two or four. A sensory coach is also available to book at select times, with wheelchair access also available.
“Why, to the North Pole, of course! This is the Polar Express!” Hop on board The Polar Express train at Bolton Abbey Station, which is just over an hour away from Manchester by car. Tickets can be booked here.
Or head to Churnet Valley Railway at Kingsley & Froghall Station, Froghall, Staffordshire, ST10 2HA, which is 80 minutes away from Manchester by car. Tickets can be booked here.