Santa Specials 2020

Meet Santa at the Kent & East Sussex Railway

CHRISTMAS IS SO EXCITING!

We love Christmas at the Kent and East Sussex Railway and we have been welcoming families to meet Santa on our trains for 46 years!  There’s nothing quite like the pleasure of a steam train ride knowing your child will meet Santa and receive a gift, all from the comfort of your allocated seats.  Sit back, relax and enjoy the journey!

We have made some changes to the format of our Santa Specials this year to keep both you and our staff safe during these unusual times. We’ll be welcoming far fewer guests each day to ensure we provide an experience which is both enjoyable and feels safe for everyone.

The experience for 2020 includes:

  • Steam Train Ride for 70 minute return journey
  • A complimentary refreshment pack for each family to enjoy during the journey
  • Age-appropriate presents for all children 11 and under
  • Children aged 12-15 will receive chocolates from Santa
  • Babes under 18 months of age are free of charge and receive a gift
  • Magician providing on-board entertainment
  • Free rides on the vintage gallopers on-site at Tenterden
  • Free photograph of your family group
  • Visit to the station’s Christmas model village

The main attraction, Santa himself, will be travelling through the train giving presents to your children.  Santa will make his way through the train and speak to your family from a safe distance.  Have your camera ready to capture that all-important moment!

‘Relaxed Day’ – back by popular demand!

On the 29th November, we’ll be operating a less intensive timetable to welcome individuals, groups and families with children on the autistic spectrum or those who would benefit from a more relaxed environment. Rest assured that we’ll still be offering the full programme of activities for everyone to enjoy!

Availability

Our trains are formed of open-plan carriages with tables (which are socially distanced or screened) or exclusive private compartments. Choose from:

    • Standard class table for up to 4 people
    • First class table for up to 4 people
    • Standard class compartment for up to 8* people from one family group
    • First class compartment for up to 6 people from one family group

Online booking prices are shown below and save £3 on those applicable to telephone and in-person bookings

Open plan Standard Class for up to 4 people
– from £90

To ensure you feel safe, we’re blocking the seats adjacent and behind out of use, as shown by the red dots in the drawing below. These carriages have an onboard toilet accessible during the journey, although we’re requesting everyone remains seated where possible. If you’re a family of five and would like to snuggle up in these comfy seats, you can choose to add an extra person for an additional charge.

We also have a limited number of wheelchair friendly spaces suitable for a user & up to 3 accompanying family members – book accessible seats HERE

Open Plan Carriage layout

Date

29th November

5th December

6th December

12th December

13th December

19th December

20th December

22nd December

23rd December

24th December

Standard Class Table for up to 4 people

Quiet Day
£90

£100

£100

£110

£110

£110

£110

£110

£110

£110


Open plan First Class for up to 4 people
– from £120 

As for Standard Class for 4 people plus:

  • Present addressed with your child’s name
  • Armchair style seats in a carpeted carriage with increased legroom

Available on selected trains only

To ensure you feel safe, we’ve fitted an acrylic screen behind the seats. This carriage has an onboard toilet accessible during the journey, although we’re requesting everyone remains seated where possible. Like the standard class seats, if you’re a family of five and would like to bring a fifth person, you can choose to add an extra adult during the booking process for an additional charge.

Date

5th December

6th December

12th December

13th December

19th December

20th December

22nd December

23rd December

24th December

First Class Table for up to 4 people

£120

£120

£130

£130

£130

£130

£130

£130

£130


Private Family Standard Class Compartment
– from £180

  • Private compartment  – perfect for a family gathering
  • Price includes accommodation for up to eight* people

Date

29th November

5th December

6th December

12th December

13th December

19th December

20th December

22nd December

23rd December

24th December

Standard Class Family Compartments for up to 8 people

Quiet Day
£180

£190

£190

£200

£200

£200

£200

£200

£200

£200

*These compartments are designed to seat up to 8 people. From 14 September there is a legal limit on the number of people who you don’t live with that you are able to meet. When meeting with people you don’t live with, you can socialise in groups of up to six. If you book a compartment you must declare that either your group numbers six or fewer or, if your group consists of seven or eight people, you must declare that you all live together, in the same household.


Private Family First Class CompartmentS
– from £155
For an extra special treat, our First Class Family Compartments offer:
  • Your own private compartment with wider seats and increased legroom
  • Present addressed with your child’s name
  • Price includes accommodation for up to four or six people*

Date

5th December

6th December

12th December

13th December

19th December

20th December

22nd December

23rd December

24th December

First Class Compartment for up to 4 people

£155

£155

£165

£165

£165

£165

£165

£165

£165

Date

29th November

5th December

6th December

12th December

13th December

19th December

20th December

22nd December

23rd December

24th December

First Class Compartment for up to 6 people

Quiet Day
£210

£225

£225

£235

£235

£235

£235

£235

£235

£235

  • Up to one extra adult may be added above the capacity of your compartment for a small additional charge

Booking

In staging Santa Specials, the K&ESR (a registered educational charity) incurs significant costs in order to provide you with the best experience.  In the event that the government or authorities heighten COVID control measures and we are obliged to cancel your Santa Special experience, the value of your booking, less a £10 non-refundable deposit, will either be transferred to a K&ESR Gift Card or refunded to your payment card in accordance with your preference.

When making a booking, you should purchase sufficient tickets for your family group as seats are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Whilst we will always do our best to assist, it is not normally possible to add additional tickets to existing bookings or allocate different bookings adjacent to one another.  Any alterations to your booking will incur a £5 administration charge.

Online booking prices shown above save £3 on those applicable to telephone or in-person bookings. The Booking Office is open for telephone bookings and personal callers between 10am and 2pm every Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday.

For full terms and conditions relating to the Santa Specials visit:  http://www.kesr.org.uk/terms-conditions/#santa-specials

Parking

Limited free parking is available at Tenterden Town Station. In the event that our own car park becomes full, we suggest visitors make use of the Pay & Display car parks nearby.

Please ensure that you allow sufficient time for your journey & to find a parking space, adding additional time for inclement weather & Christmas congestion. Our Santa Specials are very popular & we regret that we are unable to provide accommodation on later services if you miss your booked train and it will be treated as non-attendance and will not be refunded.

Special facilities for guests with impaired mobility

Our facilities have been carefully designed for those guests with impaired mobility. There are accessible toilets at the station and our specially adapted carriage ‘Petros’ provides facilities for the mobility impaired and runs on Santa Specials marked (A) – book online HERE: the prices shown automatically include a reduction for a carer. Please note that we’re currently unable to provide blue badge parking in the station forecourt: visitors may be dropped off and collected at the station entrance & vehicles parked in the main car park. Our Booking Office staff will be pleased to assist in planning your day if help is required – contact us via [email protected]

Refreshments

A range of light refreshments will be available to take away. Please note that, due to COVID-19 restrictions, our Station Refreshment Rooms will not be available this year.

Here’s how we are keeping you safe:
  • Managing the number of people that can visit each day
  • Allocating seats that are socially distanced from other family groups
  • Providing hand sanitiser at strategic locations
  • Using industry standard sanitisers
  • Cleaning carriages internally after every trip
  • Frequent cleaning of contact points eg door handles
  • Increasing the cleaning frequency of on-train and station toilets
  • Ensuring our staff and volunteers do not report to work if they are affected by the virus
Here’s how you can help keep everyone safe:
  • Not arriving more than 30 minutes before your booked departure
  • Keeping to your allocated seats and avoiding moving around the train
  • Remaining socially distanced from staff and other customers at all times
  • Waiting for station staff to open and close carriage doors for you
  • Except in an emergency, following the one-way systems
  • Wearing a face covering when in any building or enclosed structure and whilst on board the train. The law requires a face covering to be worn unless:
    • You are alone with your family group or linked family group in a compartment
    • You are eating or drinking
    • You are under 3 years old.
    • You have a medical or other exemption described on the government website.
    • Children 11 years or under can choose to wear a face covering

FAQ’s

    1. Can I visit the K&ESR?
      Tenterden Town station will be open to pre-booked visitors only. Platform tickets are not available.
    2. What precautions is the K&ESR taking?
      The safety and welfare of our visitors, staff and volunteers is our top priority and we are taking every measure to ensure this. We are limiting visitor numbers so that we can ensure physical distancing and a great experience with us.
      The following measures have also been put in place:
      • Protective screening at the Ticket Office
      • Increased intensity and frequency of cleaning on our trains and stations
      • Online & Card payments only, no cash accepted
      • Signage to remind everyone of physical distancing and hand washing guidelines
      • Managed queues
      • Hand sanitising points available at strategic locations
      • Refreshment outlets offer takeaway options only
      • We support the NHS Test and Trace scheme – please scan in at the displayed posters.
      • Regular cleaning & sanitisation carried out. We’re using Zoono on all contact surfaces, as used on the national rail network.
    3. Do I need to wear a face covering?
      Government regulations require the wearing of a face covering when on the train or when in enclosed structures, with a number of exceptions. If you do not have a face covering, disposable masks will be available for purchase on arrival.
    4. Is there any reason why I should not visit?
      We respectfully ask that everyone take responsibility for their own health before visiting. Please do not visit if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have any underlying health conditions that might put you at risk. It is your responsibility to make the right choice for yourself and others around you. Please follow the government advice https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus: you should not visit and meet with friends or relatives from outside your household/support bubble if you reside in a COVID tier 2 area; you should not visit if you reside in a tier 3 area
    5. How is your refreshment outlet minimising risk?
      We are operating a takeaway snack service only. In order to maintain safe physical distancing, the following measures have been put in place:
      • Queues are managed
      • Waste must be disposed of in the bins provided
      • Tables, where provided, are socially distanced and cannot be moved to create larger tables
  1. I have a K&ESR Gift Card – how can I book a ticket?
    If you’ve a K&ESR Gift Card that you’d like to use in payment for a booking, do get in touch with us via [email protected] and we’ll gladly make the booking for you. Please remember to bring the Gift Card with you when you visit us so that we may take the balance due. If you don’t have the Gift Card with you, you’ll need to pay using a debit or credit card.
  2. There are more of us than will fit in the space we’d like – can we squeeze another person in?
    If, for example, you’re a family of two adults and three children and would like to occupy four standard class seats at a table, you can add an extra adult above the capacity of the space you’re booking for a small additional charge. Details of how to do this are shown during the booking process.
  3. Can I bring my dog?
    Pets and dogs, other than Assistance Dogs, are not permitted at Santa Special events.
  4. Is the Gift Shop open?
    Our Tenterden station Gift Shop will be open and has a social distancing one-way system. We also have an online shop where you may purchase a K&ESR Gift Card.
  5. Is there wheelchair accommodation on the train?
    Although we’re currently unable to provide blue badge parking in the station forecourt, visitors may be dropped off and collected at the station entrance & vehicles parked in the main car park. Our specially adapted carriage ‘Petros’ provides facilities for the mobility impaired and runs on Santa Specials marked (A) – book online HERE: the prices shown automatically include a reduction for a carer. Our Booking Office staff will be pleased to assist in planning your day if help is required – contact us via [email protected]
  6. Have another question?
    Please contact us via [email protected] if you have any questions that have not been answered in our FAQs.

Terms & Conditions – Santa Specials

When purchasing tickets, you are indicating your agreement to our terms & conditions  http://www.kesr.org.uk/terms-conditions/#santa-specials

Information is believed to be correct at time of publication E&OE.