Brecon Mountain Railway Santa Special – a review

Both of our children are fans of trains so we often do day trips to steam railways for our family days out. So Brecon Mountain Railway‘s Santa Specials sounded like a lovely way to visit Father Christmas.

We tried it last year and loved it so we booked again when tickets were released earlier this year.

The railway station is based at Pant Station in Merthyr and is open on selected dates throughout the year. When you visit for a Santa Special, you walk in to a station decked out in tinsel and Christmas decorations. It had us feeling festive from the outset. 

After collecting our tickets, it was time to make our way to the steam train through a walkway filled with Christmas trimmings. We were greeted by staff in festive garb and cosied in to our seats listening to Christmas music in the background.

For the Santa Specials, the journey leads you to Pontsticill Reservoir in the Brecon Beacons National Park. It’s a journey full of gorgeous views, which the children enjoyed.


As we neared the reservoir, the carriage became abuzz with excited chatter as the children waited for their first glimpse of Father Christmas, who greeted us ringing a bell.

We alighted to head to Father Christmas’s grotto, which was decked out with Christmas lights. The adults were offered a mince pie and some mulled wine while the children were given mini train chocolates as we queued.

Then, before we knew it, it was time to see Father Christmas. Although neither of the children were quite sure, they told him what they wanted and how good they had been this year. They were thrilled with their gifts and us grown ups weren’t left out as we were presented with gifts of our own.

As we were fortunate enough to be near the front, and for it to be a sunny day, we then spent the time before the journey exploring a bit and visiting the children’s playground. I also loved taking in the gorgeous views.

30 minutes or so later, it was time for our return journey to Pant. Again, it was a journey filled with pretty landscapes to see but most of the children on the carriage were getting tired by then.

Overall, it was another memorable day out for us as a family. At £43 it wasn’t cheap, but it is a day out that will go in the bank of memories of nice things to do together in the run up to Christmas.

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