Last weekend, we rode the Santa Special through Bronte country.
Just picture the scene:
Snow settles on the hills of the Yorkshire Pennines.
Our loco steams through picture-perfect villages.
Children prop themselves up in anticipation.
Santa makes his way down the train…
And my son…
…could give Ebeneezer Scrooge a run for his money.
Our trips don’t always go as planned. I guess this was one of them!
Don’t get me wrong, it was a great day. But let’s just take a moment to recognise that travel with children (as much as I endorse it) is not always perfect. It’s ok! These times make fantastic memories look back on and just giggle!
We discovered the village of Haworth itself is an interesting place to visit. An extremely steep, cobbled road littered with quaint shops and small cafes seems to be the focus point. I can’t imagine it would be much fun pushing a pram up the hill but for a slightly older child, like Noah, it provided a great opportunity to go galivanting down (made even more exciting by the presence of ice and snow).
We spent a bit of time looking around the shops. They are the type of shops you don’t really look around, you just spend all your time barking “Don’t touch that!”, “Put that down!” and “Don’t climb that!” (such as this one).
As it is Christmas, we were delighted to find a local charity was operating a tombola in the middle of the village. This was a cheap and cheerful activity for Noah to enjoy. There was not enough time, but I also noticed that the church was hosting a craft fayre. A schedule had also been posted with local activities for the day, including traditional morris dancing and a torch-light progression through the village.
Haworth railway station was a short down-hill walk away. On arrival, we found that our train was an hour behind schedule. Unfortunately, the ticket office was really cold. The lovely staff advised us to take the next diesel train to another village, Oxenhope, and back again to stay warm. So, two trips for the price of one! ? I also noticed a couple of cosy cafes across the road which you could visit if you find yourself in a similar situation.
The steam train finally arrives. It is warm on board and adorned in festive decorations. Noah is looking drowsy as the wait has taken its toll.
Kids are entertained by several ‘characters’ including elves, Rudolph and a fairy. Before Santa appears, the carriage is visited by a grumpy Scrooge and the kids have fun booing him!
Each child has a brief encounter with Santa himself. Everyone gets an age appropriate present. Noah slumps in his seat and pouts. “I didn’t want that!” It turns out that if your kid receives a gift they don’t like, it is possible to change it. Noah got a board game and he actually really enjoyed playing it later at home.
In my opinion, the very best part of the trip was when all the adults were offered a sherry and mince pie for the journey back to Haworth. A brilliant way to deal with Noah’s attitude!
Merry Christmas Mums and Dads! ?