FAMILIES have been joining Santa Claus for a traditional Victorian Christmas celebration at a heritage railway.
The Churnet Valley Railway's ever-popular Santa and Steam Specials are taking place this month, every Saturday and Sunday plus Christmas Eve.
As Santa strolls through the garland-filled coaches with a gift for every child, parents and grandparents are able to relax with a mince pie and a glass of sherry.
At Cheddleton and Kingsley & Froghall Stations, traditional decorations and merriment complete the festive atmosphere. As well as period attractions, music and curios, there are balloon modellers and circus clowns to entertain the children.
Margaret Mountford, Churnet Valley Railway Commercial Manager, said: "Santa and Steam is a wonderful way to begin the Christmas season and it is something that all members of the family really enjoy.
"Our historic stations and classic coaches make the ideal setting to recreate a traditional Victorian Christmas and for children it's a magical experience – families come back year after year, it is part of their traditions now.
"Every year it seems to grow in popularity – last year we entertained almost 12,000 visitors in the run-up to Christmas, so advance booking is an absolute must."
The Railway's seasonal programme also includes another Festive Dining Evening on Saturday (December 21) in candlelit coaches.
To book for the Santa and Steam Specials call 01538 758491. For more information go to www.churnet-valley-railway.co.uk.