We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Save
Review Highlights
Great journey.

We have been on many preserved railways and this has to be one of the best. The countryside is... read more

Reviewed August 8, 2018
Paul C
,
Billingham, United Kingdom
CREAM TEA SPECIAL

The cream tea special service runs on one Sunday a month over the summer as an addition to the... read more

Reviewed July 31, 2018
Lancestrian
,
Durham, United Kingdom
Read all 461 reviews
  
Reviews (461)
Filter reviews
461 results
Traveler rating
214
101
35
32
79
Traveler type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
214
101
35
32
79
Show reviews that mention
All reviews north pole the polar express next year train ride car park hot choc singing and dancing premium seats ticket collector father christmas his face little boy adults and children bishop auckland staff were friendly scones premium class
Filter
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 461 reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We took the 1968 one-coach diesel to Bishop Auckland and waited there for 20 minutes just to come back again! It is a slow, genteel and very beautiful journey with a delightful ticket collector who acts as a tour guide supplying fabulous information and anecdotal stories.
It was all very nostalgic and we had the advantage of a blue sky day helping show off lovely autumn colours and bright green fields.

1  Thank Ena-Bill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Travelling on the last Wednesday in October stunning autumnal woodland colours and a nostalgic trip through Weardale.
We arrived early and had a 'poke' of chips and a pot of tea in the station cafe.
On the train we sat directly behind the driver's compartment. With rear views all the way to Witton and driver views on the way back to Stanhope.
Journey enhanced by a lovely chat from Brian the ticket collector - like all the volunteers immaculately turned out in proper uniforms.
A simply lovely afternoon, thanks

1  Thank stanislavLodz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Our party was 3 adults and a 3 year old. We booked tickets online as a group of 4 but the way seating is allocated is NUTS. This was in the VIP (whatever that means) area. The seating is difficult to explain but i'll try; imagine a train carriage with a table for 4 then the aisle and then another table but only for 2. Well our party of 4 was split across the tables for 2; this meant one adult with our daughter and then other adults.

If you're going to book, phone up or this can happen to you. Luckily we got to swap with another 2 who had their family of 4 across the aisle from us.

The train smells damp and foisty. Its old and part of the "magic" though but give it a few sprays of pine or something.

The hot chocolate is cheap as it gets powdered rubbish and its boiling hot water not milk.

The cookie is cheap manufactured rubbish too. It was just on the ok side of stale.

The elfs give it their best shot but its all a bit cheap Butlines type entertainment really. Not their fault by any means.

"Christmas town" is literally a cardboard cut out of the North Pole and you just drive past it with some elves dancing and Santa waving. Then you go back. You don't get out or anything like that, its literally up and down a train track.

Then Santa does a walk around the carriages and chats to the kids, gives them an awful cheap medal and you keep a rubbish mug.

Even for our little girl, it was really bad. They'd tried to put out the bare minimum to avoid mass complaints and refunds in my opinion. The only reason its not 1 star is the people who work their put the effort in and try their best.

I'd avoid it and tell anyone who asked me to the same.

2  Thank CraigS14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2018

did the whole journey which is lovely and very scenic the guard on board was very entertaining and informative . we had a drink and snack from the tea room before the journey and it was excellent

Thank carole5000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2018

I really believed this event wouldn't take place again this year as it was an awful experience and not worth the money. As it is now being advertised I felt I had to do this belated review from a trip last Christmas.

For a start ......I booked my tickets on the first day the tickets became available which I believed was for The Polar Express . I had been constantly messaging via Facebook for a number of months asking when tickets to the Polar Express were going to be released and when I booked the Facebook page showed the Polar Express on the main page (not train to Christmas town).

Once the tickets were booked I noticed that very quickly the page changed to ‘a train to Christmas Town’ I contacted the company again via Facebook messenger and via the comments underneath the change in profile picture asking if possible to get a refund as I believed when booking it was Polar Express. (Which I had good reports on). I didn’t receive a reply, I also tried to ring but as tickets had just been released call volumes were high.

As a family we discussed what we should do and decided to go still (as we had heard good reports about Polar Express).

Unfortunately we made the wrong decision
The tickets were £39 per adult & £29 per child (we paid a total of £156) which was absolutely appalling for the experience provided!

Where do I start?!

The train was disappointingly decorated.
The elf we had didn’t really seem to know what he was doing with the songs....words , dance etc (which were very uneventful in themselves).
The hot chocolate was luke warm, watery and powdery, disgusting and undrinkable..
The cookie tasted of nothing but sugar.
The mugs were naff and cheap quality.
The present from Santa was totally inadequate, cheap rubbish (what is a child going to do with a medal?!) the bell from the Polar Express ride which had been given in the past was far superior!
And the story!!!!
Our party was a mum, dad, 2 children and 2 nanas. The children were 7 & 10. Both were very upset as it made them think about if their Nanas got ill and died.....no more Christmas trips, no more nana fun etc etc. It was totally depressing and just before Christmas as well .....totally inappropriate storyline for a Christmas trip for children not a bit like the Polar Express story which is a feel good story...and ends up happy and makes everyone believe..or want to!!!!!

I sent a complaint to the company listing all my grievances and requesting a refund but they didn't even have the courtesy to acknowledge my complaint either by email, letter or phone

I for one will not be booking this year and advise anyone who is to think carefully before doing so as you and your children may be very disappointed as my family were.

7  Thank Lynda W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2018

Travelled from Bishop Auckland West (not to be confused with Bishop Auckland national rail station) to Stanhope and return in a 1958 heritage single diesel railcar. Wonderful views through the large windows to the side and front. Very enthusiastic and helpful volunteer crew on board. Lovely café at Stanhope station. Highly recommended day out

2  Thank Ibis_user
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2018

We have been on many preserved railways and this has to be one of the best. The countryside is beautiful and the ticket prices very reasonable. Good luck to them.

Thank Paul C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2018 via mobile

Take the time to have a scone on the platform at Stanhope railway station! A perfect balance of sugar/salt/fruit, and offered with butter, jam and cream.

Go and try one!

Thank MTBme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2018

The cream tea special service runs on one Sunday a month over the summer as an addition to the scheduled services. The first class coach was spacious and comfortable, a nice touch of luxury, and the staff were very friendly and made a fuss of the children in our family group. The cream tea is just that: a scone with butter, clotted cream and jam with "unlimited" tea and coffee. The scones were home made and tasty but it's best to be aware that the "unlimited" teas and coffees are served on the outward part of the 2 hour (total) journey only, so make sure that you get your refills before the train sets off back! Unlike the scheduled services, the train does not run all the way through to Bishop Auckland but stops on the Etherley Viaduct to admire the view before returning to Stanhope.
All in all, an enjoyable leisurely trip through attractive countryside and a pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon with the family.

1  Thank Lancestrian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2018 via mobile

The Weardale Railway is a Heritage Railway running from the Town of Bishop Auckland to Stanhope, County Durham. It passes through several scenic towns and villages. Services have recently resumed the full length of the Line after a Landslide was stabilised.
At the time of writing, train services operate on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and on Bank Holiday Mondays.
There are two trains from Bishop Auckland to Stanhope and return, and a return trip from Stanhope to Witton-le-Wear.
Fares are realistic and good value, especially the Day Rover ticket offering unlimited travel.
The times and Tickets Costs are shown in the photograph.
All in all it's a good day out for Individual travellers or Families, general visitors or Railway enthusiasts.

2  Thank John L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
View more reviews