WEST Somerset Railway's popular Winterlights trains will return this year from Friday, November 18, to help get families in the Christmas spirit. 

The Winterlights trains are illuminated with coloured lights and travel past brightly lit seasonal displays through the woods and countryside of West Somerset.

They run between Bishops Lydeard, near Taunton, and Crowcombe Heathfield station, which has been decorated with an impressive festive display.

Other Christmas-themed services are also set to run on the railway in the coming weeks.

Its Santa trains, specially designed with children in mind and visited by Father Christmas, will return on Saturday, December 3.

Steam trains also run in connection with Dunster by Candlelight, a procession that will be held in the village on December 2 and 3.

Trains will travel from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead at 4.30pm, with passengers then able to catch a dedicated coach connection to Dunster. 

The coach service will bring guests back to Minehead before the trains return to Bishops Lydeard at 8.30pm.

The railway's general manager, Kerry Noble, said: “We are excited to be offering all these steam hauled trains again in 2022.

“We need to stress that tickets for the Winterlights, Santa Specials and the Dunster by Candlelight trains have to be purchased in advance. 

“The railway is fully aware of the financial challenges we are all facing and we have done our very best to keep ticket prices to an affordable level. 

“Our experience over many years is that a ride on a steam train as part of the build-up to Christmas, especially with the experience of Winterlights on the Santa train or to Dunster by Candlelight gets the celebrations off to a great start, not just for children but for adults as well!”

All tickets need to be pre-booked through the West Somerset Railway website www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk or by phoning 01643 704996).