Events & exhibitions

Festive Express Railway Experience

7th Dec 2019 10:24 - 8th Dec 2019 16:30

Web image xmas

Exbury's Festive Railway Experience

Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December 2019
10:00 - 16:30 

Visit Exbury’s Festive Express railway experience this December for a family Christmas day out like no other! Read on for further details.

Click to book Festive Express train ride

Please note that an additional £2.50 will be charged to enter the New Forest Christmas Fair. Please scroll to the bottom of this page for full prices and further details.

For details on 14th - 15th December 2019 click here.

Inside the engine shed…

Meet Father Christmas… festive decorations will be strung up from floor to ceiling, creating a cosy and festive atmosphere for you to take part in yuletide crafts. You can write your Christmas wishlist, create glittery cards and make paper straw trees guided by our Exbury elves. You can also meet Father Christmas in his very special ‘royal’ train carriage reserved just for your family, and take home a very special Christmas gift (SOLD OUT).

At the platform…

Platform… they’ll be decorations galore to set off the Victorian splendour of our replica train station. Plus, a beautifully adorned 10ft Christmas tree and carolling from local choirs at intervals throughout each day.

On the train…

On train… real-life elves will be greeting passengers and interacting with children. They’ll guide families on a festive journey through the gardens, pointing out all the fantastic decorations that line the tracks and leading carol-singing as you steam along.

In the gardens…

trail… discover the winter grandeur of the northern area of the gardens. Do you know the names of all Father Christmas’ reindeers? Our gardeners have lovingly handmade 10 log reindeers out of wood from the estate and we will be hiding them around the gardens as part of a trail for families to take part in.

New Forest Christmas Fair

The fantastically festive fair full of produce from local small business will also be at Exbury during this weekend. As part of our agreement with Forester's Events, visitors must pay £2.50 to enter the fair and the gardens (under 16s free). There is no way to enter the gardens without paying this fee in cash on the day of visit. Exbury Gardens Visitor Entrance will not be charging entry to the gardens however, our staff will be charging for the Festive Express train rides and meeting Father Christmas. Prices for these are listed below.


Festive Railway train ride = £6 per person

Click to book

Meet Father Christmas = £5 per child SOLD OUT

Friends of Exbury annual members can receive a 10% discount on both the Festive Railway train ride and meeting Father Christmas. Please call us on 02380891203 to book if you're a member. Proof of membership will be required on booking and upon arrival.

*spaces to meet Father Christmas are limited to 50 children per day and are likely to sell out quickly. Please book your ticket online or over the phone early to avoid disappointment. When you arrive at the gardens you will need to book a 5-minute timeslot (10 minutes for groups of more than 1 child) with Mother Christmas who will be located in the engine shed. Any extra spaces will be sold on a first come first served basis.

‘We recently had some friends from London to visit and were looking for something to entertain our young children for the day. We decided to give Exbury Gardens a try and I thought it was wonderful. We had Sunday lunch in the restaurant and the food was far superior to other local attractions so compliments to the chef. Walking through the gardens was beautiful with lots of little pathways to explore. I have lived in the Romsey area for many years and always thought Exbury was a little out of the way but it only took me 20 minutes from the motorway. We will definitely be a regular visitor from now on.’

Philip Moulds, New Forest

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