Event: Steam and Lights on Swanage Railway 2023

Date Event: TBC

All aboard! Steam and Lights on Swanage Railway is the Jurassic Coast’s colourful answer to the Polar Express. After attendees went ‘loco’ for the event in 2022, this fantastic Christmas tradition is back by popular demand.

The organisers, Swanage Railway, describe the event as being an ‘evocative, dramatic and colourful Steam and Lights train journey through the Isle of Purbeck countryside’. You’ll depart from Swanage Station and embark on an hour-long festive journey on a nostalgic steam locomotive!

Photo credit: ANDREW P.M. WRIGHT

Family Christmas activities

Steam and Lights is a unique Christmas experience that is sure to become a fond festive memory for children and adults alike.

The evening will start with a dramatic switch on where you’ll see the bright lights that cover the steam train. Next, you’ll be invited to board the locomotive where you can enjoy festive music and synchronised lights displays as you travel through the Isle of Purbeck. The whole family will love listening to the informative on-train commentary and looking out for stations and points of interest along the route that have been festively decorated in lights!

The journey will set off from Swanage Station and travel through the Isle of Purbeck, passing famous landmarks like Corfe Castle before returning to Swanage.


Enjoy festive food on your journey

Why not add some extra Christmas spirit to your journey by purchasing a tasty treat box to enjoy en-route? The box costs £25 and is for two people. A sample of goodies you’ll find includes specialty crisps, crackers, cake bats, sweet treats and festive items. You can pre-order this when booking your trip! Also available to order in advance is champagne, Swanage Railway Ale and various non-alcoholic beverages.


Event info

Dates for 2023 TBC

Please note: You must pre-book Steam and Lights

So, for prices, booking and more information, please visit the Swanage Railway Website.

Book Steam and Lights


Where to stay

The Jurassic Coast is a wonderful place to get festive in the winter, and Ulwell Holiday park is the perfect place to stay to enjoy Steam and Lights and other brilliant Christmas events that Swanage are renowned for. Choose to bring your tent or tourer or stay in one of our holiday homes. We guarantee you’ll have a magical winter holiday in Dorset. As guests, you’ll have access to our excellent on-site facilities, including, The Village Inn, well-stocked shop and indoor swimming pool.

Book a stay at Ulwell Holiday Park 


Swanage Railway steam and lights ANDREW PM WRIGHT

Photo credit: ANDREW P.M. WRIGHT

Header image by ANDREW P.M. WRIGHT

What our guests say

  • A lovely quiet site

    Andy Blackwell

    A lovely quiet site, nice warm amenities with good sized shower cubicles, shop not open yet as it’s too early but the local pub is ideal. Staff were very friendly and helpful. If you’re reasonably fit you can walk into Swanage but the bus service is great so why would you want to. Overall a very nice break, we will be back.

  • Super swimming pool

    Joseph Molford

    Fantastic site, we have had a brilliant holiday. Super swimming pool and changing facilities. Site really handy to get to Swanage and Studland. Will definitely return. Thanks to all the staff for a lovely holiday.

  • Excellent quality caravan site

    Peter Skrobacz

    Excellent quality caravan site, top quality, small and friendly, location fantastic. Been visiting Ulwell for over 25 years now and every year is special.

  • An amazing week at Ulwell

    Jenny H

    We have just returned back from our weeks stay at Ulwell Holiday Park with our 2 small children and dog. It was an absolute brilliant week! The site has everything you need, and more! A lovely comfy pub on site for drinks and a bowl of chips, a small shop, swimming pool, large play are with park, and the bus stops right outside.. what more could you want

  • Easter break


    We have just returned after a brilliant Easter break. Couldn’t fault anything at all and we didn’t want to leave. We didn’t visit the pub but the shop is stocked with local produce and essentials. The facilities are great and the location convenient. Our van was spotless and had everything we needed. We will definitely be back

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We are currently at an amazing 4.5 score at TripAdvisor, based upon 200+ reviews from verified guests.

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Over the years the family has developed the park to award-winning standards and in a style which compliments its surroundings.

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Finding us


From Bournemouth via the Sandbanks chain ferry and following the B3351 into Swanage.

From Wareham using the A351 into Swanage, turn left along the seafront towards Studland.


The park is situated on the main bus route from Bournemouth to Swanage.


1 ° 58’ 16” West, 50° 37’ 34” North



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