Train of Lights Paignton: The Ultimate Christmas Experience

Christmas train of lights Paignton

Paignton to Dartmouth Christmas Train

It’s that time of year again, when twinkling lights, festive music, and holiday cheer fill the air. And if you’re looking for the ultimate Christmas experience, look no further than the Train of Lights Paignton.

This magical journey, operated by Dartmouth Steam Railway, takes you on a festive illuminated trip along the picturesque South Devon coast, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

What is the Train of Lights Paignton?

The Train of Lights Paignton is a unique seasonal attraction that brings joy and wonder to people of all ages. It features a vintage steam train transformed into a magical spectacle with thousands of dazzling lights and Christmas decorations hanging from the carriage ceilings. 

As the train glides through the night from Paignton to Kingswear, the enchanting lights illuminate the surrounding countryside, creating a mesmerising experience for passengers.

What to Expect from the Train of Lights

The Train of Lights Paignton offers so much more than just a train ride. Indulge in hot chocolate and snacks, available for purchase, as you soak in the festive atmosphere. Take in the breathtaking views of the River Dart as you travel towards the historic town of Dartmouth, with its twinkling lights and charming waterfront.

Throughout the journey, you’ll experience different displays, each more enchanting than the last. From an enchanted forest to brand new feature displays, there’s always something new to discover and capture your imagination. The train of lights takes you on a journey that is both visually stunning and filled with festive magic.

Experience the Festive Magic

As you step aboard the Train of Lights Paignton, you’ll be transported into a fairy-tale-like setting. The carriages are adorned with an array of colourful lights, creating a whimsical ambiance that will ignite your imagination. The train’s interior is beautifully decorated with festive ornaments, adding to the magical atmosphere.

Throughout the journey, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the Paignton countryside. As the train traverses the tracks, you’ll witness the twinkling lights reflecting on the landscape, transforming it into a sparkling wonderland. It’s an awe-inspiring sight that the entire family can enjoy.

As the train departs from Paignton train station, enjoy a mix of Christmas songs, and commentary to keep everyone entertained. You’ll soon arrive at Churston Station where the show begins, and enjoy the show as you pass through the enchanted forest. 

There’s a stop in Kingswear to let passengers stretch their legs, head to the toilet, and enjoy the lights from the outside of the train before the train disembarks back to Paignton.

The train of lights is a truly magical multi-award-winning Christmas experience for all ages and has become a must-see event in the South West festive calendar.

Watch this video to see the ultimate experience.

Note: The train is a fully ticketed event with allocated seating so pre-booking is essential.

Christmas train of lights in Paignton

Essential Details for Your Visit

Before hopping on your Train of Lights journey, there are a few essential details you should know.

Dates and Timings

The Train of Lights Paignton operates from November to December, allowing you to experience the magic of the festive season. Make sure to check the specific departure times for the train of lights journey online, so you can plan your visit accordingly.

Prices and Ticketing Information

When booking your tickets for the Train of Lights Paignton, you’ll find different ticket options available, including family tickets, which can help save on the cost of your trip.

Be sure to check online for pricing and ticketing information, as well as any special offers or discounts that may be available. Keep in mind that availability may be limited during peak times, so booking in advance is highly recommended.

Enhancing the Experience: Train of Lights with Santa

For an even more magical experience, consider booking tickets for the Train of Lights Paignton journey with Santa.

Special Features of Train of Lights + Santa

When Santa comes aboard, the magic of the train of lights journey is taken to a whole new level. The festive music, twinkling lights, and the festive spirit of the holiday season create an atmosphere of joy and wonder. Onboard, you and your family can take part in festive activities, such as writing letters to Santa, making the experience even more memorable.

Booking and Availability

To book tickets for the Train of Lights journey with Santa, check online for booking availability. Due to the popularity of this unique experience, tickets can sell out quickly, so it is recommended to book early to secure your spot. Whether you’re planning a trip with family, friends, or loved ones, this festive journey with Santa is sure to create lasting memories.

Tips for an Unforgettable Train of Lights Paignton Experience

To make the most of your Train of Lights Paignton adventure, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Dress Warmly: As the Train of Lights Paignton operates during November and December, temperatures can be chilly, especially as you’ll want to open up your window. Layer up those Christmas jumpers.
  2. Arrive Early: Arriving early allows you to explore the station and soak in the festive atmosphere before boarding.
  3. Dates and Schedule: The train of lights Paignton typically operates throughout the festive season, starting in late November and running until early January. Be sure to check the official schedule to find the dates and times that suit you best.
  4. Capture the Memories: Don’t forget to bring your camera or smartphone to capture the magical moments. The Train of Lights Paignton offers numerous photo opportunities that you’ll cherish for years to come.
  5. Book in Advance: Due to its popularity, it’s advisable to book your tickets in advance. This ensures you secure your spot with allocated seating and avoid any disappointment on the day of your visit. 
  6. Stay Hydrated: Stay hydrated and bring along some snacks to keep you fueled throughout the journey. Mince pies and mulled wine are the perfect festive snack.
  7. Immerse Yourself: Let yourself be fully immersed in the magical experience. Embrace the joy and wonder of the Train of Lights Paignton and create lasting memories with loved ones.


When does the Train of Lights Paignton operate?

The Train of Lights Paignton operates during the festive season, typically from late November to the end of December. However, it’s always advisable to check the official website for the exact dates and availability.

How long is the Train of Lights Paignton journey?

The Train of Lights Paignton journey lasts approximately 1.5 hours from Paignton to Kingswear, and back to Paignton.

Can children join the Train of Lights Paignton?

Absolutely! The Train of Lights Paignton welcomes passengers of all ages, making it a perfect family-friendly activity. Children will be captivated by the enchanting lights and the sense of adventure.

Are refreshments available?

Yes, refreshments are available at the Head of Steam Café before boarding the train.

Can I book tickets in advance for the Train of Lights Paignton?

Yes, it is highly recommended to book your tickets in advance to secure your spot on this popular attraction. Visit the official website or contact the ticketing office for more information.

Is the Train of Lights Paignton wheelchair accessible?

Yes, the Train of Lights Paignton is wheelchair accessible, and there is a wheelchair specific carriage available. Please inform the ticketing office in advance, and they will ensure that appropriate arrangements are made for your comfort and convenience.

Are dogs allowed?

Only registered disability assistance dogs are allowed.

Is the train of lights worth it?

Yes, the train of lights is absolutely worth it. It’s the perfect festive activity that the whole family can enjoy.

Summary of Train of Lights Paignton

The Train of Lights Paignton is not just a train ride; it’s a journey into a world of enchantment and wonder. From the moment you step aboard, you’ll be transported to a magical realm of twinkling lights, festive decorations, and breathtaking landscapes. 

The experience is a perfect blend of festive cheer, natural beauty, and awe-inspiring displays, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

So, why not gather your family and friends and embark on this extraordinary adventure? Discover the magic of the Train of Lights Paignton, where joy, laughter, and wonder await at every turn. Book your tickets, immerse yourself in the enchantment, and create unforgettable memories on this dazzling train ride.

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay close to Paignton, take a look at the Quayside Hotel in Brixham. The beautiful harbourside hotel is located in the centre of the fishing town, with activities and amenities just a stone’s throw away.

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