The Watercress Line's Christmas train rides return to Hampshire

The Watercress Line Steam Illuminations in Hampshire

The Watercress Line's Steam Illuminations are back for 2021 - Credit: Tony Storey

The Watercress Line heritage railway is set to sparkle and shine with the return of the spectacular Steam Illuminations and this year it promises to be even brighter

The unique Christmas light show, which is scheduled to run from 26 November 2021 through into January 2022, will feature thrilling rides on a digital LED passenger steam train, illuminated inside and out with thousands of fully controllable colour mixing lights creating flashing patterns. 

All the family will have fun with their LED wristbands that flash in time with the train lights, as they travel the 10-mile return journey through the Hampshire countryside, between Alresford and Alton, with static Christmas light displays and festive music all part of the enchanting journey. 

Watercress Line General Manager Simon Baggott said: ‘We are thrilled that the dazzling Steam Illuminations will be returning this year, with more colourful lights and festive features, including the exciting new giant tree of lights. 

‘It promises to be an incredible experience for all and a wonderful highlight of the festive season. This Watercress Line treat will give a lot of joy and magic memories to everybody, so don’t miss out.’ 

The Watercress Line Steam Illuminations in Hampshire

As the sun sets, the Steam Illuminations really begin to impress - Credit: Andy Goss

5 things to know about the ride 

  • Delicious refreshments will be available before boarding at either Alton or Alresford station.  
  • The ride is a round trip and lasts for around one hour and 45 minutes.  
  • This year you can also see ‘magical’ snow along the line and over the railway’s famous bridge at Ropley, which featured in the Harry Potter movies.  
  • All passengers will have an opportunity to see the outside of the train brightly lit up at the start, middle and end of their journey and capture wonderful memories on camera. 
  • Tickets start from £48 for a table of two and must be pre-booked online at