Slow train to Santa's Grotto
On Saturday we went down to Audley End, a very large country house in Essex, to see one of Santa's helpers, handing out gifts to all the good kids. Now, many of us may admit to having had a train set in the distant past, but if you are Lord of one of the largest manors in England, your train set is something different too.
Lord Beaverbrooke's private 10-inch guage railway opens to the public most weekends, and runs Santa Specials in December.
The line winds through a mile and a half of beautiful woodland complete with little bridges and tunnels. Rounding a corner, we caught a glimpse of a bearded chap in red, waving at the train. And there he was again, and again until we slowed to a stop by a grotto where he, and his assistants came to say hello and give out a present or two. Despite the cold, Issie and Max had a lovely time and we survived with cups of hot chocolate.
There were two trains running, with many little boys and girls enjoying the ride, and the other train was a steam one. Whooo whooo, off we go....