We were provided with Press tickets to visit this event. Opinions are our own
This October half term, NYMR are holding their Light Spectacular event, an immersive light and sound experience that will have you dancing in your seat.
Running from 22nd – 30th October 2022, their heritage carriages are fully decorated with thousands of LED lights and depart from Pickering Station twice each evening ( 6pm or 7.45pm) for a one hour light and sound show . The train and it’s sparkly carriages travels to Levisham with on-board narration from the famous ‘Voiceover Man’ Peter Dickson (you’ll recognised his distinctive voice from X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway) before returning to Pickering.
Before boarding the train each guest is given an interactive wristband by a NYMR volunteer, these wristbands flash a range of bright colours when you press the button on the side. When you get onto the train, they sync in time to the music and the Voiceover Mans jokes and chatter.
We were lucky enough to experience the Light Spectacular last night and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
We arrived at Pickering Station at 5.15pm in time for our 6pm departure. The car park is relatively small but there were plenty of spaces when we arrived. There is usually a £5 parking charge in place at Pickering station which can be paid at the machine in the car park but during the Light Spectacular, parking is free. From the car park you can see a couple of the engines and the turning circle which we spent a few minutes checking out.
Before leaving the car park, a couple of friendly NYMR volunteers checked our tickets and gave us our light up wrists bands before wishing us a lovely evening, then we headed towards the station itself.
The 1930’s themed station was light up with bright lights as we headed over the bridge to the departing platform. It wasn’t long before the train pulled in, what a sight! Covered in thousands of sparkling lights, the kids were mesmerised. The atmosphere was quite magical and there were lots of excited people gathered. We did notice that there wasn’t just families, we saw quite a few couples without children and some older people who appeared to be travelling alone.
We were able to get onto the train quite quickly. Your seats are allocated in advance so there was no pushing and shoving to get to the best seats. There were 6 different carriages, ours was B, which was the second one from the front on the way to Levisham. Everything was very relaxed and pleasant. The carriage had a table between every four seats which was ideal for our family of four. I did notice a larger family further down the carriage had booked two sets of seats opposite each other which seemed to work pretty well, I think that would be a better option than having seats behind each other as you wouldn’t be able to see each other as well.
As the journey started it was dusk so still pretty light but it didn’t take long for it to become dark. The wristbands and the lights inside and outside the train helped keep everything light enough to see though. My three year old was a little apprehensive about the dark initially, but it didn’t take him long to forget it was dark and dance and clap his hands instead!
Some families had extra light up toys and glow sticks which our kids kept eyeing up – I wish we’d been a bit more organised and taken some glow sticks at least.
Lots of families also had mini picnics and snacks. We’d called at a little shop not far from the station and grabbed a couple of packets of crisps, drinks and some chocolate to snack on but there was also a trolley ( that went passed our seats twice during the journey) selling hot drinks, little bottles of wine and snacks. I didn’t look at the price list fully, but noticed a hot chocolate was £3. Pickering Tea Room also had a a selection of light refreshments which you were able to purchase prior to boarding too.
We didn’t have long to wait for our journey to start, Voiceover Man announced what would happen during the journey and gave us an idea of what to expect.
The journey was a mixed of popular songs from across the decades, interspersed with cheesy jokes and ‘banter’ from Voiceover Man. It was family friendly and it was hard not to laugh. Our carriage started of relatively calm, families were listening to the songs happily and just chatting amongst themselves, it took YMCA to come on before people started dancing and waving their arms about. There were tunes from artists across the years including MC Hammer, The Spice Girls and The Who. At one point some of the wrists bands went pink and others went blue and each set of passengers wearing those colours had to sing the male or female parts to a Grease Megamix.
The lights outside the train shone onto the passing countryside and made everything look beautiful. It was also lovely that people had stopped their cars along the route to wave at the train and take photographs. I imagine a train covered in lights looks amazing as it chugs along through the countryside.
The train ride was an hour in total, which included a stop at Levisham so the engine could couple to the rear of the train for the return journey to Pickering.
We all enjoyed the Light Spectacular. The journey was fun, relaxed and we all enjoyed the music. We saw lots of smiling faces as we got off the train in Pickering.
The gift shop in the station was open so the kids picked up some trinkets to remember their visit and we made our way slowly over the bridge. We managed to catch the 7.45pm departure leaving the station too which was great to see, we watched the light show on the outside the the train before it left the station.
Tickets for the Light Spectacular event are usually £30 per person but readers of this post can benefit from a 20% discount on any of the remaining dates by using the code LOCAL20 on the NYMR website when booking. For a unique and fun half term treat, I would definitely recommend.