The countdown to Christmas is well underway.

All over the UK people are putting up their Christmas trees, frantically buying presents and decorating their home and generally embracing the festivities. There are a host of exciting events taking during this time with people packing into theatres to see the latest pantomimes, city centres filled with German markets, while in Nottingham there will be the rare treat of passing steam engines.

Over the coming month the East Midlands city will be visited by some of the most iconic trains to ever grace the railways – starting this week.

Thursday (December 4th) will see The Cathedrals Express call at Newark. This LNER A4 Class 4-6-2 no 60019 Bittern is part of the same family as the famous Mallard. Made at the Doncaster Works in 1937, it has become an iconic sight on the UK's railways. It will make its way from London King's Cross stopping at Newark Northgate at 11:24 GMT, returning at 18:10 GMT.

This coming Saturday (December 6th) will see another member of Mallard's family visit the region. The LNER A4 Class 4-6-2 no 60009 Union of South Africa will also be voyaging from the capital through Nottingham. It will call at Newark at 18:15 GMT while the Lindum Christmas Fayre train will travel through the county starting at East Midlands Parkway at 10:22 GMT.

Capping off the month is the Bittern Farewell Tour. On December 30th, the iconic train will leave King's Cross for the final time and travel up through Nottinghamshire. This gives steam train enthusiasts a last glimpse of the iconic locomotive before it is withdrawn from service for a major overhaul.

The tour has already proved a huge hit with steam enthusiasts, with seats on the train service from London to Lincoln all being snapped up. However, people will still be able to watch as this graceful train passes through.