IT's back and hundreds of people are again expected to line the streets as the magical Santa bus is set to tour the North East.

Go North East has announced the dates for when the Santa bus will turn up as it has named the towns, villages and cities it will visit.

This year kids, young adults, parents and everyone else in the festive spirit will also be able to track the bus, meaning you'll be able to see its location in real time.

Exclusive: Behind the scenes at Go North East's depot in Consett in County Durham

Santa will wave as the specially-designed Santa bus makes its way across County Durham and Tyne & Wear from December 15 until December 23.

The Northern Echo:

The company says onlookers will be treated to a display of festive lights, donated by Parkside Community Centre, and will feature his elves again too.

Here's when you can see it - and where

Just like last year, the Santa bus tour will not stop at any of the locations but will be moving slow enough to get your photos and videos.

Wednesday, December 15 – Concord, Usworth, Lingey Lane, Leam Lane, Felling Square, Heworth, Felling, Gateshead, Bensham, Whickham, Swalwell Estate, Dunston, Metrocentre, Swalwell, Winlaton and Blaydon - see the timetable here

Thursday, December 16 – Houghton-le-Spring, Hetton-le-Hole, Low Moorsley, Easington Lane, South Hetton, Easington Village, Peterlee, Horden, Easington Colliery, Murton, Seaham, New Seaham, Ryhope, Grangetown and Sunderland Stockton Road - see the timetable here

Friday, December 17 – Sulgrave, Concord, Blackfell, Oxclose, Lambton Village, Ayton, Rickleton, Harraton, Washington Galleries, Washington Village, Barmston, Peel Retail Park, Castletown, Hylton Castle, Town End Farm and Southwick - see the timetable here

Saturday, December 18 – Newcastle, Coast Road, Hadrian Park, New York, Whitley Bay, Monkseaton, Earsdon, Shiremoor, South Gosforth, Walker, Walkergate, Wallsend, Howdon, Percy Main, North Shields, Tynemouth and Billy Mill - see the timetable here

Sunday, December 19 – Newcastle, Denton Burn, Swalwell, Winlaton Mill, Rowlands Gill, High Spen, Blackhall Mill, Chopwell, Blaydon, Ryton, Crawcrook, Prudhoe, Stocksfield, Riding Mill, Corbridge, Hexham, Castleside, Derwentside College, Dipton, Flint Hill, Burnopfield, Sunniside, Team Valley, Kibblesworth, Ouston and Perkinsville - see the timetable here

Monday, December 20 – Durham, Neville’s Cross, Brandon, New Brancepeth, Langley Park, Witton Gilbert, Sacriston, Plawsworth, Chester-le-Street, Barley Mow, Birtley, Angel of the North, Low Fell and Gateshead - see the timetable here

Tuesday, December 21 – Boldon, Whiteleas Estate, Fellgate, Jarrow, Hebburn, Lukes Lane Estate, Heworth, Felling Square, Wrekenton and Springwell - see the timetable here

Wednesday, December 22 – Barnes Park, East Herrington, Silksworth, Tunstall Village, Pennywell, Sunderland, Fulwell, Seaburn, Whitburn, South Shields, Chichester and Cleadon - see the timetable here

Thursday, December 23 – Sunderland, Shiney Row, Bournmoor, Great Lumley, Chester-le-Street, Pelton, Grange Villa, Stanley, Annfield Plain, Greencroft, Leadgate, Bridgehill, Blackhill, Consett, Delves Lane, Lanchester, Witton Gilbert, Durham, Gilesgate and Carrville - see the timetable here

'We can’t wait to get started again'

Stephen King, Commercial Director at Go North East said: “We’re delighted to be spreading some festive cheer again this year.

“We were blown away by how popular the Santa bus open-top tour was last year, and we can’t wait to get started again, seeing all those smiling faces as we pass through the region’s villages, towns and cities.”


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