Steam through beautiful countryside on the Kent and East Sussex Railway, recognised as both the country’s finest and first example of a rural light railway. The main station is in the charming town of Tenterden where you can buy your tickets and learn about the history of the railway before stepping aboard a preserved steam or diesel train to travel a route that’s been used for more than a century.
Designed to serve rural villages, the railway opened in 1900 and originally ran between Robertsbridge and Tenterden. By the 1950s passengers were no longer carried on the line and trains stopped altogether in 1961 but it was not long before a team of railway enthusiasts got together and formed a society to preserve what they could of the railway – ten and a half miles of track between Tenterden and Bodiam – and since 1974, the Kent and East Sussex Railway has operated as a tourist attraction.
Passengers today may notice the tightly curved line and steep gradients as trains wend their way through beautiful High Weald countryside, these are typical of light railways at the time which were developed on shoestring budgets. There are stations at Rolvenden, Wittersham and Northiam en-route to Bodiam in East Sussex, where the line terminates in the shadow of the magnificent National Trust castle. For more information visit the Kent & East Sussex Railway website.
To reach the railway using Southeastern’s mainline services, you can take a train to Headcorn or Ashford International and use connecting bus services to reach Tenterden Town Station.
Please book tickets online in advance.
On arrival at Tenterden Station at 11.30, you'll start your tour with a 45 minute Talk & Tasting Session at the Old Dairy Brewery in the comfort of the cosy Taproom. Then take the 1.15pm steam departure where, if you opt for it, you will be served a delicious ploughmans lunch while travelling through the beautiful Rother valley.
The relaxing return journey takes approximately two hours, which includes a brief stop at the pretty station of Bodiam, part of the former Guinness hop growing region, arriving back at Tenterden Town station at approximately 3.10pm.
We are normally Open for February Half term, Mothers day weekend and from April to end of October. Please see our website for up-to-date opening times