Steam Trains, Views & Vines
Past and Present in the Weald
Four hours in The High Weald is enough to see why Kent deserves its reputation as The Garden of England. This stunning part of the south east is protected as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty characterised by rolling hills, woodlands, ancient trackways and traditional farmland. A journey through this glorious countryside on a historic railway, once used by hop-pickers and farmers, gives a glimpse of Kent’s rich past. A visit to an award-winning modern vineyard demonstrates the area’s plentiful present and both give ample opportunity to drink in views
Kent and East Sussex Railway
Travel from Port of Dover: Approximately 46 mins, 35 miles
Coach Parking: Free parking for visiting groups at Tenterden Town Station
The Kent and East Sussex Railway runs historic steam and diesel trains through 10 miles of beautiful countryside from the charming market town of Tenterden to Bodiam, with its moated castle. A fabulous example of a rural light railway, it carried passengers and goods to isolated villages between 1900 and 1961 then was re-opened as a popular tourist attraction in 1974. Today, a journey on the railway offers passengers views of stunning scenery, visits to charming country stations and, on selected services, the chance to tuck in to a traditional English cream tea.
Chapel Down Winery
Travel from Tenterden Town Station: Approximately 12 mins, 6 miles
Coach Parking: Free parking for visiting groups
Allow: 1hr 45mins
Chapel Down is leading the way in a renaissance of English wine with an award-winning range of still and sparkling wines produced from grapes grown at their beautifully-located 22-acre vineyard near Tenterden. A guided tour is available taking visitors among the vines and in to the winery to see how the grapes are processed. Of course, no visit would be complete without the chance to sample the wine and a tutored tasting completes the tour. An on-site shop stocks Chapel Down’s award-winning Curious beers and ciders and other local produce alongside the wines.
Why not combine with Leeds Castle for a full-day itinerary in the Garden of England?