After a week away in Hastings, I’m back on the blog. It’s been hard to get back into the swing of writing again, I must admit, but I thought I’d start off by telling you about our day out at the Kent & East Sussex Railway. You probably know that my boy Tyler is a mini train enthusiast, and maybe I am too, hee hee. We had visited Didcot Railway Centre earlier this month, and with that one done, we just wanted to see more! On our first evening in Hastings, we stocked our apartment with food from the giant Tesco Extra, and there we saw a leaflet for the Kent & East Sussex Railway. It’s an old line from Tenterden to Bodium that has been restored and actual Victorian Steam trains run between the towns. We had to check it out, even if it was our 6 year wedding anniversary that day!
From Hastings, it was easier to drive to Bodium rather than Tenterden. The drive was about 20 minutes and we had to park at Bodium Castle next door, with a car park charge of £3. There were set times for the steam trains, listed on the leaflet. We had just missed the 11.45am train, and actually watched it leave from the car park, it looked so pretty from across the fields. The next train was at 12.50pm, so we had a wander around the Bodium Castle giftshop and had our picnic lunch outside. They had lots of outdoor seating there… and wasps ugh.
We walked over the bridge to Bodium station, with a little stop-off at this tent that sold fudge – well the traditional gift for a 6 year anniversary is sugar! On entering Bodium station, we felt like we’d gone back in time, it was restored very well. We bought our return tickets inside, which were £17 per adult, and then the steam train arrived (see the top photo). All the staff were dressed in olden-day style clothing – very authentic! The sound the steam made was awesome, the hiss and the white clouds puffing out, it is so amazing to watch.
The carriage we were in was an actual Victorian carriage. The seating with very plush, with a table between 2 seats. I tried to get a nice photo with me and Tyler, but he was like ‘no photo!’ He just wanted to look out of the window, which he did for the whole 50 minute journey.
Through the window we saw other restored stations, with vintage ads displayed. The ‘Special Nosegay’ ad made me snigger (see the photo second from the top).
We arrived at Tenterden, which is known as the Jewel of the Weald, at 1.45pm. As we stepped out of the train, there was a little exhibition of engines which fascinated Tyler. We had to drag him away. There is a railway museum at Tenterden, but as we had about a couple of hours before catching the last train back to Bodium, we decided to explore the picturesque little town and have a couple of lemonades in the sun. The town really reminded us of Beaconsfield in it’s quaintness.
The time passed really quickly and we just about caught the train back at 3.40pm. This time we sat in a carriage that was slightly older, with blue seating. Tyler fell asleep then – aw.
We arrived back at Bodium just after 4.30pm, and watched the train leave to go back to Tenterden for the last time that day. Then we walked to the Castle Inn opposite the Bodium Castle for some chips in the sun. It was lovely to see a real working steam engine in action, really magical. I’m a bit addicted now, I want go on more steam trains!
If you’re ever in East Sussex or Kent and have a train-mad child, I thoroughly recommend this experience. Who doesn’t love a steam train?!
Please note: I have not been paid to write this. These are my honest opinions from our visit here.