Steam Trains at the Kent & East Sussex Railway

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!

 Kent & East Sussex Railway

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.

 Kent & East Sussex Railway

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.

 Kent & East Sussex Railway

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.

 Kent & East Sussex Railway

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).

Kent and East Sussex Railwa

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.

Kent and East Sussex Railwa

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.

Kent and East Sussex Railwa

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?!

Twitter: @kesroperating
24hr Talking Timetable: 01580 762943

Please note: I have not been paid to write this. These are my honest opinions from our visit here.


Monkey and Mouse

Summer Days

31 responses to “Steam Trains at the Kent & East Sussex Railway

  1. My 2.5 yo loves trains too. Watch out for steam fairs. No trains but steam rollers and traction engines are just as good (James called them trains)


  2. My kids love steam trains too and am I…. I don’t know why, there’s unexplainable feeling of fascination in them. You all seemed having a fab day and with Tyler falling asleep on the train back said it all. #whatevertheweather


    • Ahh you sound like me! I’m like, yeah it’s all for Tyler, but actually I LOVE the steam trains too – I know exactly what you mean! And yes all that excitement meant a deep sleep on the way back. We all could have done with a nap too! xx


  3. we have a lot of commercial trains in our area, but nothing passenger. The little has been bugging me for a train ride for a while. I need to find something like this


  4. Ooh, I love the plush seats! The restored stations look really cool, as do the vintage adverts, we saw a few on our steam train trip too, mainly for Vitriol!
    O would be the same, standing staring at the engines for ages and asking how they worked. So sweet that he fell asleep on the way back too.
    Thanks for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x


    • Those seats were sooooo comfy! They really have restored it well, it’s amazing. And the ads too. I loved looking at it all just as much as Tyler, although you could see he got tired out at the end! xx


  5. Sounds like a great day out! And congratulations on your 6 year wedding anniversary! Emma loves trains so I need to find a place like this near us. Love the picture of Tyler sleeping x #SummerDays


    • It was fab! Ahh thank you, can’t believe it’s been 6 years! There’s steam train places up and down the country, though I do find they are in the most remote of places – hope you find one, your girl would love it! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy anniversary! I hope you had a great day. Your little one really does love trains doesn’t he. It’s so lovely that you’re taking him on all of these little train adventures. I think steam trains are so magical. You really need to go on one where they do dinner, I went on one recently and it was so cool!!! I would definitley be the same as you with the wasps though…ughhh! Thank you so much for linking this up to #whatevertheweather x


    • Ahh thank you! Oh my god, he is obsessed with trains – we’ve always had a train track outside our window wherever we have lived since he was born, so I’m guessing that is why! Ooh I’ve never been on the ones where they do dinner, but that would be a great experience. Oh god, the wasps. In one way, I’ll be glad when summer is over, and we can eat in peace! xx


    • Haha, fellow steam train fan – I’m glad you said that! I think that’s it for my #summerdays posts – summer is over, wah! xx (Sorry for the late response!)


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