Spa Valley Railway
Spa Valley Railway
4.5
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Heritage Railway operating Steam and Diesel trains between Tunbridge Wells West and Eridge with intermediate stations at High Rocks and Groombridge.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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  • Linda H
    1 contribution
    Not very magical!
    Very disappointing experience this year compared with the previous year. Its sadly very clear some financial cuts have been made. There was no car park with busses to transport you in. Instead we had to fund and organise parking ourselves and hope our timings were accurate. Disappointed that the train was already waiting on the platform for boarding . Last year The Polar Express arrived in all its magical glory while we were waiting and added hugely to the excitement. Very exciting for small children, having the opportunity to see and hear the train enter the platform. This year It made for a very bland start . The actors did not really engage or look like they were enjoying their work . Unlike the previous year where everyone was encouraged to participate, which made it an enjoyable experience for everyone on board. The cookies were much nicer this year and the train was lovely and warm . Also all the staff we encountered were happy and helpful. The Christmas atmosphere in the holding area was full of Christmas Cheer. Sadly we won't be returning but glad to have had the first experience.
    We unfortunately had to change the Grand Arrival, not through the choice of the railway, to not having one and it was beyond our control sadly. The need to park a car and make your way to us or arrive at the attraction isn't any different to a normal day with us and a lot of other places are like this. It is disappointing to hear about the actors and this has been fed back to the event company as we are and I must stress this to everyone on Trip Advisor the host location, we are not the company that operates this event.
    Written 24 April 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited December 2022
    Written 8 January 2023
  • Brett j
    1 contribution
    Extremely disappointed
    Booked a virgin experience for 2 nights and booked one night directly with the Mercury hotel, today we were told they have cancelled the train on the booked date and we cant get hold of virgin because they are only digital, also hotel wont refund the extra day so at the moment we are looking at being over £300 out of pocket and it was meant to be my wifes 40th birthday present. Dont pre- book with them as you could end up losing your money if there isn't enough bookings. Really disappointed as too short notice to book anywhere else.
    We did contact all customers, sorry you feel this way.
    Written 6 October 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 19 July 2023
  • Mark G
    1 contribution
    Not necessarily open
    Disappointing. I travelled down with my Grandad from London especially to visit the Spa Valley Railway on Thursday but it was shut. The railway magazine states that they are open Thursdays from July, so it was a wasted journey down.
    Sorry to hear of your disappointment. We do clearly advertise on our website when we are open though.
    Written 6 October 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 29 July 2023
  • Mary S
    1 contribution
    Poor Express not Polar
    What a absolute Rip off this year we have been every year since you started the Polar express, and it seems as tho TW is going backwards , so poorly run this year compared to the 1st year it truly is obvious that all you want is are money , Rude staff who had no clue , performance was not great we did have a very friendly Cheff atleast. Won't be back next year that's for sure. People don't waste your time.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 25 November 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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4.5
745 reviews
Excellent
449
Very good
172
Average
50
Poor
37
Terrible
37

Rebecca L
1 contribution
Dec 2023 • Family
First time on polar express and we loved it.
Loved the singing and chefs and conductor who kept everyone entertained the whole way. Santa was great. We went in premium carriage and it was beautifully decorated and warm.
We didn’t go to shop at end as it was very busy but apparently you can go in during check in
Written 3 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John S
Southend-on-Sea, UK12 contributions
Nov 2023 • Family
Our family trip to the Polar Express was brilliant from start to finish. Excellently and cleverly run. The Conductor and chefs in our Carriage (H on 25 November) were all brilliant and the time with Father Christmas and his Elf were the highlight for our 3 grandchildren.
We want to give a huge shout out to Linda who met us on arrival and helped coax our reluctant grandaughter away from Mum and Dad and her baby brother who weren't travelling to join those of us making the trip to the North Pole. She went absolutely above and beyond to go onto the platform and check for Mum and Dad that our grandaughter had settled on the train successfully as well as seeking us out on return to ensure that all had gone well. Absolute Star - thank you and the reluctant traveller is now a Big Believer clutching her bell.
Throughly recommend this trip
Written 26 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

yellow_angel
Dagenham, UK135 contributions
Nov 2023 • Family
We went to the polar express last night , it was not organised at all
Was not magical
They ask you to turn up 30mins early to push you all in a huge tent with nothing going on for 30mins
Was heated train
Actors were ok
A quick and I mean a quick photo with Santa and finished
Hot chocolate was not even half a cup with two tiny plain biscuits
But

The main part it got 1 star
One of our kids in our party who was 5years old slipped on the step getting of and fell through the gap of the train and platform
I still feel sick writing this now
Two of our men in our party got down and did get her out screaming
Not one member of staff come over to us check her nothing ! The conductor and actors of our carriage all watched but not once helped or asked if she was ok
Meant to be a family event

Please watch your step as our story could of had a different ending if we wasn’t quick enough to get her out
Written 26 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mary S
1 contribution
Nov 2023 • Family
What a absolute Rip off this year we have been every year since you started the Polar express, and it seems as tho TW is going backwards , so poorly run this year compared to the 1st year it truly is obvious that all you want is are money , Rude staff who had no clue , performance was not great we did have a very friendly Cheff atleast. Won't be back next year that's for sure. People don't waste your time.
Written 25 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andy B
8 contributions
Aug 2023 • Solo
If you are a railway enthusiast and you want to experience what it’s like to drive a train for real then I can’t recommend enough a footplate activity with the folks at the Spa Valley Railway in Tunbridge Wells (Kent) - having left them with a grin like a Cheshire Cat!
They provide opportunities to drive either steam or diesel, and my preference was for the latter so took charge of their Class 25 toward Eridge towing a Class 33 and Queen Mark Brake Van, then light-loco return.
It was literally ‘bum on the drivers seat’ and ‘hands on’ from the off - with excellent tuition provided by my instructor Steffan. What seems like a complex set of levers and processes soon starts to make sense and before long I was stopping (more or less) where I planned at the platforms on route, and enjoying the noise of the engine under full throttle - remembering to observe speed restrictions and sound the horns at the many ‘whistle’ boards protecting crossings.
Everyone I met there was so accommodating and the activity completely relaxed and at a pace to suit me; they knew it was my ‘experience’ morning and they absolutely ensured that it was a great one for me.
And it wasn’t ridiculously expensive either which was a big plus.
Do give them call and book.
Written 31 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

suebeck2017
Gillingham, UK2 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone for their fantastic work.
All your staff were amazing, kind and helpful. And went above and beyond with their brilliant customer service in making Paul’s birthday such a wonderful experience.
Written 30 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rachel L
1 contribution
Oct 2023 • Family
I was so looking forward to this but sorry to say that it lacked the slapstick comedy, magic and mayhem advertised. There were no experiments, the train ride was just the train ride, it took 5 minutes to make a pot of slime on the platform and then a train ride back.
Written 28 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Anne N
East Grinstead, UK3 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
We came on the Sunday, 3adults and a 2year old. Fantastic few hours starting at Groombridge. Beer tent on platform at Groombridge and there is a stationary carriage shop/bar at Eridge station. We travelled up to Tunbridge Wells, the main site, via Eridge (extra train ride for small person) Choice of two hot, cooked on site food outlets, and a cheese and bread/cracker stall. Excellent beers, according to son-in-law. Live music through the afternoon/evening. We have been before. It gets better each year! Great addition for non drinkers, the coffee/chocolate machine in the station shop at TW. Lovely family atmosphere. Take 50p coins to activate the model railway on Groombridge Station platform! See you next year😊
Written 26 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Heather T
2 contributions
Sep 2023 • Family
Big thank you for such a wonderful day.
Staff so helpful and efficient, everything ran so smoothly.
A lot of effort to make the weekend so successful for all the visitors.

Ladies toilets spotless, the flower arrangements in cubicles such a nice touch.

Thanks to Michael who travelled in our compartment and provided interesting information as we travelled. A personal touch. Shows how much he cares about the Spa Valley Railway, added to the experience.
Well done to all at Spa Valley Railway. Thanks for a great day.
Written 26 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for the lovely review, we look forward to seeing you again soon and we're glad you had a great day!
Written 6 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Carrie B
Faversham, UK138 contributions
Sep 2023 • Couples
Had a great night on the murder mystery night
Fish and chips Cake, drinks that you can pre- order or buy on night What more do you need!
All the staff on Spa Valley were lovely and volunteers so thank you to them for making the evening go so well
The actors were fab and worked so hard playing all the parts Was tongue in cheek hilarity Even though we were nowhere close to solving the murder we had a blast!
Written 17 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We're glad you had a great time on our Murder Mystery train! We look forward to welcoming you back on board again soon.
Written 6 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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SPA VALLEY RAILWAY: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Spa Valley Railway

Spa Valley Railway is open:
  • Tue - Thu 09:00 - 17:00
  • Sat - Sun 09:30 - 17:00