Kent & East Sussex Railway
Kent & East Sussex Railway
4.5
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
About
The K&ESR opened in 1900 as England’s first ‘light railway’, serving the rural communities of East Sussex and Kent. Closing to passengers in 1954, the line was saved and reopened by a charitable organisation in 1974. It now operates steam hauled and diesel observation trains on a 10.5 mile line from Bodiam Castle in East Sussex to the historic market town of Tenterden in west Kent.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • ms_cannell
    Reading, United Kingdom54 contributions
    Lovely nostalgic experience
    Booked afternoon tea for my Mum's 80th birthday. It was a surprise which she was thrilled with. The selection of sandwiches and cakes were lovely along with the bottomless tea and coffee. It was a lovely nostalgic experience and the staff went out of their way to make everyone feel special. Paid extra for table decorations but felt £9 for 3 balloons, table confetti and a card was some what under whelming.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 8 May 2023
  • WisdenPompey
    65 contributions
    A Trip In the Country
    A very pleasant trip through the countryside. Diesel hauled due to steam engine failing but that happens. The cafe was excellent and there is an interesting museum at Tenterden. The souvenir shop was reasonable but have seen better. However, one star off as accessibility appeared to be an issue. A gentleman in a wheelchair was unable to gain access to the train and it is hard to see how that could be overcome with the rolling stock in use. Hopefully they have some provision if you pre book. Certainly worth a visit.
    Thanks for your review. The Kent & East Sussex Railway was the very first railway, national network or heritage, to provide dedicated accommodation for wheelchair users https://kesr.org.uk/facilities/petros/ After more than 40 years in service, “Petros” is currently undergoing refurbishment & is anticipated to return to use in a week or two. We’ll always do our utmost to assist those who need a little extra help, but do suggest that, until “Petros” returns, it’s best to get in touch in advance to ensure we are ready to welcome you.
    Written 4 June 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 29 May 2023
  • Anonymous
    15 contributions
    Please provide a full timetable
    Have visited many times and enjoyed every visit. Only complaint is that the timetable does not show times at intermediate stations as I regularly use Northiam station. It also does not show arrival times at Tenterden so that I can plan visits there.
    Thanks for your review and kind support. Our website contains links to all timetables, or you can visit the download section to save or print a copy of the detailed timetable. We hope to welcome you again soon!
    Written 6 June 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 1 June 2023
  • DavoRutland
    Morcott, United Kingdom119 contributions
    Great day out But for one aspect
    We had a great day! The staff were lovely and we had the added bonus of Morris Dancing at Northiam. The only thing that stopped this being a five star review was the guy who came into the carriage to give us a brief history of the railway and the surrounding area. This was vey interesting BUT our three year old was terrified by his reference to French people coming over to eat children. She referred to this time and time again for the next few days and it’s not that she’s a particularly sensitive child. Also her mother, my daughter in law, is Spanish and commented that for all he knew she could have been French and taken offence. It’s not that we had a sense of humour failure - we were just upset that our little one was really quite affected.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 2 June 2023
  • pdb2
    Biddenden, United Kingdom140 contributions
    Disappointing trip
    We have dined on the K&ES pullman several times before, and were frankly disappointed this time. The weather was dreadful as we were boarding the train,(pouring rain), and there was absolutely no urgency to get all the diners on the train, before assigning tables, therefore many were soaked to the skin before we even sat down. Whilst the quality of food is excellent, it is very disappointing that the size of the 'dinner plates' seems to shrink every time we paid over £200 for Sunday lunch . Was it value for money ? No. Would we do it again? No
    Thanks for your feedback pdb2 - we're sorry to hear that some aspects of your visit did not meet with your expectations. The weather was indeed truly dreadful yesterday, as predicted in the severe storm warning forecasts. Thankfully the serious flooding that resulted and affected many areas locally did not impede the operation of the train. Our volunteer team worked hard to ensure that guests boarded as swiftly as was possible, whilst ensuring they occupied their booked tables. This is particularly important given the need to ensure those with special dietary and allergenic requirements were correctly identified. Our staff also assisted with storage for those who had the foresight to bring umbrellas and coats. It's good to hear you felt the quality of the meal to be excellent. We can assure you that the plate size has remained unchanged since 1984 - in fact, they are the very same plates that we purchased from the renowned Staffordshire firm of Dudson back in 1984! When considering the cost of your Wealden Pullman tickets, it is important to remember all of the elements that go to make up your experience. The 2023 cost of the three course meal, which includes an aperitif, is £43.50 per person. All meals are prepared from scratch by hand and cooked onboard the train, then silver served at seat. The First Class train fare for the three hour steam hauled experience amounts to £46 per person, so the combined total is £89.50 - or £179 for two people. This is less than your stated amount so we can only assume that you had perhaps pre-ordered some champagne or other beverages to enjoy with your meal? We're disappointed that, despite finding the quality of your meal to be excellent, you are choosing not to return, As a registered educational charity, we offer our grateful thanks for your kind previous support of the K&ESR.
    Written 30 October 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 29 October 2023
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4.5
1,230 reviews
Excellent
896
Very good
245
Average
47
Poor
27
Terrible
16

Tracey w
Kent, UK24 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
We had the pleasure of experiencing the Kent & East Sussex Railway’s Santa Special, and boy was it fabulous not only for the kids but also great fun for the adults! Checking in was with ease, great staff, professional and made most welcome! Included with the ticket, the train experience, including Santa (very handsome and cuddly) and his merry helpers the fantastic elves, who engaged with all the passengers, getting them singing along to jingle bells, an age appropriate present showing the child’s name from Santa! the magician, excellent within his field and was very interactive with his audience and a bag of refreshments, mince pies and chocolate, and of course the train ride through the countryside, the sights and smells of the steam train era, it was fantastic! Then at the station there was a carousel, we all jumped on that a few times , great fun had by all, there was also a winter wonderland marquee, with a model village, along with a photo opportunity, receiving one free print and then you can choose if you would like more at a fair price. The train station is lit up with festive lights, including a Christmas tree and a large lit up rudolf pulling santas sleigh. A great wow factor, pure Magical experience had by all..
Written 10 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.

cyjenks
Canterbury, UK6 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
What a wonderful experience we had on the Santa Train yesterday. We booked a carriage for three grandparents, mum and dad and Billy (6) and Florence (4). It was magical from the start when the children took a look at the fire in the engine to the end when we rode on the carousel.
The magician and Santa and his Elves were terrific and the children were given excellent gifts.
The staff and volunteers went out of their way to ensure we had a great time.
We would recommend the Santa Train to any family wanting a bit of Christmas magic
Written 4 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.

Scottie-EQ
10 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
@MrsEeky and I visited last Sunday as we had booked up for Sunday roast on the Wealden Pullman. We both had a great 'first class' 3 course meal along with some drinks. The stewards worked very hard to make sure we were comfortable and enjoying the dining experience. Shout out to the chefs, stewards and everyone else involved in making our dining experience enjoyable. Would definitely recommend, and would book up again sometime
Written 3 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.

Martin Atkins
Bedfordshire, UK76 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
We've visited the excellent museum and displays at Tenterden station before but this was the first time we'd been on the trains. We boarded at Northiam as we were staying in the old carriages there. Lovely little station with good gift shop and very helpful and friendly volunteer staff. Train came up from Bodiam, decorated for Halloween so looked brilliant. Carriages are clean, way more comfortable than on our main line, and the ticket inspector was really chatty and friendly. Beautiful views outside, and a map printed on each table showing the line and what to look out for at various points on the route. We went up behind the steam loco but returned later in the rail car, which allows views out of the front, and has bigger windows, more like being on a bus. Again it provided great views of the beautiful countryside and the workings of a heritage railway line. Loved it, will ride again next time we're down.
Written 1 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.

pdb2
Biddenden, UK140 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
We have dined on the K&ES pullman several times before, and were frankly disappointed this time. The weather was dreadful as we were boarding the train,(pouring rain), and there was absolutely no urgency to get all the diners on the train, before assigning tables, therefore many were soaked to the skin before we even sat down. Whilst the quality of food is excellent, it is very disappointing that the size of the 'dinner plates' seems to shrink every time we paid over £200 for Sunday lunch . Was it value for money ? No. Would we do it again? No
Written 29 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.
Thanks for your feedback pdb2 - we're sorry to hear that some aspects of your visit did not meet with your expectations. The weather was indeed truly dreadful yesterday, as predicted in the severe storm warning forecasts. Thankfully the serious flooding that resulted and affected many areas locally did not impede the operation of the train. Our volunteer team worked hard to ensure that guests boarded as swiftly as was possible, whilst ensuring they occupied their booked tables. This is particularly important given the need to ensure those with special dietary and allergenic requirements were correctly identified. Our staff also assisted with storage for those who had the foresight to bring umbrellas and coats. It's good to hear you felt the quality of the meal to be excellent. We can assure you that the plate size has remained unchanged since 1984 - in fact, they are the very same plates that we purchased from the renowned Staffordshire firm of Dudson back in 1984! When considering the cost of your Wealden Pullman tickets, it is important to remember all of the elements that go to make up your experience. The 2023 cost of the three course meal, which includes an aperitif, is £43.50 per person. All meals are prepared from scratch by hand and cooked onboard the train, then silver served at seat. The First Class train fare for the three hour steam hauled experience amounts to £46 per person, so the combined total is £89.50 - or £179 for two people. This is less than your stated amount so we can only assume that you had perhaps pre-ordered some champagne or other beverages to enjoy with your meal? We're disappointed that, despite finding the quality of your meal to be excellent, you are choosing not to return, As a registered educational charity, we offer our grateful thanks for your kind previous support of the K&ESR.
Written 30 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

wendy G
Bexhill-on-Sea, UK420 contributions
Oct 2023 • Friends
What a super trip - book early as it gets very booked up, it’s not cheap but for a special occasion it was perfect. Everyone I dealt with from booking to the chef ,Meg, to the waiting staff etc were wonderful - friendly and efficient. The waiting staff dress up in their beautiful uniforms , the food was excellent and such a relaxing way to spend a few hours. The chef accommodated 2 special diets by communicating with us in advance - so gluten free and diabetic was not an issue but do tell them when booking. We had starter of soup with roll, roast turkey or beef with all the trimmings, sweet trolley , coffee/tea and mints! Delicious. All the waiting staff are volunteers and were excellent- especially those with with badges 141, 264, 214,263,298 but everyone was great! Even had an aperitif on arrival (included) and as so sunny had this on the platform. Free parking. Just brilliant!
Written 19 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.
Thanks for your kind review Magnus - glad you enjoyed your time with us and hope to welcome you again soon!
Written 30 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Bryan A
2 contributions
Oct 2023 • Solo
What a great railway and day out. Check out the station garden at Bodiam, hoppers huts hop garden and hop museum. Also wonderful holiday accommodation in converted railway carriage The Bodiam Coach.
Written 14 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.

David Roy P
Batemans Bay, Australia617 contributions
Jul 2023 • Couples
We do love Steam Trains and with only a couple of Days left of UK Trip we decided to travel to Tenterden and go on the Kent & East Sussex Railway to Bodiam so we could visit Bodiam Castle . The Station along with the Workshops has been lovingly restored as have the Steam Engines and Carriages . They run 4 services in each direction between Tenterden & Bodiam Daily , with 3 stops on the way and the journey taking around 45 minutes . The Carriages are very comfortable even if they are 70 years or more of age . Snack's & Drinks are available for purchase during the journey . All the Volunteers are smartly dressed in the Uniforms of the period . Even a Ticket collector on the Train who Clips your Ticket . You can't beat the sounds & smells of a Steam Train .
Written 1 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.

138Paul138
Canterbury, UK968 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
Book well in advance.
Everyone I dealt with from booking to the service on the train was fabulous. Customers dressed up and looked great. The staff were in their uniform were very friendly and engaging. Drinks are ordered on the platform prior to departure allowing quick service once on the train. The table is beautifully presented and the seats are very comfortable. The service onboard is very well orchestrated. The food is delicious and there is plenty of it. Toilets are onboard but it is best to use the facilities at the Station before departure. Overall it is an excellent experience to eat a lovely roast lunch as the Kent and East Sussex countryside goes by with the faint sound of ‘chuff chuff’ as the train pulls you along.
Written 1 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.
Thanks Paul - glad you enjoyed your lunch and hope you'll choose to visit again!
Written 30 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

GroutyDunstable
Leighton Buzzard, UK29 contributions
Sep 2023 • Family
Last Saturday, 8 of us from one family, enjoyed a trip on the Wealden Pullman out of Tenterden station. We just knew we were in for something special when we were greeted, on the platform, by smiling Pullman-liveried staff, handing out aperitifs & canapes. British rail, take note!

It was a 3-hour round trip, steam-hauled, where we were served an incredible 6-course dinner, freshly cooked on board the train & served by a bunch of happy, smiling volunteers, all dressed in the Pullman livery of days gone by. Having travelled on the original Bournemouth Belle over 60 years ago, I remember it well!

This trip is something special, almost unique in its application & leaves so many happy memories of a splendid night out, delivered by so many caring volunteers. Good luck & best wishes to you all at this incredible charity; you deserve every accolade imaginable & I include a young volunteer, who delivered a splendid presentation of this event on Youtube. Keep up the good work & I do hope to visit the charity again.

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.
Thanks GroutyDunstable for your kind review, very much appreciated. We love what we do here, which clearly shows from what you've said! Glad we were able to rekindle some great memories of the Bournemouth Belle too!
Written 30 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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KENT & EAST SUSSEX RAILWAY: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Kent & East Sussex Railway

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