Summer is for adventures: and for a truly memorable and historic one – whatever the weather – why not book a Family Freedom ticket to travel along the 10½ miles of the Kent & East Sussex Railway.
The journey time between Tenterden and Bodiam is around 50 minutes each way, so sit back in comfort to ride through unspoilt Wealden countryside from Tenterden Town station, finishing in sight of the magnificent Bodiam castle. The great value Freedom ticket also allows you to hop on and off any of the Heritage steam or diesel trains operating on the day.
While on board, the family can turn nature detectives with a free wildlife activity sheet. You can even pre-book a kids munch bag and treat yourself to a cream tea or ploughmans (purchased online in advance). The railway is dog-friendly, so even the family hound can come too for free.
And from now until 31st of May, children can travel for just £1 with our ‘Kids for a Quid’ offer when pre-booking online. Just enter the special offer code KFAQ22 during the checkout to receive your discount. Plus, for those aged 60 or over booking online to travel mid-week, Pensioner’s Freedom tickets are just £18 – an extra saving of £5 per ticket on walk-up fares.
To celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, The Best of British Weekend (Thursday 2 June to Sunday 5 June) is a right royal feast of entertainment and favourite British fayre – from Fish and Chip Friday to a Sunday Roast – along with trips aboard Britain’s most iconic form of transport. Over the weekend, K&ESR are offering a discount on selected fares. This offer is time-limited and only available with on-line advance bookings for adult and child tickets on selected services (see website for full terms and conditions) using the special code JUBILEE70 at the checkout. Tickets are likely to go fast, so early booking is recommended.
The four-day extravaganza begins with a special inaugural passenger service* for Terrier locomotive 70 ‘Poplar’, following major restoration as part of the 150th anniversary of these small but mighty Victorian engines first entering service. The newly restored ‘Poplar’ will be joined by sister Terrier ‘Knowle’ to pull services across the whole Bank Holiday weekend.
Here’s what else is in store for visitors to the railway over the Jubilee weekend:
At Tenterden station start by collecting a Best of British activity sheet then why not snap a selfie at the Royal liveried Jubilee telephone box or with the station’s very own ‘Queen’ – not forgetting to tag @kentandeastsussex (Instagram), @KandESRailway (Twitter) and @Kentandeastsussexrailway (Facebook) as well as the official Jubilee channels. Children will receive their very own royal crown and can try out the selection of giant games on the concourse or get a special jubilee face paint (Thursday and Friday only). For classic car enthusiasts, Saturday and Sunday see the arrival of a rally of classic British models, while for those interested in folk traditions the Ladies Morris Dancing troupe Fiddle Sticks will be putting on a display on Sunday morning. Throughout the weekend the station tearoom will be offering a selection of classic British food, including fish and chips on Friday; cream teas on Saturday, with the option to add Pimms or Prosecco, and a hearty traditional roast on Sunday.
At the other end of the line, Bodiam station will be hosting a special display of Land Rovers (Saturday and Sunday), including one of only two known remaining vehicles used during the Royal Commonwealth Tour of New Zealand and Australia in 1954. Passengers who join the 10:40am train at Tenterden will have the opportunity to visit neighbouring Oastbrook Vineyard to taste some of their award-winning English wines. Separate advance booking with Oastbrook is required to add the escorted visit to your journey (link on the Best of British Weekend page on the K&ESR website). Fiddle Sticks will also be dancing at the station on Saturday afternoon.
Later in the Summer, there’s an amazing opportunity for youngsters to learn more about the work of the Heritage railway on a fun-filled Young Engineering Day (9th and 10th August). Suitable for children aged 6-12 years, accompanied by an adult, these are led by Chris Vine, author of the Peters Railway books, sharing his passion for all things engineering!
Check the website for more Summer event details, train times, and to book tickets and save.
*The inaugural ‘Poplar’ special is not included in the discounted ticket offer.