Southeast England Steam Railway Holiday
Hugely successful last year we are delighted to repeat our tour to the Southeast of England. Rich in heritage, railways and scenery, this tour is a must do for those of you who simply want a diverse and extraordinarily fascinating trip to the “Garden of England” – Kent. Based near Tunbridge Wells at a country hotel, come join us and revel in five days of fun.
We meet at a place called Eridge about lunchtime where National Rail connects with the Spa Valley Railway. Our luggage goes off to our hotel, leaving us free to enjoy the, er, Spa Valley Railway. This lovely line features steam and diesel haulage, Groombridge – a classic “Southern Region Station”, and hospitality at High Rocks. We will be catching up with luggage and checking in to our hotel by about 17.30/18.00.
There are some lovely branch lines in this part of Kent, so, first, we take the one to Uckfield. This is a day of variety and scenery as we drive down to Eastbourne. Now it is to Beachy Head, iconic “down south”, then another branch line – Newhaven to Brighton. Two diverse attractions here – the Brighton Toy & Model Museum – an absolute treasure trove of nostalgia and priceless models. Then, an Inside Track special with the iconic and electrifying Volks Railway. Later, we take an easy ride back to Tunbridge Wells via a place called Bentley where steam, a bun, vintage cars and nature completes an amazing day out.
This tour just gets better and better as we take the famous (why?) rail journey from Tunbridge Wells to Hastings. Here we will take a railway ascent to the cliff top and then we are off to catch up with Colonel Stevens at the Kent and East Sussex Railway. Lunchtime refreshments at Tenterden then we are off for some history – The Battle of Britain Museum before today’s finale – the demurely diminutive, Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway. A full length (and a bit!) run, then a fish and chip supper is included near the Dungeness Power Station. Tasty or wot!
And now for something different! We are off this morning, to North Kent and Chatham Docks. Revitalised, this is an excellent maritime (obviously!) based museum, but with outstanding presentations and opportunities. Kent is famous for outstanding beer (optional) and two (at least) railway attractions. The Sittingbourne and Kemsley Steam Railway and the Sheerness Branch line. We will enjoy both – wot could be better!
The gem of Kent’s railways awaits as we head to the Bluebell Railway for our steam hauled finale, with lunch included, before we head homeward bound from East Grinstead or Oxted after lunch.
The Mercure – Royal Tunbridge Wells
This four-star hotel was built around an 18th century Georgian oast house near Tunbridge Wells amid pleasant Kent countryside with a winding driveway and picturesque pond and courtyard. Accommodation has all the facilities one would expect and you may even find time to indulge in the stunning indoor swimming pool and beauty studio.