2018 Kent & Sussex Easter Steam Explorer

2018 Kent & Sussex Easter Steam Explorer

We stay beside the River Medway in the historic county town of Maidstone on this fascinating Easter break featuring six famous steam lines, a historic dockyard steam festival - plus a taste of Kent with a real ale Brewer's Supper.

5 days from £595



Thursday 29th March 2018



  • Bluebell Railway

  • Kent & East Sussex Railway and loco collections

  • Colonel Stephen’s Museum, Tenterden

  • Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway - the world’s smallest public railway

  • The Festival of Steam & Transport Gala at Historic Dockyard Chatham

  • The unique Sittingbourne & Kemsley Steam Railway

  • The Spa Valley Railway

  • The Lavender line

  • Shepherd Neame brewery tour

Also included in your Tour Fare:

  • Rail travel & seat reservations from your Home Station to Tour Base (Standard or First Class)

  • Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager


Thursday 29th - Travel from your home station to Maidstone. After registering at the Travel Lodge Hotel we have a welcome evening tour of the renowned real ale Shepherd Neame brewery. Upon completion of the tour we have a 2 course Brewer's Supper, including a tasting of their fine ale, whilst enjoying the opportunity to chat and socialise.



Friday 30th - Today we visit two of Kent's finest heritage railways, commencing at the beautiful Kent & East Sussex Railway where we take the steam train journey from Tenterden to Bodiam and return. We break our journey on the return at Rolvenden to view the locomotive collection. We also include time to enjoy lunch and to look around at Tenterden station, including entrance to the Colonel Stephens Museum who built this and many other light railways.

This afternoon, we continue by coach to Hythe for a journey on the superb Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway - the world's smallest public railway (15" gauge). The exhilarating journey takes us to Dungeness then returning as far as New Romney to view the locomotives and model railway. Our coach returns us to Maidstone where the evening is free for you to dine at leisure.



Saturday 31st - A short road journey brings us to the Spa Valley Railway where we have ample time for a steam ride on the 5 miles route to Eridge and to view the locomotive and rolling stock collection in the historic, original, 1886 shed at Tunbridge Wells West station. A second run along the line is in our privately chartered catering coach with complimentary sandwiches, hot and cold drinks, and a pint of real ale from a local brewery. In the afternoon we take the short journey to Isfield station home of the Lavender line for a 2 mile steam run through the Wealden countryside at this very friendly standard gauge line.

B, L


Sunday 1st - Returning to the rails we travel by train to visit the Chatham Historic Dockyard for its Festival of Steam & Transport Gala, combining road, rail and sea. In the afternoon we continue by rail to Sittingbourne for steam on the unique Sittingbourne & Kemsley Railway. Having been close to closure it is re-assuring to be able to visit the unique 760 mm gauge line at this paper mill site - a true industrial light railway. We conclude our day with our return rail journey to Maidstone, where again the evening is free for you to dine at leisure.



Monday 2nd - Our tour concludes with a private coach transfer to the Bluebell Railway - Britain's very first standard gauge preserved steam railway. Here we have a return journey along the whole length of the line including ample time to view the wonderful locomotive collection at Sheffield Park and the historic station at Horsted Keynes, which has featured many times in films and television period dramas. After our visit to "The Bluebell" we bid farewell at East Grinstead, departing around 16.00 hrs for your homeward journeys by rail for those booking Railtrail Tours' unique "rail-inclusive" tour fares.


B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner


Travel Lodge Hotel, Maidstone


The Travelodge Maidstone Central Hotel is river-side, a short walk from the High Street and town centre shops and restaurants. The hotel has a bar and café restaurant, where we will take our buffet-style full English breakfast. Your room is en-suite, and has TV and coffee & tea making facilities. Low cost evening meals are available at the hotel as an optional extra.



Fare Region



London: Terminal



Greater London



South of England



East Anglia



South West



Heart of England









North East



North West



South Wales



North Wales







Join & Leave at Hotel £595


Single Room Supplement £120


4 nights’ bed & breakfast

1 Brewers supper

1 Light lunch


Rail travel & seat reservations from your Home Station to Tour Base (Standard or First Class)

Rail & coach travel, with transfers as described

All excursions and admissions as detailed

Services of experienced Railtrail Tour Manager

Important – Please select the number of passengers before proceeding to ‘Book Now’

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