Sussex

Bluebell Railway, Sussex

Travel back in time with Bluebell Railway, a four-station vintage railway crossing East and West Sussex that showcases some of the UK’s oldest locomotives and the finest views.

The Bluebell Railway is one of the country’s earliest preserved heritage lines, proudly boasting one of the finest collections of vintage steam locomotives and carriages in the UK – many of which were preserved straight out of retirement from British Railways. Spanning the width of the High Weald AONB, its vintage trains chunter along 11 miles of railway across the East and West Sussex border between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead and treat its passengers to first-class views of some of the most stunning countryside in South England. 

Designed and built in the traditional Queen Anne style in the late 19th Century, Bluebell Railways’ Kingscote, Horsted Keynes and Sheffield Park stations have retained much of their original aesthetics – flourishing the large gables, asymmetrical façades and decorative wooden trims that were typical of that era of architecture. Unsurprisingly, this nostalgic visage has caught the eye of many producers, and the stations have regularly appeared on TV and in films, including period dramas like Downton Abbey and Churchill’s Secret. 

As well as the pretty stations, original signal boxes and vintage locomotives and carriages, all generations will enjoy the additional family-friendly activities and attractions along the way that really add to the experience. Often, railway staff will dress up in period clothing and parade around the station, really enhancing the feeling that you have been spontaneously transported back in time. What’s more, each station has a variety of things to see and do including getting up close to a working steam engine, children’s play areas and hands-on interactive exhibitions. 

Whether you can’t wait to sit back and enjoy the journey through beautiful Sussex countryside, are looking forward to learning more about the history of the area, or simply want to entertain the children for a few hours, the dog-friendly Bluebell Railway will unite all generations of voyagers and history buffs. Climb aboard at East Grinstead or Sheffield Park and stop off at Kingscote and Horsted Keynes to pad out the experience and make use of the facilities en route. You can also keep an eye on upcoming events too, including seasonal specials. 

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury Sussex retreats here.

Bluebell Railway, Sheffield Park Station, East Sussex TN22 3QL | 01825 720 800 | www.bluebell-railway.com

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