Kent and East Sussex Railway

Travel Back in Time & Escape the Modern World

The railway you see today at 10½ miles in length is a fine example of one of England’s light railways and originally part of a larger system which operated between Headcorn and Robertsbridge. The K&ESR was the very first ‘light railway’ to be constructed: light railways are equipped with full size trains, but have steep gradients and operate at low speed.

Passenger trains ran from 1900 until 1954 but an ambitious scheme to reopen the railway from Tenterden was proposed, although it was not until 1974 that the first trains were able to run on a short section of line.  The registered charity that now owns and operates the line was able to finally restore services to Bodiam in time for the centenary of the line in 2000: today the K&ESR welcomes around 90,000 people each year.


Picnic Area
Disabled Access
Disabled Toliets
Baby Changing
Viewing Area
Pushchair Friendly
Dog Friendly
Free Parking

Useful Information

Make the most of your visit

The Kent & East Sussex Railway is situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and follows the wide unspoilt Rother Valley for much of the journey. Our small rural stations are typical of light-railways of the period, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to see or do! Almost all our staff are volunteers and we’re always pleased to help you get the most from your visit, including:

  • The award-winning Railway Museum, where you can discover more about Colonel Stephens, the entrepreneur who built and operated the railway, is an absolute must. Located near the car park at Tenterden Town Station, the museum is open when trains are operating and entry is free
  • Find out more about the fascinating story of how the K&ESR was preserved in an informative display in the Model Railway Room at Tenterden. Kids will love the model railway too – collect a token from the booking office.
  • Enjoy light refreshments in a unique station setting – or take them on board the train as you travel through the beautiful Rother Valley!
  • Become a nature detective – look out for the unique mix of nature as you travel along the line. Both family nature trails and on board information is available –
  • Pick up that perfect souvenir of your visit from the Gift Shop.
  • Get up close and personal with the beauty of the local countryside with one of our downloadable Rail Trail walks. Or explore the diverse range of independent shops in the beautiful market town of Tenterden.
  • Combining the excitement of a train ride with a visit to Bodiam Castle? If you’re a member of the National Trust, entry to the castle is free – but if not, remember to show your valid K&ESR ticket at the entrance to receive 10% off your

Activities available in this location

Activities & Days Out

Relax & Entertainment


Open Times

Monday 09:00-17:00
Tuesday 09:00-17:00
Wednesday 09:00-17:00
Thursday 09:00-17:00
Friday 09:00-17:00
Saturday 09:00-17:00
Sunday 09:00-15:00
Open times may vary.


01580 765155
Kent and East Sussex Railway
Tenterden Town Station
Station Road
TN30 6HE