The Bluebell Railway is a heritage railway line that runs along the border of East and West Sussex between East Grinstead, in the north, and Sheffield Park, in the south, with stops at Horsted Keynes and Kingscote.
The 11 mile line was the UK’s first preserved standard gauge passenger railway— volunteers began operating it in August 1960, less than three years after British Rail ceased using it — and today it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the county.
The Bluebell Railway has more than 30 vintage steam trains at its disposal — the biggest collection in the UK after the National Railway Museum — some of which were taken into care before British Rail ceased steam services. These are run every weekend between late March and late October. There are additional “special” services over the winter, including “festive feast” trains in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
For those who fancy something truly special, why not book a ticket on the Golden Arrow Pullman dining train? This recreates the era when the Golden Arrow, one of the most glamorous and famous trains in the world, travelled between London and Paris. On board you will be seated in an opulent compartment and served a delicious three course meal with wine, the gorgeous Sussex countryside lying just outside the carriage windows.
Other food- and drink-based rail services include an afternoon tea train, real ale evenings, fish’n’chip specials and a Sunday carvery train.
Dogs are welcome on most services for just £2 per dog.
For more information, including timetables and ticket prices, visit the Bluebell Railway website.