going local: experiencing old spa valley railway in kent

Spa Valley Railway Collage

Sunny Sunday was calling for something new and special to do, and we chose to try out one of the old historic railway lines that are still operated in England. Spa Valley Railway is not particularly long, but it was a great experience and also useful as we took the train from Royal Tunbridge Wells to Groombridge and visited the Groombridge Place Gardens for the firs time ever.

This railroad is operated by volunteers staff and has two kinds of engines: diesel and steam ones. Besides running the standard line it also offers lots of themed events both for kids and for adults from Thomas the Tank Engine to Murder Mystery and dinner specials.

The train itself has a cafe offering cream teas and light food, and depending on the departure time there is also a separate lunch car. The pace is slow (as one ca expect) and gives time to admire the beautiful views: horses and sheep grazing flower-filled meadows, country lanes, and pretty little cottages…

Even the station is a cute one and kept with according to the old style starting with cute signs, Union Jack bunting, little tea shop and old railway-related memorabilia placed around the platform. The train leaves when everyone’s ready – true to the golden age there is no huge rush anywhere but for once time to stop and smell the flowers, explain the kids where the soot on the table comes from and how trains have evolved…Just the perfect relaxed start for a Sunday.

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