A Day Out | Spa Valley Railway

After the Saturday at Leonardslee, Sunday saw us head into to Kent for another heritage railway trip on the Spa Valley Railway at Tunbridge Wells.

Booking ahead was strongly encouraged - like so many attractions at the moment - and like the Kent & East Sussex Railway the other week, only return trips between stations at  either end of the line were offered.

Platform space was limited and with social distancing restrictions in place there was little opportunity to nose around but we did get to see these old darlings:

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We took a compartment which we would have exclusive use of and also meant that face coverings could be removed once seated. Not cheap at £40 for the two of us but a better deal for a family or bubble as the compartments could seat up to six.

As mentioned there was no opportunity to get off at the intervening stations of High Rocks or Groombridge, running straight through some picturesque countryside to Eridge back in East Sussex. It’s worth noting that Eridge is on the national rail network and is served by Southern. In normal times combined tickets and deals are available.

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Whilst our outward journey was diesel hauled by Class 20 D188, which I wasn’t able to get a photo, our return from Eridge would be by steam with a loco rather unjustly named ‘Ugly’. Ok, she may not fit the traditional profile of some of the grand old locos of the past but is still a fine piece of lovingly preserved engineering.

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Back at Tunbridge we went for a stroll around the Pantiles - it was quite busy in places - certainly busier than I felt entirely comfortable with in the circumstances, but still very pleasant nonetheless.

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Parking was available nearby and their website was very helpful in pointing out options as well as detailing bus and train services. I’m very much looking forward to going back when services return to normal.

www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk

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