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Railways

Take a trip on a vintage steam train or the Eurostar, here you can find both.

From steam-powered, polished beauties to Europe-bound, high-tech designs, around Ashford and Tenterden a rich railway past is powering into the future.

Whether you're a serious steam buff or just someone who enjoys great views, the Kent & East Sussex Railway is a real treat. It puffs from attractive Tenterden to  imposing Bodiam Castle , a romantic, moat-ringed fortification packed with murder holes, battlements and spiral staircases. En route, settle back in vintage carriages to chug for just over 10 miles through glorious Weald of Kent views. Part way along, hop off at Northiam Station. 

For an elegant, memorable meal - or an informal fish and chip supper - book a table in a 1920s Wealden Pullman silver-service dining car. Back at the railway's Tenterden station, don’t miss the Colonel Stephen Railway Museum, for an intriguing insight into the line's brilliant, eccentric engineer. Look out too for special events that range from A Day Out With Thomas, to WWI weekends and on-board real ale festivals. Events are popular - it's best to book.

For marshland views and tiny trains head to the delightful Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway. The world's smallest public railway, it sees one-third scale steam and diesel trains trundling beside Romney Marsh between Hythe and Dungeness. Train buffs make a beeline for New Romney, with its engine and carriage sheds, workshops, Heywood Buffet and model railway exhibition. Or control the real thing, on a Drive A Steam Train Day.

The area's proud railway past is also celebrated at the new Railway Room at Ashford Borough Museum  Enter via the replica ticket office and pass the Hornby model railway, to take in archive photos and some of the tools used at the old Ashford Railway Works.

And the town's strong train-related traditions continue. Ashford is within easy reach of London and Europe, making rail travel ever-more tempting today. Thanks to High Speed 1, it's just a 38 minute ride from London. While Eurostar ensures you can leave Ashford International Station and be in Paris, Brussels and Lille in just a couple of hours.

There really is plenty of things to do in Ashford and Tenterden for all of you railway enthusiasts, come and see for yourself.

 

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