Kent and East Sussex Railway was partially reopened as a Heritage Steam Railway in 1974, running between Tenterden and Rolvenden, with a further extension to Bodium completed in 2000. The preserved railway has had a tempestuous history, with two financial crises and a major dispute between the volunteer group and their elected board of directors/trustees. Most of the permanent way has now been built to modern standards, and rides of 11.5 miles through the Rother Valley in vintage and British Railways coaches, are usually hauled by one of several types of steam locomotives, or a diesel multiple unit in off peak times. Older generations will feel nostalgic on entering the Tenterden station buildings, and also, if time permits, looking around the Railway museum.
Bodiam Castle (NT) is a 14th century moated castle, built in 1385, ostensibly to defend the area against a French invasion during the Hundred Years’ War. It was built, not only to protect its inhabitants, but to be an inviting and comfortable home as well. It is a quadrangular design and features chambers on the outer walls as well as towers on each entrance point and corners. The inner courts allowed space for those living and working within the castle and would have included a chapel, household apartments, pantry, the Lord’s Hall, buttery and a prison. The castle is a magnificent sight, standing as it does, surrounded by a large moat, although in those days it would have received the contents of 30 different garderobes!! It is now a Grade I listed building, and has been owned by the NT since 1925 when it was donated by Lord Curzon on his deathbed, with the decision taken to open up the ruins to the public.
Guide price: £32.00