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“Great day out for all the family”
Review of Bluebell Railway

Bluebell Railway
Ranked #1 of 18 things to do in Uckfield
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Founded in 1959 and still steaming! We run steam trains between Sheffield Park and East Grinstead on over 200 days each year, and are open even when no trains are running.
Reviewed July 28, 2014

A lovely day for all the family - 5 of us (age range 5-72) plus dog enjoyed a wonderful day out from Sheffield Park to East Grinstead and back followed by a lovely carvery lunch at the Bessemer Arms. Highly recommended.

1  Thank hannah l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 25, 2014

Great for the steam enthusiast because of its authenticity and steamy atmosphere. One feels projected back to a former era when steam power reigned supreme. Great effort made to give the casual visitor a good day out. The route itself down to Sheffield park from east grinstead is highly scenic and variable with in particular station details absolutely spot on in terms of reproducing the railway stations as they were. What a pity the initial impression is at the east grinstead end where having arrived on a very hot day with a 30 minute wait for the train there is nowhere to sit or get out of the hot sun other than the small cafe. Station platform needs an awning which reproduces a station awning of the say 1950's, plus more seats on the platform for weary passengers to wait and admire the scene (on a wet day unsure the passengers would equally welcome a station awning).

1  Thank Kelly017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bluebell_Railway, Manager at Bluebell Railway, responded to this reviewResponded July 27, 2014

Thank you for your recent visit, Kelly017, and for your kind comments.

We are well aware of the need for shelter at East Grinstead - as you rightly say, it gets very hot when the sun comes out, and very wet when it rains! We are planning to instal some shelter at East Grinstead, so stay tuned for further news.

With best wishes from all at the Bluebell Railway.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2014

Club trip to the Bluebell Railway, accompanied by Mrs P. Easy connection from main line railway at East Grinstead. All day ticket is relatively expensive when the more limited train service is running as, although it is an "all-day" ticket, to make full use of it from the East Grinstead end would involve a bit of a marathon effort and no time to wander and admire the whole thing. Better value, obviously, from the Sheffield Park end but that isn't so readily accessible, except by road. Perhaps they should recognise this and have a differentail pricing policy for those starting from the East Grinstead end. However, that is a minor criticism. The railway runs through super Sussex scenery and is long enough to get the flavour of vintage rail travel.

The HIOHLIGHT of the day, however, (apart from the superb loco collection in the shed at Sheffield Park), was lunch in the Bessemer Arms pub/restaurant on the station there. None of us had expected other than "standard" pub fare but were very surprised to find a wide selection of dishes. For example I had the Guinea Fowl and it was excellent. At the same time all the prices were very reasonable - unusual for such a place as there is often a "captive audience" ethos which pushes prices up. Not so here. Loved it and we'd go back just to sample some more of the dishes.

4  Thank Rod P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2014

A group of five of us (elderlyish men) took the train via Clapham Junction to East Grinstead. We then spent the day on the Bluebell Railway.

We went by steam train to Sheffield Park (excellent); had lunch at the Bessemer Public House (pretty poor unless you like formica and 1950s English food); visited the museum (very good) and the engine shed (fabulous).

We then had a superb ice cream and then went home on a 1930s steam train (great). All in all it was a splendid day out. The scenery was lovely and the volunteers were a delight. I would recommend the experience to rail buffs and everyone else. We even say the model for Thomas the Tank Engine...and learned a lot about the development of the railway network in this country

2  Thank SergeLourie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2014

The Bluebell Railway – this is not to be missed. I went to Sheffield Park station. I had not anticipated what a professional “preserved railway” this was. In fact it is not – it is a railway service to match any other. My first impression was that there is plenty of parking space especially for disabled. The building looks great and walking through into the actual; station, one gets the impression of times gone by. With a small “card” ticket duly punched at the gate, one enters the platform to find it clean, uncluttered and attended by well dressed and efficient staff in uniform. Questions answered and timetable in hand, I set off to examine the site. The Pullman train was in the station and the coaches gleamed as did the loco SR loco 1638. In fact all three operating locos were extremely clean and a great example of what can be done by a dedicated staff. “The Golden Arrow” set off with it’s Pullman coached and a “banker” 178 at the rear (this was heading the train on the return journey). Later the other train with its loco number 263, set off with the appropriate well preserved coaches. The bookshop is well stocked and there’s a pub there too – on the station. I could have spent all day here (£16.50 for a return 11 mile journey) but as I didn’t I shall have to come again.

Thank Dormouse39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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