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“Mixed Review For Plus And Minus”
Review of Bluebell Railway

Bluebell Railway
Ranked #1 of 17 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.
solihull
Level 6 Contributor
840 reviews
252 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 446 helpful votes
“Mixed Review For Plus And Minus”
Reviewed July 30, 2014

I (admit steam buff,no anorak) took my wife with me (Hooray) to the Bluebell Railway whilst travelling round Sussex/Kent/Surrey and had mixed feelings:
Car parking facility at Sheffield Park...Excellent.
Beautiful station building at Sheffield Park and varied stations on journey.
Tremendous Engine Shed at Sheffield Park and interesting and informative museum on platform 2(one of the best visited).
GWR Engine (Great..biased) for journey but was hoping a Southern on Bluebell.
Picturesque journey rather pleasant but repetitive (Spoilt by Severn Valley/West Somerset/North Yorkshire even short North Norfolk).

Staff very friendly and helpful except ..Here I come for what does annoy me...When asking for one adult and one senior return ,I am told adult only...Okay and then charged 2x £16.50,but once again like some other Heritage Railways... Why not offered the 3rd One Stop Return at £14.00 ? as like most journeys we stay on the train there and back. It appears this always seems to happen in the ticket offices by them to charge the most expensive ticket and leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

On a lighter note The Sheffield Park and Garden (National Trust) is also worth a visit close next to the Railway (Keep the Wife happy)

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank busterSolihull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bluebell_Railway, Manager at Bluebell Railway, responded to this review, August 3, 2014
Thank you for your comments, busterSolihull, and for your recent visit to the Bluebell Railway.

We're pleased to hear that you enjoyed your day at the Bluebell. We can't ever guarantee a particular engine will be in steam - we like to give all our fleet a turn, and for operation reasons some may not be available. Details of what we intend to run are available online at http://www.bluebell-railway.co.uk/bluebell/loco_roster.html, so do come back when we're planning on running a Southern loco!

The Sussex countryside doesn't have quite the drama of some of the other steam railways, but we fully agree that it's very pleasant. The view from the viaduct looking over the Ashdown Forest is very popular with many of our visitors.

We don't offer discounted tickets for senior citizens, but we constantly monitor customer feedback, so would like to thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.

With best wishes from all at the Bluebell Railway.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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West Cornwall
Level 5 Contributor
72 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Enjoyment for all ages and 2 species”
Reviewed July 30, 2014

Solo visit whilst my partner was working. Cost about £20 for our 2 dogs and I and we all 3 thoroughly enjoyed our return trip from Sheffield Pk to East Grinstead. Horsted Keynes looked worth a visit and I regret not having considered a stopover on the journey. However, I appreciated being able to visit the engine sheds at Sheffield before the trip and was impressed by what these enthusiasts achieve behind the scenes in addition to providing a great day out and experience. An entire carriage was wheelchair friendly, this and the punctual weekend services contrast with what we now see on mainline trains. Our fellow travelers of all ages were clearly having a good time as well, this trip through the mid Sussex countryside was enhanced by how nice and friendly staff encouraged visitors to relax, enjoy, and share their good humor. Sheffield Gift shop prices are as might be expected, however as with the day generally there is literally something for everyone from a casual visitor to enthusiast. Good value overall and thank you to the people who give us all a great day out..

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Steve J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crowthorne, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great day out for all the family”
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.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank hannah l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Good day out”
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).

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
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 review, 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.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“.......and the Bessemer Arms food.”
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.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank Rod P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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