Visit by Train

Aylesford is a large village on the River Medway. The old village can be accessed on foot via a 14th century five-arched bridge and is about 10 minutes walk from the station. There has been settlement here since Neolithic times, as evidenced by the long barrows at Aylesford Priory, (The Friars,) an ancient religious house of the Order of Carmelites dating back to the 13th Century.

 

The village has restaurants and pubs along the riverside. There are three community walks as well as access along the Medway Valley Walk.

Live rail departure information can be found here

Station information is available here

Details of local walks are here

 

Details about Aylesford Priory are here
www.thefriars.org.uk

 

 

 

There has been a station at Beltring since 1909 and was originally known as Beltring and Banbridges halt.

Less than a mile from the station is the Hop Farm Country Park which is a venue for weddings and events and has a family park,  including  many children’s activities. However,  it is recommended that to visit the hop farm that you travel on to Paddock Wood and either take a taxi or a number 6 Arriva bus to the access the Hop Farm safely as the road from Beltring station is very busy and does not have a safe crossing point..

Featuring the world’s largest collection of Victorian oast houses, Beltring was  a major supplier of hops to London breweries in the 19th and 20th centuries. Families across the South East and beyond used to spend the summer holidays working in the rolling countryside around the Hop Farm, harvesting hops and preparing them to be transported. 

The hop packets were delivered to the train station using the strength of the famous Shire horses. Visit The Hop Farm and you can learn more about its history and even meet the Shire horses in the stables.

Less than two miles walk along country lanes,  is the hamlet of Laddingford and here there is a 15th century inn,  The Chequers, which also has accommodation.

Live rail departure information can be found here

Station information can be found here 

 

 

 

Cuxton lies on the western slopes of the Medway Valley around two miles from Rochester. Archaeological evidence suggests was occupied around 200,000 years ago. The North Downs Way, between Dover,  Canterbury and Winchester runs to the north of the village and is extensively used by walkers.

 

Less than a mile from the station is Ranscombe Farm, a nature reserve and  an ideal place for picnics and getting involved with  conservation projects. The area falls in the Kent Downs Area
of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

 

 

The station is around 2 miles from the Medway Valley Leisure Park,  where there is a cinema and bowling, together with various restaurants. There is also a pub,  The White Hart within 5 minutes walk from the station.

Live rail departure information can be found here

Station information can be found here

Details of a local walk can be found here

www.kentdowns.org.uk/uploads/documents/Cuxton_leaflet_LR.pdf

 

 

 

East Farleigh is a village around 2 miles from Maidstone and the station is alongside the river,  the locks and a 14th century, grade 1 listed bridge across the river. Another listed building in the village is the 12th century St Mary’s church which is a short walk from the station.

The area around the riverside and locks is accessible via the riverside path and there is a pub, The Victory, adjacent to the station,  along with another, The Bull,  in walking distance opposite the church. An accessible path runs along the riverside to Maidstone,  

Live rail departure information can be found here

Station information can be found here  

 

Halling is a mid sized village in a gap in the North Downs, along side the river. The village is a short walk from the station and is the station is the closest to the new Peter’s village development.

“Halling Man” a Neolithic skeleton discovered in 1912 behind the present railway station and you can also find the ruins of a  Bishops Palace and there are also a number of old World War II defences situated along the riverside. There is also evidence of the former ferry crossing behind the church to the other side of the Medway. 

Live rail departure information can be found here

Station information is available here

Kemsley is a suburb of Sittingbourne and as well as having a railway station on the line to the Isle of Sheppey has the last station on the Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway, which was previously a line used for the mill.

The suburb developed when the owner of the local paper mill built houses for his employees in the 1920s. At Kemsley Down Station on the light railway, you can discover the award-winning gardens, picnic area, railway shop, café and museum where you can learn about the history of the railway.

Live rail departure information can be found here

Station information can be found here 

 

Maidstone is the county town of Kent. The River Medway runs through the centre of the town, linking it with Rochester and the Thames Estuary. Historically, the river was  a source and route for much of the town’s trade as the centre of the agricultural county of Kent, known as the Garden of England. There is evidence of a settlement in the area dating back to before the Stone Age.Maidstone is one of the premier shopping areas in Kent and has many large shops as well as some small boutique shops. The Library and History centre is the central library for Kent. There are parks and open spaces within walking distance of the town and a riverside walking and cycling route.

Maidstone has two rail stations on the Medway Valley Line, Maidstone West and Maidstone Barracks.

 

 

Maidstone West is adjacent to Maidstone Market and the Lockmeadow leisure complex and several do it yourself outlets and is around 10 minutes walk from the main shopping areas and other main facilities such as the Crown, County and Magistrates courts, hotels and resturants. Bus links are found immediately outside the station.

 

 

 

Maidstone Barracks is around a ten minute walk from Maidstone East station, County Hall and the shops and restaurants on the north of the town.

 

Live rail departure information can be found here

Maidstone Barracks

Maidstone West

Station information can be found here

Maidstone Barracks 

Maidstone West 

More information about Maidstone can be found here

www.visitmaidstone.com

 

 

New Hythe is a village around 5 miles from Maidstone and is the closest station to the area of Larkfield. The station serves an industrial area and is also within walking distance of Leybourne Lakes Country Park which is home to a range of leisure activities including walking, cycling, fishing, windsurfing, scuba diving and bird watching.

Live rail departure information can be found here

Station information can be found here

 

 

The South Eastern Railway opened a line from Redhill in 1842 and a station named Maidstone Road was built in a rural location to serve Maidstone, 8 miles (13 km) to the north. The village of Paddock Wood developed quickly around the station, which took the name Paddock Wood in 1844 when the branch line to Maidstone West was opened. The station is situated in the town centre.

The area has a long history in the hop and fruit growing industries.Hop pickers used to come on their annual summer ‘holiday’ to this area and spent the summer in the surrounding fields. Today, Paddock Wood continues to be a hub for the country’s hop growing industry and vegetable and fruit distribution.It supplies large national supermarkets, small real ale and cider makers as well as Europe.

Paddock Wood Railway station appears in the novel Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens where, in chapter 55, the character of Mr Carker accidentally falls under a train at the station and is killed.

Live rail departure information can be found here

Station information is available here

More information about Paddock Wood can be found here

www.visittunbridgewells.com/explore/towns-and-villages/paddock-woode

 

 

 

Queenborough dates back to Saxon times when it was known as Cyningburh, “King’s Borough”. It was renamed in the 14th century by King Edward III, after his queen.  During this period, Queenborough, was an important town for the export of wool, a significant crown revenue. Queenborough Harbour offers moorings between the Thames and Medway. It is possible to land at Queenborough on any tide and there are boat builders and chandlers in the marina. Admiral Lord Nelson, is reputed to have learned many of his seafaring skills in these waters, and also shared a house near the small harbour with his mistress, Lady Hamilton. Grab a moment at one of the pubs or sample a cooked breakfast or afternoon tea and cake at Castle Connections, a Community Art Centre and Café built on site of the old Queenborough Castle.

Live rail departure information can be found here

Station information can be found here

More information can be found here www.visitsheppey.com/discover-sheppey/queensborough

 

 

 

Sheerness-on-sea is a large town on the north west coast of the Isle of Sheppey. The rail station is in the centre of the town. There is a working port here, one of the UK’s highest car and fresh produce importers, and has a predominately shingle beach. It has been a popular seaside destination since the 19th century. The port was previously used by the Royal Navy until 1960.

There is a market on a Tuesday and Saturday with a wide range of stalls. The town centre is home to the largest freestanding cast iron clock tower in Kent. It is 36 feet (11 m) tall and was built in 1902 at a cost of around £360 to commemorate the coronation of King Edward VII. 

There is a golf club and various  holiday parks in the area and is popular for weekend breaks,  many people owning their own holiday home.

Take your bike on the train and follow the Sheerness Way

Live rail departure information can be found here

Station information can be found here

More information can be found about Sheerness here

www.visit-swale.co.uk

 

 

 

Sittingbourne is a large town with many retails outlets and places of interest.  The station is in the town centre.It is the only town in the UK twinned with Ypres in Belgium,  which is famous for battles in the First World War and the Menin Gate Memorial and war graves. In the war,  Sittingbourne was used by German aircraft as a reference point on the way towards London. In modern times,  there has been a lot of development around the town, which has a Heritage Museum and the Sittingbourne and Kemsley light railway. The town has a market on a Friday outside the Forum Shopping Centre. 

A new attraction in Sittingbourne is the Cat Trail,  a free, family friendly, self-guided walk along ‘Watling Street’, an important Roman road, which runs through the historic heart of Sittingbourne.

Live rail departure information can be found here

Station information can be found here

More information about Sittingbourne can be found here

www.visit-swale.co.uk/come-and-explore/sittingbourne

 

Snodland is a small town and there is evidence that there has been a settlement at this location  since Roman times. It was an important crossing point over the Medway for Pilgrims heading to Canterbury. The parish church is a Grade: 1 listed building, dedicated to All Saints. The Normans built it in the 12th century with additions and extensions in the following three centuries, the most prominent being the addition of the tower in the 15th century. The station building has recently been refurbished with new access for buses and improved parking as the station is now served by High Speed 1 at peak times.

 

Live rail departure information can be found here

Station information can be found here  

Details of local walks can be found here

 

 

Strood is where the Medway Valley line meets the North Kent line and High Speed 1 and is just across the river Medway from Rochester. Strood lies on the edge of marshy land alongside the River Medway. The chalk hills of the North Downs have been breached at this point, forming a river cliff rising to 100 ft directly behind. Stroll across Rochester Bridge and visit the historic High Street with it’s many restaurants and unique shops, Rochester Castle and the Cathedral. Or take a stroll to Upnor Castle

 

Strood station is a short distance from National Cycle Route 1, so is ideal for starting a cycle ride around Medway. The town has many retail outlets, both in the town and in a nearby retail park.

Live rail departure information can be found here

Station information can be found here

A local walk can be found here

Tourist information for Rochestercan be found here

www.visitmedway.org

 


Swale station is situated at the end of the Kingsferry bridge,  on the mainland side of the Swale,  the piece of water separating the Isle of Sheppey from the rest of Kent. The area is mainly industrial but is the nearest station to Iwade,  just over a mile away.

 

It is directly beneath the A249 Sheppey crossing. Shell Beach is accessible via RSPB marshland site from Swale station on the Sheppey side of the bridge and is a lovely place to explore..

Live rail departure information can be found here

Station information can be found here

Where the Medway Valley Line ends and joins with mainland services to London,  Tunbridge Wells and Hastings, Tonbridge, has been a market town since the Middle Ages and lays beside the River Medway, The rail station is right at the bottom of the High Street and a short walk form the 11th century Tonbridge Castle. This is Kent’s best example of a motte-and-bailey gatehouse, where audio tours and interactive exhibits bring history to life.   From the castle you can take the cycle route 5 miles west through tranquil woodland and countryside to Penshurst Place, a fortified manor house that’s rich with medieval and Tudor charm. You can also visit the village of Penshurst. .

You can take a river trip or grab a bite to eat in one of the quaint cafes, or you can catch a bus outside the station or walk just over a mile to Haysden Country Park. the park includes a range of habitats such as river, grassland, freshwater lakes, marshland and woodland. The site is designated as a Local Nature Reserve and in part a Site of Nature Conservation Interest. It has also been a Green Flag Award wining park since 2006 and is a Natural England accredited park.

Live rail departure information can be found here

Station Information can be found here 


Wateringbury is a village around 5 miles south west of Maidstone and has a lovely marina close to the station where you can hire a canoe for the day. There is a pub across the road and shops, a tea room and the church and a hotel with a restaurant are all within 5 -10 minutes walk.

Wateringbury dates bake to anglo saxon times and the Parish Church f St John The Baptist has some parts dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries. The village is in an AONB and has several walks and is close to Teston Country park which is accessible via the Medway Valley riverside walk.

Live rail departure information can be found here

Station information can be found here

Canoe Hire

http://www.rivermedwaycanoes.com/

 

Yalding is a village 6 miles south of Maidstone and is sited on the convergence of three rivers, the Medway, Teise and Beult and is around I mile from the station. The village can be reached via a pleasant riverside walk that passes Yalding Lock, Yalding Village Cafe and Yalding Weir. At the weir can be found the Island cafe and gift shop and Teapot Island, which has over 7600 teapots on display in our exhibition that is open to the public for a small charge. They have over 4000 teapots for sale and also small mementos.

Town bridge, the main crossing point within the current village over the river Beult is a stone bridge about 450 ft long and was constructed in the 1400’s probably on thesite of an old wooden structure. This bridge is the longest surviving medieval bridge in Kent, and is very attractive.

The church has an unusual spire, and the area around the church is worth visiting, with the old Town Bridge and its long and narrow stone span providing a picturesque walk over the river. .

Yalding was a favourite of Edith Nesbit, author of The Railway Children, who wrote in the 1920s: “The Medway just above the Anchor (at Yalding, Kent) is a river of drama”

Live rail departure information can be found here

Station information can be found here

There are signposted walks from the village and the details can be found here

http://explorekent.org/activities/greensand-way/

http://explorekent.org/activities/medway-valley-walk/

Yalding also has it’s own annual music festival.

http://vicarspicnic.co.uk/