Ashford; Sunday, 19 June, 2022

Given the weather forecast for the morning I had a bit of a lie-in and a late breakfast before heading out of the hotel over to the bus stop arriving just ahead of the final hefty shower of the morning passed through, which I missed under the shelter at the bus station and then on the bus as it made itís way through rural Kent to the town of Tenterden.

The town was at one time an important player in the Wool trade, at a time before the Romney Marshes formed and you could still get sea going boats right up to the town centre. Today Tenterden is a long way inland, and a pretty fair distance from the River Rother whose channels it used to sit on. The town had another brief renaissance when the railways arrived at the start of the 20th century, but by the early 1950s the line was being run down and eventually closed (some time before the main cuts to the UK network that took place in the 1960s).

Of course, that wasnít the end of the story of the railway in the town as almost immediately a group was set up to preserve the line and reopen it, eventually, as a heritage railway with the first trains finally running on a short section in the 1970s.

Today the railway runs several miles down through the Kent and Sussex countryside to the town of Bodiam and thatís where I was headed. I hopped on the train, and we meandered through the countryside for nearly an hour before reaching our destination.

Bodiam is a very small village, but home to a very large and very well-preserved castle. If you think of a medieval castle Ė towers at each corner, walls with crenelations, set in a moat Ė youíve thought of Bodiam castle. Today the outer structure of the castle and moat are in almost perfect condition, and it really does look like the textbook example of a medieval castle. Inside itís a different matter as most of the inside structures have been lost, though you can still climb two of the towers for views over the moat and surrounding countryside.

I spent quite a bit of time looking round the castle before it was time to head back to the station to catch the train back up the line to Tenterden, where I hopped off to have a quick look round both the railwaysí museum and the Tenterden and District Museum.

I then had a wander around town to kill the hour or so I had left before my bus back to Ashford, where I had a quick pit stop for dinner in a restaurant in town before heading back to the hotel.


Heavy Showers Sunny Intervals
Hot (20-30C, 68-86F)