Hop Festival | HopFest
Family Fun at the Kent & East Sussex Railway's Hop Festival Weekend
7th & 8th September 2019
Bring your family and friends to a weekend of Hopping Fun at Bodiam Station in East Sussex on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th September. We will be running the railway’s heritage steam trains each day through the beautiful Wealden countryside between Tenterden and Bodiam stations with trains every 45 minutes.
Take a walk through the Hop Gardens and try your hand at picking hops before taking a peek inside a recreated Hoppers’ Hut. Children can also enjoy face painting, swing boat rides and games, Punch and Judy shows, balloon modelling and other activities. Live musicians and local dancing groups will be performing through the weekend. There will also be a selection of heritage vehicles on display and vintage stalls selling souvenirs.
The licensed ‘Hoppers Bar’ features a range of locally brewed real ales and the popular Hoppers Kitchen will be serving the very best in railway tea and scrummy homemade cakes! In addition to this the barbecue will have some local produce on offer including a delicious range of sausages.
The railway played an important part in hop picking at Bodiam as hops were grown along the Rother Valley and at the Guinness Hop Farms at Bodiam. Each year special trains were run to the Kent & East Sussex Railway from London to take the hop-pickers, invariably entire families from the East End of London, to Kent & East Sussex. The men, women and children would spend several weeks in the countryside each year, picking hops as their holiday. There was much drinking too