Trains you say? BEER you say? Yes please, I reply.

You may be forgiven for not realising that Tunbridge Wells has an annual festival celebrating brilliant beers and locomotive legacy, but the time is once again upon us to combine these two staples of West Kent, and celebrate the Annual Real Ale & Cider Festival at the Spa Valley Railway.

Diesel at Spa Valley Railway by Mike BartlettYes, for seven hoppy years now, the good people of West Kent CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale, if you were wondering) have been working hard to make the Spa Valley Railway’s Autumn Diesel Gala the must attend event for any beer lover’s calendar. So, remember this date good people – just draw a great big line from Friday 20th October to Sunday 22nd in your diaries and then write ‘Beer Festival, Spa Valley Railway’ underneath (or whatever you fancy, just make sure you don’t miss it).

Joking aside it’s a great chance to try some of the best beers from across the south-east, and ride through the stunning Kent/Sussex countryside on old-school trains. But wait, there’s more!

Spa Valley Railway, Tunbridge Wells West StationAs if the 130 plus beers at the atmospheric Victorian Engine Shed at Tunbridge Wells West Station wasn’t enough – there are beers on the trains and there are beers at every station on the line all the way to Eridge. That is 5 miles of beer. And if you come on Sunday, the good folks at Spa Valley Railway will take the experience up a notch (possibly even two notches) by bringing in a proper steam locomotive. It’ll be like going to wizard school, but with more beer (presumably).

To make each year better than the last, West Kent CAMRA has been working extra hard to bring you even more beers and ciders than ever before (in fact, Fuggles will be showcasing 20 keg beers at their own special craft beer bar), from even more amazing local producers. With this kind of variety, there’s going to be something for everybody’s tastebuds (so, no excuses).

Have you gone Green Hop?

Why not!? This is Kent! This event is your chance to see what everybody’s talking about and get a taste of a Green Hop beer, which is only available once a year, when hops are freshly harvested – so it is a rare treat.


When you get hungry, Fullers Butchers will be on hand grilling up a storm. Don’t fancy a BBQ? Well there’s also fish & chips, Thai food and heaps of snack options. When you get tired, The Black Dog Café has got your caffeine fix. And if you find yourself suddenly tapping your feet and swaying to music, don’t worry – it probably means the live music has begun (hopefully). All this, and admission is FREE – what more could you want?

Excited? Good, you should be. This is an event you’re not going to want to miss.

Full details are available at:

Or follow along with all the shenanigans on Twitter: @wkcamrasvrfest

I’ll see you there!

The Beer Cavalier