Elham Valley Railway Museum
& Countryside Centre
Kent CT18 8BA
Take a step back to rural Britain in the 1930s by visiting Elham Valley Railway Museum near Folkestone in south-east England. In stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of the 21st century Channel Tunnel Terminus a few miles away, the pace of the museum is leisurely.
There are lovely old buildings, a signal box where you can try your hand at changing the signals and points, a steam engine to investigate, and two superb working model railways.
Accommodation - Search & Book through Expedia here: External Link
Superb Model Railways
The two models are ‘N’ gauge and one shows the South Eastern & Chatham line in 1930. It gives a bird’s eye view of the route complete with stations, sidings, level crossings... nothing is missed. Such is the detail; there is even ballast between the rails!
The other is a working scale model of the 3 km x 1 km Channel Tunnel Terminus. The design of the track has been simplified for reliability of operation and a turning loop has been added at each end of the track where the international freight and passenger trains are stored; otherwise it is an accurate model of the terminal and surrounding area.
There is oodles of interesting railway memorabilia unique to the line, ducks and doves strut around the lovely gardens, and there is a tearoom where ‘good old fashioned’ music murmurs in the background.
The Museum is built in the style of a South Eastern Clapperboard station and platform. The 1930 advertisements are original, as are the level crossing gates and the restored 1924 Roader Shed from Lyminge station.
Over 10 years ago when properties were being resumed for the Terminal, the Museum was able to acquire the 280 year old barn that stood on Danton’s Farm. It was rescued and has been reconstructed at the Museum as the Countryside Visitors Centre.
The South Eastern and Chatham Railway Company started building the line in 1884. The beautiful country the line ran through earned it the nickname of the Elham Valley line but even its beauty could not save it from closure in 1947. The rails were ripped up in 1953 and many of the lovely old buildings torn down.
The track bed is still in evidence over a large majority of its length, and two of the original stations still stand. The one at Lyminge is now a library, while the former Bishopsbourne station is now a private house.
If you can remember an era when country railwaymen had time to embellish their stations with delightful gardens and the guard wore a rose in his uniform buttonhole, then you will love Elham Valley Railway Museum.
Plan Your Visit
Accommodation - Search & Book through Tripadvisor here: External Link
Open & Admission Costs
We suggest that visitors go to the Museum website (link below) for current opening times and Admission Costs. The entry ticket gives visitors entry to both the Countryside Centre and the Railway Museum.
Tearoom serving tea, coffee, soft drinks and ice creams.
Contact & Further Information
+44 (0)1303 273 690
Elham Valley Railway Museum & Countryside Centre External Link
- By Car The Museum is just off the A20 at Folkestone. Leave the M20 motorway at Junction 12 just after the signs for the Eurotunnel. Turn off the A20 for Newington and Peene. Drive through Newington village for about half a mile (800 metres). The Museum is on the right.
Google Maps - Elham Valley Railway Museum