Travel direct to the historic market town of East Grinstead in around 55 minutes from London Victoria with Southern.
Nestled away in the heart of south-east England is East Grinstead – an ancient market town and the capital of the historic High Weald area. A classic “best of British” heritage town, much of the area’s architecture has been perfectly preserved, with many buildings from the 15th and 16th centuries still standing, including several half-timbered townhouses.
With plenty of traditional local amenities surrounded by swathes of beautiful British countryside, there are countless things to do in East Grinstead during a weekend away. Less than an hour out of London via our regular services, you can switch city madness for culture and heritage as and when you please.
Getting to East Grinstead
East Grinstead days out shouldn’t consist of hours and hours of travel. Your journey should be as simple and stress free as it possibly can be, and that’s where we come in. Our direct services to East Grinstead run regularly from morning through night, heading out from various London stations and typically taking around an hour each way.
Getting to East Grinstead needn’t cost you an arm and a leg either - and there are plenty of ways to save money on your train fare with us. Travel at Off-Peak or Super Off-Peak times, for example, and your ticket will cost less. If you’re headed to East Grinstead for a family day out, up to four kids can travel with you for just £2. If you’re travelling with friends, GroupSave can save you up to a 1/3 on group bookings of 3-9 adults. If you’ve got a Railcard, you’ll already know you can save a chunk of money on each and every train fare with us.
Once you’re there, the station is just a short walk to the centre of town, where you can begin your stroll along the traditional high street, thought to date back around 800 years. Likewise, it’s a simple hop on the bus from the station to head out to the famous Ashdown Forest.
Things to do in East Grinstead
There’s no shortage of things to do in East Grinstead. Spanning rural walks through to medieval history, the area represents an awesome family day out that isn’t too far out of the city.
For fans young and old of Rev. W Awdry’s Thomas the Tank Engine, the magic starts as soon as you arrive at East Grinstead station. There, you can hop aboard a steam train and travel the Bluebell Railway, an idyllic heritage line from East Grinstead to Sheffield Park. The latter of the two stations is home to Stepney – a steam locomotive that featured in the original children’s TV series.
While the Isle of Sodor may not actually exist in real life, the 11-mile, 40-minute journey through some of the country’s most scenic landscapes will get you pretty close to Awdry’s vision. Once you’re at Sheffield Park, there’s the biggest collection of trains and rolling stock outside of the National Railway Museum to enjoy, with the oldest dating back to 1872.
If you’re in the mood for further beautiful views over the Sussex countryside, then don’t miss Ashdown Forest. A designated area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), it was originally a deer hunting forest in Norman times. It is, however, probably most famous for the being the setting and inspiration for AA Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh – and families can seek out the Hundred Acre Wood and Galleon’s Leap, both of which are immortalised in the books. You can reach the beautiful Ashdown Forest from East Grinstead, or from the nearby Southern station of Crowborough.
On the edge of the forest and set among 12 acres of gorgeous grounds sits Standen House. One of the town’s most popular attractions, the Grade I listed building is a feast for the eyes both inside and out, with its four-storey central tower and an interior designed by William Morris that’s been frozen in time since 1925.
Throughout the year, the house plays host to plenty of family-friendly activities such as adventure trails and treasure hunts, as well as exhibitions and hands-on workshops. There’s also a great café in an 18th-century barn with its own wood burner offering hearty homemade meals, making it an essential for East Grinstead days out.
Start planning your trip today by booking cheap travel with us. We make getting to East Grinstead inexpensive and easy so you can focus on enjoying everything this wonderful market town and the surrounding countryside has to offer.