Beer Festival

Bluebell Railway Beer Festival

in association with the Sussex Branches of Camra


Watch this fantastic animated video made especially for the Bluebell Beer Festival by Max Davies. To watch more of Max’s superb videos, click the link here



Come to a beer festival with a difference at the Bluebell Railway! Imagine sipping a special Sussex brew in the industrial splendour of a locomotive running shed, listening to great bands, and watching steam trains puff up and down the line. Hop on that train and journey to other stations to tick another great beer or cider off your list.

The Beer

Once again, the Bluebell Railway’s Beer festival will be proudly supported by the Sussex Branches of CAMRA.

Choose from 90 different cask beers and enjoy a fine selection of cider and perry too! Beer aficionados will be pleased to hear that priority will be given to Sussex breweries, with an aim of offering each local brewery an opportunity of supplying one of their ales, likewise with cider and perry.

Our largest bar will be situated in the locomotive running shed at Sheffield Park Station alongside the main stage, but there will be ten special cask ales at the Horsted Keynes Station and likewise, ten different ones at East Grinstead Station. That’s a great start to your visit if you are coming from East Grinstead and a reason to steam through the countryside and visit the unique and rural location of Horsted Keynes Station. Regular shuttles will run between Sheffield Park Station and Horsted Keynes Station all day, as well as operating our full line service.

All beers will be individually priced and sold by pint, half pint and third pint – giving the festival goer plenty of flexibility. A simple beer token system will be in operation, with beer tokens available for sale from outlets across the railway.

Craft Beer Take-over in The Bessemer Arms!

Our pub-restaurant on Platform 1 at Sheffield Park will be open all weekend, serving a full bar of drinks, snacks, hot food and of course – craft beer!

A beer list will be supplied on the day so you can keep track of your favourites and find them!

“But I don’t drink beer and I want to come with my friends and enjoy great music, food and steam trains!”

Don’t worry – there’s nothing stopping you! Other refreshments will be available through our licensed outlets including wine, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages.

Our Main Bars at Sheffield Park Station will be open 12pm – 11pm Friday, 11am -11pm Saturday and 12pm – 5pm Sunday.

Food Montage- Beer Festival


Our catering outlets will be open and serving a range of hot and cold snacks. In addition, there will be mobile catering vans serving delicious offerings such as Pie and Mash from Simply Tasty, Twisted Pizza and much more. The majority of these offerings will be situated at Sheffield Park Station, but snacks and light bites will be available at other stations.

The Trains

A busy timetable of steam trains will be running throughout the days, including Friday and Saturday evening. The bar at Sheffield Park Station will close at 11pm and a service to East Grinstead will transport revellers homeward following that. Two earlier evening trains will ensure that people travelling from the North end of our line get a full evening at Sheffield Park Station and that visitors with London bound journeys via East Grinstead main line station are in time to catch the last train home again.

Timetables for train services over the weekend are now available and can be found here


The Music

We are pleased to announce a great line-up of music over the weekend, culminating in a splendid Sunday afternoon session with popular local band – The Blunter Brothers. Enjoy a funky, soul filled Sunday afternoon with great music, great beer and make the most of the end of the day discounts and take-aways! Take a look below and see what other music bands and acts we have in store for you throughout the festival!

Featured Artists:

Straw Dogs are a four-piece Irish and Folk band covering a range of well-known classics from the genres. Based in South London and surrounding areas, the band was originally formed over 12 years ago by Denys Mac Dermott. Since then they have been joined by Eddie Hurdman, Callum Mcmanus, and Kieran Blackmore.

Playing their own energetic mix of Irish/Folk favourites and toe-tapping Jigs and Reels, the band play frequently at the local pubs, weddings, theatres and festivals and have even played as far and as wide as Italy.

The Magpies are a 70s classic rock covers band who take pleasure in tackling the tricky songs that other bands don’t do. Get ready for some serious air guitar opportunities and make sure you bring your dancing shoes!

Kit Packham is a singer and saxophonist whose repertoire includes all kinds of jazz, vintage pop, rock’n’roll and blues. Not only does he swing but his own lyrics to jazz standards from the Great American Songbook will put a smile on your face – or even have you laughing out loud!

The Orange Sunshine are bringing you all the sounds of the 1960s, this local band takes you back to one of the greatest decades ever with their covers. A fitting addition to our music line up at this year’s festival!

Xperiment! Offer a fantastic mix ranging from Folk, Country, Blues, Rock, Swing/Jazz and much more! They are welcome addition to our music line up and we’re thrilled to see them return to this year’s beer festival!

The Sussex Harmonisers Club are an established society of a cappella male and female singers, featuring the Barbershop style. The two choruses they have are Sussex Kings of Harmony and Sussex A Cappella. Based in Burgess Hill, we are delighted to welcome them to the Beer Festival this year.

Jane and Leon are the founders and lead singers of locally-renowned band The 100 Monkeys. The duo perform a harmony-laden mix of stripped back versions of some of the band’s most popular numbers.

Souvenir Glasses

This year, there is an opportunity to purchase a souvenir glass which features our very special Bluebell Railway Beer Festival Logo and will be issued to you at the event upon presenting your itemised ticket. Any glasses not pre-sold will be available to purchase on the day. It is best to pre-order, as we have a limited stock and cannot guarantee on the day availability. You will be offered the chance to buy a glass during the ticket booking process.

Tickets – What’s Included?

We recommend the event and travel ticket as it allows access to all stations and travel on all trains. You can start and finish at any station, listen to the music at Sheffield Park and Horsted Keynes, travel to find your favourite pint and enjoy everything the railway has to offer!

If you are not interested in travelling on steam trains and would just like to come to the main bar and stage at Sheffield Park Station, then choose event only tickets. All Adult tickets (except Life member tickets) include your first pint free!

You could purchase tickets from the booking office on the day. Warning! Tickets are limited to ensure that platforms and trains are not overcrowded and that we don’t run out of beer. On the day prices are usually a few pounds more than advance tickets. Don’t delay, purchase today!

CAMRA Members enjoy our BRPS Members discount for this event, so choose those tickets during the booking process. Please have your membership ID with you when you present your tickets at the event.

This year we are offering child and family tickets for the event weekend. Children can enjoy all the things the railway usually has to offer, plus the music. We ask parents to behave responsibly and we remind young adults that they will be asked for ID at the bars if they look under 25 years of age.

How to Get Here

A regular bus service from Haywards Heath main line Station will be running to and from Sheffield Park Station on the Bluebell Railway Line. Haywards Heath Station has fast services from London Bridge, Victoria, East Croydon, Brighton and much more. Compass Bus will be running the special services and return tickets can be purchased on the bus. Adults are £6, Children £1 and Family (2+3) tickets at £12. The service will offer lots of flexibility for the visitor, with the last bus back going after our 11pm closing time.

A local villages bus will operate over the weekend to enable people from the area to use public transport to and from the event. They will be similarly priced.

The special service from Haywards Heath Station offers lots of flexibility over the weekend and will be a double decker.

If you are travelling from Lewes Station, the existing Compass Bus 121 timetable will be in place. Please note this is not a Bluebell Special Service and pricing will differ.

Bus passes are also not valid on these special services.

Please check the timetables carefully to plan your visit.

Confirmed bus timetables and routes can be found here.

Where to Stay

Why not make a weekend of it? There are lots of great B&B’s and campsites in our area. Ouse Meadow Campsite is right opposite Sheffield Park Station and Wowo Campsite is just a short walk away. Looking for something a bit statelier? Find links to some classy local accommodation here.

Our friends at Ashdown Radio will be live from the Beer Festival on Friday 23rd September. To listen in and find out more about Ashdown Radio, click on the photo of the logo above!