Travel from the coastline to the countryside on the Swale Line.
The picturesque Swale Line passes through a mix of residential, industrial and salt marsh landscapes before reaching the historic town of Queenborough, once site of a royal castle and ferry services to Holland. The line terminates at Sheerness-on-Sea, once a naval dockyard and now home to a busy commercial port. Sheerness has also been a favourite destination for holidaymakers from London who could easily reach the Isle of Sheppey by train.
Explore Shell Beach, accessible through RSPB marshland near Swale Station
Visit Sheerness, a blue flag beach with lovely promenade and lots of places to enjoy a picnic
Stay a while in Sittingbourne. The station is right in the heart of the town where you can shop and eat and explore the market on a Friday
Find out more
Join at Sittingbourne by car, there is parking at the station and in the town centre. However, this is a commuter station so parking is at a premium.
Trains from London Victoria, St Pancras International and Stratford International serve Sittingbourne from London. From the Medway Valley Line, you change at Strood and from East Kent, there is a service to Sittingbourne from Faversham ,Ramsgate and Margate. Look up times.
The nearest bus stop to Sittingbourne directly outside, but many servicers stop across the road in St Michaels Road or in the High Street. Details can be found on www.traveline.info.
To join at Sheerness there is a bus stop opposite the rail station with services from Rushenden, Leysdown, Minster, Iwade and Queenborough.
At Queenborough, the bus stop is adjacent to the station and services are to Rushenden, Minster and Leysdown.
Time from London
Plan your trip
Take the train from London St Pancras to Sittingbourne. Trains are regular and take approximately 1 hour. Look up times.
Sittingbourne and Kemsley are both famous for the paper production and while the mill at Sittingbourne has recently closed, that at Kemsley continues to flourish.
Close to Sittingbourne station is the Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway, a preserved 2ft 6″ steam railway that used to connect the mills at the two communities to Ridham Dock on the Swale Estuary.
Queenborough dates back to Saxon times when it was known as Cyningburh, “King’s Borough”. It was renamed in the 14th century by King Edward III, after his queen. During this period, Queenborough, was an important town for the export of wool, a significant crown revenue.
Queenborough Harbour offers moorings between the Thames and Medway. It is possible to land at Queenborough on any tide and there are boat builders and chandlers in the marina. Admiral Lord Nelson, is reputed to have learned many of his seafaring skills in these waters, and also shared a house near the small harbour with his mistress, Lady Hamilton.
You can grab a moment at one of the pubs or sample a cooked breakfast or afternoon tea and cake at Castle Connections, a Community Art Centre and Café built on site of the old Queenborough Castle.
Sheerness-on-sea is a large town on the north west coast of the Isle of Sheppey. The rail station is in the centre of the town.
There is a working port here, one of the UK’s highest car and fresh produce importers, and has a predominately shingle beach. It has been a popular seaside destination since the 19th century. The port was previously used by the Royal Navy until 1960.
There is a golf club and various holiday parks in the area and is popular for weekend breaks, many people owning their own holiday home.
You can take your bike on the train and follow the Sheerness Way and there is bus access to Minster, where you can visit the abbey, Leysdown and Queenborough from Sheerness.
Elmley National Nature Reserve is 3 miles from Swale Station (about 1 hour walk) and is is home to large numbers of wintering wildfowl and breeding waders.