About the South East Bus Festival


The annual South East Bus Festival takes place at Kent Showground, located alongside the A249 near Maidstone.

The event brings together a huge number of buses and coaches, old and new, from across the South East and beyond, and is organised by the same team that has brought you nine previous events. It all started back in 2011 with our 'M&D 100' event that celebrated the centenary of the formation of the Maidstone & District bus company.

In 2019 there were 154 buses and coaches on display, around forty of which gave free rides around the showground during the course of the day. More than half of those vehicles attending, 79, had not been to the previous eight events.

Special themes
The main theme of the 2020 event was to have been the 50th anniversary of the formation of London Country Bus Services, alongside the tenth anniversary of the South East Bus Festival. These themes featured in some of the activities that took place during the 'virtual' festival that we ran instead of the real event and will be incorporated in various activities in the 2021 festival.


Heritage Transport Show
The bus festival takes place as part of Kent Showground's Heritage Transport Show which usually attracts around 800 cars, commercials, tractors and motorbikes on display, ensuring a great day out for people with interests in all types of motor vehicles.

It offers a wide mix of attractions, including a frequent free bus service around the vast showground site, lots of sales-stands and displays of model buses inside the huge exhibition hall, talks by guest speakers and slide shows.

The event will be run in line with any Coronavirus regulations that may still be in place on 10th October and the rules will constantly be reviewed so that the event can run as safely as possible; some aspects may have to change at short notice as a result.


It is very much hoped, however, that the situation will be vastly improved by then and that the event will be run as close to normal as possible.

To find out more about what happens on the day please click the links below the photo at the top of this page.

The gates open to the public at 10am and the event closes at 4pm.

The showground is located on the A249 at Detling, near Maidstone, Kent.

Keep up to date with Facebook
To keep up to date with news about the South East Bus Festival, visit the event's Facebook page.

As well as postings giving lots of useful information, details of vehicle entries are published as they are received, so take a look at the page and 'like' it to receive updates on your wall.

You'll find it at @southeastbusfestival or click the Facebook icon at the top of this page.