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 Next South East Bus Festival: Saturday 5th April 2025 

About the South East Bus Festival

The annual South East Bus Festival takes place at Kent Showground, 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 eleven 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.

At our 2024 event there were 108 buses and coaches on display, around thirty of which gave free rides around the showground during the course of the day. Half of those vehicles attending, 54, had not been to the previous ten events.

You can see an album on our Facebook page containing 180 photos taken at the 2024 event by clicking here.

Wet weather plan - the show will go on!
With significant wet weather in the weeks leading up to the event, a wet weather plan will allow the event to go ahead but some arrangements will be slightly different to normal.


As the grass areas of the showground are too soft to take the weight of full-sized buses and coaches, they will be parked on areas of hardstanding and sections of roadway around the showground. In turn, some of the cars and commercial vehicles in the Heritage Transport Show displays will be relocated onto the main grass area normally occupied by the buses.


However, the reduced amount of space available for parking the buses means that no more entries can be accepted but we will do our very best to keep open the main roadways used for the free bus rides around the site so that that popular activity can still go ahead.

In addition, the public car parking area will be relocated to the field alongside the A249 where the ground is much firmer than in the usual area behind the showground. Consequently, pedestrian entry from the car park into the showground will be through the main entrance (Gate 1) rather than through Gate 4 at the back of the site.

Heritage Transport Show
The bus festival takes place as part of Kent Showground's Heritage Transport Show which already has entries from  760 cars, commercials, tractors and motorbikes, 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.

To find out more about what happens on the day please click the links below the photo at the top of this page or the square menu button if viewing on a mobile device.

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, between Junction 7 of the M20 and Junction 5 of the M2.

Keep up to date with Facebook
You can keep up to date with news about the South East Bus Festival, by visiting 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.

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