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 ten 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 2022 there were 136 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, 74, had not been to the previous ten events.

You can see an album on our Facebook page containing 270 photos taken at the 2022 event by clicking here.

Special themes
Each year the South East Bus Festival takes an appropriate anniversary or anniversaries as a theme that is reflected in some of the event activities.

For 2022 the main theme will be the fiftieth anniversary of the Leyland National bus which went into production in 1972 and was to become the standard single-decker of most National Bus Company subsidiaries, as well as being bought new by many other operators before appearing with many smaller companies when they became available on the second-hand market from the mid-1980s.

2022 also sees the fiftieth anniversary of the introduction of the National Bus Company's corporate identity which replaced many traditional liveries, such as those of East Kent, Maidstone & District, Southdown, Eastern National and others across England and Wales.
Heritage Transport Show
The bus festival takes place as part of Kent Showground's Heritage Transport Show which usually attracts around 700 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.

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.