UK race circuits are often away from large cities, so public transport connections can be tricky. However if you want to get the train to Brands Hatch, it can be done. This article shows you how.
is there a direct train to Brands Hatch?
Getting the train to Brands Hatch is possible, however there is no train that goes directly to the circuit. The nearest stations listed in the next section are a short drive away from the circuit itself.
what is the nearest train station to Brands Hatch?
Swanley station is the nearest station to Brands Hatch that you should aim to get to if you are travelling to the circuit by public transport.
Swanley is the biggest of the nearby stations as it is an interchange between two different lines. It is likely to have the best onward travel connections of any of the local stations. Plus, on the Sundays of big race events at Brands Hatch, circuit management runs a dedicated public shuttle service from Swanley to the circuit. Read more on this below.
The nearest train station to the circuit geographically is Eynsford station. As the map below shows, Shoreham, Farningham Road, and Longfield are all fairly close as well. If you wanted to walk or bicycle the last part of the journey, Eynsford is closest but it would still be an hour walk or a 20 minute bike ride, both over very hilly terrain and neither for the faint (or weak) of heart!
getting the train to Brands Hatch from London
If you are coming from North, South, South-west or West of Brands Hatch via train, chances are your train will change in London.
Once in London, the easiest way to get the train to Brands Hatch is to aim for Swanley Station. London Victoria has direct trains that run to Swanley every 15 – 30 minutes, which take around half an hour.
The image below from Rome2Rio shows some of the train times available for Sunday 8th October, the morning of the BTCC finale at Brands Hatch.
If you are coming from east of the circuit, Maidstone / Canterbury etc, most of those trains will have a direct train to Swanley as well. So it is the best station to aim for.
Gatwick to Brands Hatch
To go from London Gatwick airport to Brands Hatch circuit via public transport the easiest option is to get the Gatwick Express to London Victoria which takes 30 minutes. Once there follow the instructions above to get a train from Victoria to Swanley station and then either a taxi or shuttle bus (see below) to the circuit.
If you are driving from Gatwick, it is only around 40 minutes to the circuit entrance via road.
how do I get from the train station to the circuit?
There are a few options on how you get yourself from Swanley station to the Brands Hatch circuit entrance.
The first is a taxi. At Swanley station there is a taxi rank directly outside the station. Turn left when you exit. If there are no taxis in the rank, Google Swanley taxis and you’ll get a number of local firms who you can call.
Alternatively, if there are no taxis in the rank then Uber does seem to operate in this area. The screenshot below shows a number of drivers in the vicinity and only a 7 minute wait to be collected.
If you want to take the public bus you need the number 429. This stops at Bus Stops A or C shown in the map below outside Swanley station and should go right to the circuit, but check with the driver when you get on. It only operates Monday – Saturday, however, so not a good option on a Sunday which is most racedays. And it’s less frequent on Saturdays, usually one comes every 90 minutes.
The final option only applicable to Sundays of a select few headline events at the circuit is the dedicated Brands Hatch shuttle bus. See more info on this below.
shuttle bus service
In 2022 Brands Hatch introduced a dedicated shuttle bus from Swanley station direct to the circuit. In 2023 this shuttle will be running again. This fills the gap left by the lack of public buses running on a Sunday.
The Brands Hatch shuttle bus only operates on the Sunday of the following major events in 2023:
- BTCC – both rounds (May and October)
- GT World Challenge (May)
- American Speedfest (June)
- BSB – both rounds (July and October)
- Truck Racing and Fireworks (November)
The Brands Hatch shuttle bus runs from 8am to 8pm every 30 minutes. Its collection point is on Azalea Drive directly opposite Swanley train station. It drops off / collects right outside the main entrance.
Return tickets cost £5 for over 13s. Under 13s travel for free. Brands Hatch recommends you buy your shuttle bus tickets in advance. To do this you need to select one of the events during which the shuttle bus is running on the Brands Hatch website. Then, click through to book your admission tickets. If you already have these, skip through to Stage 4 of the booking process and at the bottom of the page you can add your shuttle bus tickets for those over 13 years old.
See this link for more info on the shuttle bus service.
driving to the circuit
If you’ve given up on public transport and decided instead to drive to the circuit, check out our article on Brands Hatch parking info.