Visiting one of England’s “best vineyards” just got even easier, as Balfour Winery – one of England’s largest and most visited vineyards – have launched a free shuttle bus service to bring tasters direct to their vines.
The move means that Londoners can be sipping award-winning wines, in a stunning countryside setting, in just 45 minutes from central London – without needing to take a car to complete the five-minute journey from Marden station to Balfour Winery.
Visitor numbers to English wineries have boomed over recent years, with UK wineries expecting a further 20% increase to visitor numbers over the next five years (according to WineGB) – as more and more of us discover the incredible wine region emerging on our doorstep.
Balfour Winery, which was established in 2002, alone sees over 15,000 visitors a year, and the number is continuing to rise as day trips and staycations from the capital become part of the UK’s annual tourist calendar.
As one of the founding members of Sustainable Wines of Great Britain, the winery is also keen to make visiting their estate a natural haven too. Alongside vineyards, Balfour boasts a host of wildflower meadows, ancient woodlands and fruit orchards too – and is making educating consumers about the benefits of a green approach part of their remit.
With trains running every 30 minutes from Charing Cross and London Bridge to England’s growing wine region in Kent, getting to a winery has never been easier (or greener).
Speaking after the move, Balfour’s Commercial Director, Sarah Easton, said: “We want as few barriers as possible for people to discover our beautiful winery. At a time we are all looking for greener ways to get away, we’ve made it as easy as possible to jump on a train and join us at Balfour, with the launch of this new free service. The boom in interest in English winery visits over recent years has been incredible to see. There’s a real realisation now that you don’t need to go abroad to savour the joy of visiting a vineyard.“