Let's Stay Kent provides you with all the information you need to make your journey to, from or around Kent as easy as possible.
With the Roman invasion, a road network was built to connect London to the Channel ports of Dover, Lympne and Richborough. The London–Dover road was Watling Street. These roads are now approximately the A2, B2068, A257, and the A28. The A2 runs through Dartford (A207), Gravesend, Rochester, Canterbury and Dover; the A20 through Eltham, Wrotham, Maidstone, Charing, Ashford. Hythe, Folkestone and Dover; the A21 through Bromley, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and on to Hastings in East Sussex. In the 1960s, two motorways were built: the M2 from Medway to Faversham, and the M20 from Swanley to Folkestone. Part of the M25 runs through Kent, from Westerham to the Kent and Essex tunnel at Dartford. The Dartford tunnel has been joined by the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, together providing four lanes in each direction. The M26 motorway, built in 1980, provides a short link between the M25 at Sevenoaks and the M20 near Wrotham.
The earliest locomotive-driven passenger-carrying railway in Britain was the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway which opened in 1830. This and the London and Greenwich Railway later merged into South Eastern Railways (SER). By the 1850s, SER's network had expanded to Ashford, Ramsgate, Canterbury, Tunbridge Wells, and the Medway towns. SER's major London termini were London Bridge, Charing Cross, and Cannon Street. Kent also had a second major railway, the London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LCDR). Originally the East Kent Railway in 1858, it linked the northeast Kent coast with London terminals at Victoria and Blackfriars.
The two companies merged in 1899, forming the South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR). In the aftermath of World War I, the government's Railways Act 1921 grouped railway companies together; the SECR joined neighbouring London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR) and London and South Western Railway (LSWR) to form the Southern Railway. Britain's railways were nationalised in 1948, forming British Rail. The railways were privatised in 1996 and most Kent passenger services were franchised to Connex South Eastern. Following financial difficulties, Connex lost the franchise and was replaced by Southeastern.
The Channel Tunnel was completed in 1994 and connects to London Waterloo by a high speed link via Ashford International. In late 2007, the London terminus will move from Waterloo to St Pancras, and a new station, Ebbsfleet International, will open between Dartford and Gravesend, serving northern Kent.
In addition to the mainline railways, there are several light, heritage, and industrial railways in Kent. There are three heritage, standard gauge railways: Spa Valley Railway near Tunbridge Wells on the old Tunbridge Wells West branch, East Kent Railway on the old East Kent coalfield area and the Kent and East Sussex Railway on the Weald around Tenterden. In addition there is the 15 inch gauge, tourist-oriented Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway on the southeast Kent coast along the Dungeness peninsular. Finally, there is the 2 ft 6 in, industrial Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway.
A limited number of charter flights are provided by Kent's London Biggin Hill Airport, Kent International Airport at Manston, and London Ashford Airport at Lydd. However, most passengers across the South East use the larger Heathrow, Gatwick, Stanstead and Luton airports.
Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015