June 12, 2015 at 10:57 AM
The counties of Kent, Sussex and Surrey surround England’s capital, and they were traditionally the favoured summer destinations of London’s population.
These days, ease of travel makes this south-eastern corner of the country the ideal area in which to take a driving holiday – wherever you live.
Whether you like to take breaks as an individual or couple, or with friends, children or pets, a road trip provides enormous flexibility whilst enabling you to visit a variety of places.
Preparing for the Adventure – Choosing a Vehicle
The first thing to do when planning a road trip is to ensure you have the most suitable vehicle for the journey. If you’re travelling with kids, an estate car might offer the extra space needed for optimum comfort. For groups of friends, a people carrier could provide the best in flexible seating arrangements. When your holiday’s going to involve the pet dogs or plenty of outdoor activities, a robust 4x4 may be the ideal solution.
Whatever your party’s requirements, browse quality used cars to find your ultimate road trip vehicle. Visit a reputable dealer like family-run Westwood Car and Commercial, in Hartley, Kent, close to the Bluewater shopping centre. At Westwood, you can expect a great service and they can even advise you on places to visit during your holiday.
Drawing up an Itinerary
One of the many advantages of a driving holiday is that there doesn’t have to be a strict itinerary. If your party is particularly fond of one location, you can stay longer, passing through others as desired. Draw up a rough route to follow and make a note of places of interest each of you would like to visit. Here is the itinerary of ours.
London to Canterbury, Kent
The capital is a great place to start your driving holiday, and is especially convenient if the party is converging from different places. You could spend a night in the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel, overlooking Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye. Then head towards the historic cathedral city of Canterbury.
Stop off at Rochester to visit the imposing castle, and Chatham to view its impressive naval buildings.
For a dramatic contrast to the hustle and bustle of London, once in Canterbury, stay at the family-friendly Abbots Barton Hotel, set in beautiful lawned gardens with views of the cathedral.
Canterbury to Brighton, Sussex
From Canterbury, make your way to Dover and follow the coast west towards Brighton. There are many fantastic places to stop or stay en route, including the medieval town of Rye. This ancient town is bursting with character and charm.
If passing through, simply amble through the delightful cobbled streets and marvel at the crooked cottages. If you decide to stay, check into the family-owned Hope Anchor Hotel where you can choose from rooms, apartments and even a fisherman’s cottage. The accommodation offers splendid views over the quayside and Camber Castle.
Continue along the south coast, stopping at the old fishing port of Hastings and the seaside resort of Eastbourne before reaching Brighton. This endearing town has something for everyone, from its attractive beach to its exuberant nightlife.
Brighton to Dorking, Surrey
After all that sea air, it’s time to head back inland towards the market town of Dorking. This is a great base to explore Surrey, which has attractions including the Polesden Lacey estate and Box Hill. The latter lies along the North Downs, a ridge of chalk hills that run from Farnham, to the west of Dorking, all the way to Dover. Box Hill is situated within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, an expanse of countryside that covers a quarter of the county. Stay at the recently refurbished Mercure Box Hill Burford Bridge Hotel, or at the luxury Wotton House Hotel.
Whatever route you choose for your southeast England driving holiday, be sure to pack for a wide range of activities and weather conditions. After all, you could be strolling around an ancient town one day, soaking up some sun on an idyllic beach the next, and hiking through the countryside another. Remember to pop into Westwood to browse a great range of second hand cars to select your perfect road trip vehicle – and for tips on what to visit. Then all you need to do is gather your party, grab the satnav and begin the adventure!