If there are two marvellous things about England that can be found nowhere else on Earth, they are pubs and tearooms. Both types of hostelry have their fans, but together they sum up so much about England that is special and unique.
Each drive in this book starts at a pub and ends at a tearoom. The drives have been designed so that you will be able to have a light lunch at the pub, then travel leisurely through the beautiful Kent countryside - stopping off at points along the way - and arrive at the teashop in time for a nice fresh cup of tea and a slice of cake around tea time. What more pleasant way could there be to spend an afternoon in Kent?
Of course, each drive could be completed back to front, taking morning coffee at the tearooms and finishing at the pub for lunch. And it is always possible that you might find the stopping off points so full of interest that you take longer than expected. I have tried to guess how long an average person might spend looking around a church, battlefield or beauty spot, but these are only my guesses. You should keep an eye on the time. If it is slipping away from you, try to head off for the teashop, or pub, and come back to enjoy the stopping point later.
These journeys are for you to enjoy, not to rush through. Each drive has been planned to take you through the finest scenery that links the various places to be visited. For the most part the routes will take you along lanes and B roads, though some A roads are included when these offer good views. Generally, take your time and do it your way.
This book contains detailed driving instructions for each route. However, it is as well to keep a road map to hand on your outings. Local councils are skilled at introducing sudden changes to road markings and signs. What has been a right turn for years may suddenly become a bend in the road to the right while what used to be the straight road continuing on has become a turning to the left. And mini roundabouts can be installed almost without notice.
Several of the teashops listed in this book are not open seven days a week during the winter. They are generally open at weekends year round, but if you are planning to complete one of these drives during the winter months, it would be wise to phone in advance. The pubs, by contrast, are generally open seven days a week all year round.
from Teashop and Pub Drives in Kent by Rupert Matthews
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