A drive along the North Kent coast

Ken Ellis follows the Thames Estuary to discover this south eastern county’s pioneering heritage

Most readers will associate Kent with the Battle of Britain and that legacy is widely commemorated. Far less well known is the county’s role in the ‘golden age’ of British aviation: it was the venue of the inaugural flight by a British national, the birthplace of naval flying and home of the world’s first aircraft manufacturer.

With a unique workshop and absorbing museums in the itinerary, this is not a one-day excursion: Rochester/Chatham, Leysdown, Canterbury or Margate/ Ramsgate are suggested as possible ‘base camps’ – COVID-19 permitting. The outing has been structured west to east, but it could be tackled in any order, depending on your ‘launch pad’. 

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