Kent Travel & Transport

The transport system in the county of Kent offers visitors a number of ways to get around from public transport such as buses and trains to using the road with car hire, coaches and ferries.

Local bus services in Kent provide services to local areas and across the county, with a number of routes covering the City of Canterbury, Ashford, Faversham, Tonbridge, Tonbridge Wells, Dover, Folkestone, Tenterden, Margate, Ramsgate and Deal.

Details of local bus services and timetables can be found at Stagecoach and Arriva Bus

Trains in Kent serve a number of routes across the county and to other areas. There are several mainline rail routes offering local and regional services. Canterbury West Station has services to London St Pancreas and London Charing Cross with a journey time of approx 55 minutes from London St Pancreas and 1 hour 50 minutes from Charing Cross. Canterbury East station has services to London Victoria station with a journey time of approx 1 hour 35 minutes. There are local services to Faversham, Chatham and Rochester, Sittingbourne and Gillingham.

Ashford International station includes Eurostar services to and from London St Pancreas International station including Eurostar services from Paris and Brussels. There are also regular services to London Charing Cross, London Victoria, Brighton, Margate and Canterbury West.

Train services are provided by a number of train operators including South Eastern; Southern and Eurostar

Other railway stations in Kent include Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks, Chatham, Dartford, Maidstone, Gravesend, Ramsgate and Sittingbourne.

For more information please see National Rail Enquiries

Public Transport Safety Tips
Most journeys on public transport go ahead without incident, in order to minimise the chances of any incidents, passengers may wish to consider the following safety tips:

- Be aware of your belongings at all times.
- Do not leave your bags and belongings unattended at any time.
- Stay alert and aware of your environment and those around you.
- Do not show valuables including money and jewellery in public.
- If you are carrying a bag/handbag, ensure you use a bag that has a strong good quality strap and wear it across your shoulder (not on your shoulder), with the pockets closed facing towards your waist. Carrying the bag on your shoulder makes it much easier for criminals to snatch the bag or cut the strap.
- Be careful and cautious in crowds and beware of pickpockets, do not leave anything valuable showing in public including wallets in back trouser pockets.
- Sit in carriages with other passengers do not sit in carriages with no/fewer passengers.
- Try not to use smaller/isolated stations especially at night.
- When waiting for buses, trains, boats and taxis stand with other passengers in an area that is well lit, do not stand/wait in isolated areas.

There are a number of car hire firms in Kent that offer car rental services for both short and longer term car hire offering a range of vehicles from small budget cars to family cars to larger mini-buses and luxury cars.

Kent is connected to the road network via the M2, A2 and M20. London to Canterbury by car via the A20, M20 and M2 is a drive of approx 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on traffic. Other major roads around the county include the A26, A228, A229, A256 and A299.

Parking in Canterbury city centre includes a number of pay and display and pay on exit car parks. Major car parks in Canterbury city centre include Kingsmead, Station Road West, Toddlers Cove, Watling Street, Castle Row and Longport.

There are Park & Ride schemes in operation in Winchester at Sturry Road, New Dover road and Wincheap, where drivers can park in designated areas in the outskirts of the city centre and get a bus in to Canterbury city centre. For more information please see: Canterbury Park & Ride

Drivers should note there may be driving restrictions in and around the city and town centres. It is recommended visitors ensure they fully understand the local parking rules before parking and help avoid unnecessary fines and worry.

Eurotunnel offers motorists the chance to take their cars from Calais in France to Folkestone in Kent and vice versa. There are regular services with a journey time of 35 minutes operating several times an hour 365 days a year. Folkestone is located 30 minutes drive from Canterbury and with access to the M20 and A20 offers great access to the rest of the county. For more information please see: Eurotunnel

Kent’s location includes the ports of Dover and Ramsgate on the south English coast making it convenient to use ferries to get to the county. The large port of Dover has Dunkerque and Calais. There are a number of ferry operators including DFDS Seaways and P & O Ferries

The south coast ports of Dover and Folkestone can both be used to get to Kent from the European mainland, from Dover by car the route is via the M20, M25 and M3.

Kent is accessible by coach with regular coach services available to Kent from London Victoria coach station; the journey time from London to Canterbury is approx 1 hour 50 minutes depending on the service, time of day & traffic. There are also services from London to Dover, Whitstable, Margate, Ashford, Maidstone, Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells. Coach services are provided by National Express.

Whilst travelling by coach to Kent is usually more time consuming than using rail and road, it is usually more cost effective.

Kent Airport is located 15 miles from the city of Canterbury offering good access to the Kent region.

Gatwick Airport is located 65 miles from Canterbury with a journey of approx 1 hour 20 to 30 minutes by car. Gatwick has domestic, short haul and long haul flights to destinations worldwide.

For more information on public transport in Kent including information on public transport and timetables please see: Kent Transport from Kent County Council

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