Ashford; Saturday, 18 June, 2022

Needless to say with the first night of decent sleep for a couple of days because of the aircon I woke up feeling much more refreshed than I had done for several days. I had a quick breakfast in the hotel before heading out into town to have a wander around and see the sights that Ashford has to offer.

The town is quite old, with some buildings dating back to the middle-ages, but the main growth of the town was with the coming of the railways, and then further reconstruction following the Second World War, so in places its not the prettiest, but the area around the church of St Marys was perfect pleasant to wander around.

Next to the church, in the former boys grammar school is the Ashford Museum. This has a focus on two main themes for the town, The Railways the town was home to a Railway works for a number of years, and the War the town had a lot of men go to fight during both wars.

A short distance away from the museum is a relic of an earlier conflict. During the First World War the town donated generously to the war savings schemes to help finance the battle, and as a result in 1919 were gifted a Mark IV tank. Today its still proudly on display in the centre of town the only WWI tank on display outside of museum in the country.

I wandered back through town down towards the hotel and on the opposite side of the road (making me both the visitor who had travelled the longest and shortest distance to get to the tour) to the Curiosity Brewery for a tour and tasting session.

The tour of the brewery lasted about 45 minutes with the knowledgeable guide telling us all about the process and how the Brewery has adapted to make their brews that little bit different (using Champagne yeast makes quite a big difference). After the tour there was an opportunity to sample three of their beers and a cider.

Given how nice their product was I opted, after the tour, to head upstairs to their bar and restaurant for a late lunch accompanied by a pint of their very nice cider which given I dont normally touch the stuff says something about how good it is.

I had a little bit more of an explore through the town, but by now I had exhausted pretty much all of the sights of Ashford, so instead I hopped on a bus and headed out for a ride into the countryside, making use of the relatively reliable and frequent buses to explore some more of the rural parts of Kent down to the coast at Hythe than back up to Canterbury before returning back through the small villages along the Stour river back to Ashford including the weird sight of manually operated level crossings at the village of Wye where a worker has to physically move the gate into and out of place, blocking either the railway line or the road depending on where the gates were.

I could imagine this being the case with a heritage railway, but this is the mainline from London to Canterbury!

Back in Ashford I grabbed a light bite to eat from a supermarket before heading back to my hotel room.

Weather

Sunny Sunny Intervals
AM PM
Hot (20-30C, 68-86F)
24C/75F