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Ashford is widely regarded as County Kent’s main transport hub. The town is home to the Ashford International - a railway that links to Eurostar’s high-speed train network between European destinations and the UK. However, Ashford is also a great place to stop for a few days, as the town boasts numerous landmarks of interest, such as the Biddenden Vineyards, the Wye Rural Museum and plenty of local shopping outlets. The County of Kent is full of majestic surprises too, most of which are less than an hour’s drive from Ashford’s charming downtown area.
Who to Book With
Thrifty, Avis, Sixt and Enterprise are some of the major car suppliers found within Ashford’s bustling town centre. They are well known for their excellent rates, hospitable customer care and wide range of vehicles. However, there are several other local companies that readily provide vehicles for rent, including S&B Car Hire and Ashford Self Hire. Tourists should book online to find the best deals within Ashford.
Best time to go
Tourists are advised to visit Ashford between the months of June and September; rainfall is much lighter during these months and temperatures regular exceed 25°C, making for perfect sightseeing weather. The winter months can produce longer periods of rainfall, with shorter sunlight hours and riskier driving conditions.
Need to Know Essentials
Several essential documents are required when renting in Ashford:
- A UK or international driving license
- Another form of identification
- Online reservation confirmation sheet
- The credit card used for booking
Before the 1970s, Ashford’s central roadway experienced traffic congestion due to the high number of cars on the road. However, the A292 Ring Road was built several decades ago, reducing the amount of cars passing through Ashford. Traffic congestion is still evident during peak hour periods, but local conditions are relatively favourable now. Roads and streets are kept in good shape, and parking never seems to be an issue in the town. Several major car parks, some of which are three-stories high, are found next to the Ashford International train station.
Ashford is well-connected by several modes of public transportation, including buses and taxis. However, driving is often considered the best way to explore the city and its surrounding areas. However, tourists that are not comfortable driving do have other options. Even though the Ashford International Station is a major hub for the region’s rail network, there are no train connections operating within the town.
Tourists can hire taxis while holidaying in Ashford. There are several large and reputable private taxi hire firms residing within the town centre, including the likes of AFM-Cars, Arrow Taxis and Ashford Executive Taxis. These taxi services are generally inexpensive, and offer a range of vehicles for customers to choose from. Most of the companies are open 24-hours a day.
Most bus services, operated by Stagecoach, connect to many parts of Ashford and its surrounding villages. There are several lines running throughout the town, such as Line A through to Line E, and the 517. Tickets can be purchased online via the Stagecoach website or at the bus station. Tourists can also hire mini-coaches and mini-buses from several different companies, enabling large groups to explore the town on the cheap.
Ashford is one of the most conveniently-placed destinations in Kent. Whether you drive north, south, east or west, you will undoubtedly stumble across some tremendously beautiful cities and towns rich in history and breathtaking natural sites. A few of the bigger daytrip destinations include the impressive city of Canterbury and the coastal beauty of Dover, both of which are less than 20 miles from Ashford.
Dover - A historically important English city since the end of WWII, Dover lies less than 15 miles to the east of Ashford. Visitors can explore many important manmade and natural attractions around town, including the Battle of Britain Memorial, Dover Castle and the famous, whitewashed cliffs of Dover.
Canterbury - Standing in the eastern region of Kent, Canterbury is one of England’s most visited destinations. Car hire will enable visitors to see the grand sites around town in a day, but be ready for an exhaustive experience. Sites like Canterbury Cathedral and St Augustine’s Abbey are well preserved and awe-inspiring landmarks that demand plenty of time to explore.
Folkstone - One of the more understated towns in Kent. Visitors will be able to spend the day shopping on the High Street, checking out the local artists quarter, dining on deliciously fresh fish and chips or taking some time to view the massive and modern English Channel Tunnel. Folkestone lies at the terminus of the M20 motorway, so Ashford tourists can reach the town effortlessly.