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Day 1 - 13 April 2013

Day 1 - Saturday 13 April 2013

Route: Driving from Home in Kenley to Dartford and then all along the coast to Brighton in a clockwise direction to Dover.

Departure Time from Home: 07:36

Arrival Time at Dover :  16:20

CMi: 118mi

NCMi: 29mi

TMi: 147mi

TiS: 5h30min


Maps and Photos at the bottom of the page

The journey begins, ready to depart (Photo 0001) on the first Stage of the adventure as outlined in the map of South East England below.

Places visited


Having breakfast at a fuel station in Dartford (Photo 0030). Dartford is situated in the northwest corner of Kent, England, 16 miles east south-east of central London.

The town centre is situated in a valley through which the River Darent flows, and where the old road from London to Dover  crossed; hence the name, from Darent + ford.  Mainly industrial area (brewing of beer, iron making, pharmaceutical and gunpowder factory). The Mazda motor manufacturer has its UK head office at the large Thames-side Crossways Business Park. The Queen Elizabeth 2 toll bridge opened in 1991 and it is well known as the main mode for crossing the river Thames to  the east of London.

Dartford Crossing (Photo 002) is where the Coastal Milage begins... This is also where the adventure will in somewhere in July 2013 if all goes according to plan.



Gravesend is a town in northwest Kent, England, on the south bank of the Thames. It is a busy commercial town with several shops and markets. There are still those employed on the river as crews on the tugboats.

Gravesend clock tower, Harmer Street (Photo 0031)

The town’s clock tower was built at the top of Harmer street. The foundation stone was laid on 6 September 1887. The memorial stone states that the clock tower was erected by public subscription and it was dedicated to Queen Victoria, to commemorate the 50th year of her long reign.

Pocahontas (1595-1617) (Photo 0032), the daughter of  a Native American chief, was to become the first such American to visit England. After marrying a colonist in America, John Rolfe, she later sailed with him to England, with heire two year old son, Thomas, where she was received at the court in London by Queen Anne . On their return voyage, seven months later, she was taken ill and died ashore in Gravesend at age 21. She was then buried under the chancel of St George’s parish church.

The Gurdwara: Guru Nanak Sikh Temple (Photo 0033): The new Gurdwara was opened in November 2010 and cost £12 million. It is one of the largest Sikh temples in Britain. The Gravesend Sikh community welcome all to their Gurdwara regardless of their beliefs, colour, caste or class. In Sikhism all castes are equal.



The Isle of Grain is the easternmost point of the Hoo Peninsula in SoutEast England. No longer an island, the isle is almost all marshland and the Grain Marshes are an important habitat for birdlife. The south of the Isle is an important industrial area. Until 1982 it was home to a major oil refinery. The Isle of Grain is the landing point for the Britned undersea power cable between Holland and the UK.


CLIFFE (Photo 0004)

Cliffe is a village on the Hoo peninsula in Kent, England. Situated upon a low chalk escarpment overlooking the Thames marshes. The area provide a useful source of clay, hence the importance of the Thames Portland Cement company. In 1970 the cement industry was replaced by the Marinex gravel company, whose fleet of ships dredged gravel from the Thames estuary.

PS: The Cliffe marshes stood in for the paddy fields of Vietnam in Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 film Full Metal Jacket.



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