EDitorial ± 7-Sep-2001

You Know What I Did Last Summer

Already it seems like an absolute age ago, perhaps due to the rain & rapidly fading light, but it's only been a couple of weeks since we got back from our summer hols. Did we tango in Thailand? Cavort in Cuba? Nope, we had a cottage in Kent.

Competition was tight in the garden of England, but the results of this summer's super-prestigious TPTGISEK (top places to go in South East Kent) awards are as follows. Each photo leads to a bigger picture, by the way.

Displacement 2475 tons, length 92m, width 7.5m, draft 4.5m   Most Bizarre Tourist Attraction
Has to be the Russian nuclear submarine moored at Folkestone harbour. That's right, this is U475, a Foxtrot class sub that the public can tour (for a price). Some entrepreneur obviously made the USSR owners an offer they couldn't refuse, resulting in the vessel being towed over here several years back. And although some of the internal fixtures have been stripped to allow better access, it's very much the real deal. Long, metallic and cramped.
Boysy on the loose   Most Relaxing Picnic Spot
With a trio of little people to look after and keep entertained, it's a bonus to find a quiet place to chill out. Such a location is Walmer Castle, a small distance up the coast from Dover. The audio tour is good value - this was home to the Duke of Wellington, don't you know - but the oval garden out back is fab. Plenty of space to lay down a rug, the kiddies can run around, and, to top it all, they provide chairs!
Beachcombers   Most Sandy Shore
You got young children, you need a beach. As picked out by The Rough Guide to England, a handy companion, we headed for St Mary's Bay repeatedly. Slightly past Dymchurch, the beach goes on and on and on. There's pebbles, there are pools to paddle in, there's mud to wade through, and there's sand galore. And they serve a mean cuppa from the huts on the prom. For that much-needed seaside tackiness, stroll along to Dymchurch itself for MW's amusements, chips, and ointment for skin rubbed off by the helter-skelter.

Also highly recommended:

  • Dungeness - fascinatingly bleak and windswept
  • Deal - if it's open, check out the Time Ball Tower
  • Dover castle - descend into the secret wartime tunnels

Be seeing you!