Our best effort on Route 66 is, as you might expect, a bit shorter than its American counterpart.

New Mexico’s world famous road is just under 2,500 miles long, compared to ours which is just off * cough * 120.

But the A259 is the longest A road in South East England, connecting Brighton, Eastbourne, Hastings, Rye, the Romney Marsh and Folkestone.

It is also a particularly astonishing example.

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For the most part, it runs parallel to the English Channel, sometimes turning to meander gently through the slopes and picturesque villages further inland.

It is also packed with so many beauty spots and tourist attractions that making your way through it could easily be turned into a one, two or three day trip.

Below we have selected a few of the highlights, starting with the end of Folkestone.

What is striking when you look at a map is how many we must have run out.

Lower Leas Coastal Park

Lower Leas Coastal Park dates back to Victorian times

Just off the A259, near its origin in Folkestone, is one of Kent’s true hidden gems.

The huge wooded area is right next to golden beaches, with footpaths winding around beautiful gardens.

It’s even home to the Southeast’s largest free adventure playground, with two ziplines.


Is Sandgate the real Kent Riviera?

The title of Kentish Riviera is said to belong to a stretch of sandy beaches in Thanet.

But the beautiful coastal village of Sandgate – full of colorful houses and seaside bars – also enjoys the local nickname.

Royal military canal

The royal military canal of Hythe

A public road runs the length of the Royal Military Canal which begins at Hythe, passing numerous WWII casemates and unusual acoustic mirrors,

A particularly nice spot in Hythe itself is the Unit 1 micropub just off the canal, linked to the Hop Fuzz brewery next door.

Dymchurch Amusement Park

The fun fair

Entertainment and a permanent fair can be found further down the A259 in Dymchurch.

Every inch of the classic 1950s beach town, chippies and sweets abound as well.

There is also a beautiful sandy beach.

Dungeness Nature Reserve

The nuclear power plant has been at Dungeness since 1965

You have to detour the A259 slightly for this one, but Dungeness is a painfully beautiful setting worth the trip.

The promontory on the Kent coast is said to be the largest pebble expanse in Europe, home to wildlife not seen anywhere else on these shores.

All of them live under the huge towers of the nuclear power plant, which makes it a truly unique place to visit.

Camber Sands

Camber Sands Beach is simply beautiful

The word beach doesn’t really do Camber Sands justice.

The dune mass has become a popular place for vacationing, but also kitesurfing, kite landboarding and kite buggying.

It is also near the town of Rye, a quiet, picturesque and beautiful village also close to the A259.

Sussex vineyards

Ridgeview Winery
Ridgeview Winery

The Charles Palmer vineyards are just off the A259.

And just north is Sussex’s Napa Valley – the largest cluster of wineries in the whole country.

The majority are family-run and welcome visitors.

The stadium

The stadium, old town of Hastings

They say this stretch of beach in Hastings Old Town has been used to beach fishing boats for over a thousand years, now home to Europe’s largest fleet.

Visitors are welcome to see them in action, and it is described as ‘one of the most exhilarating examples of living history’ in the UK.

Birling gap

Seven sisters at Eastbourne

Beachy Head, Birling Gap, the Seven Sisters – whatever you want to know about this area it has to be one of the most amazing places in the whole country.

Cliff top walks abound, allowing for gorgeous and sometimes breathtaking views.

Brighton Palace Pier

Brighton Palace Pier is home to many rides

Just at the end of the A259 journey is the biggest attraction in the whole of the South East.

The world famous Brighton Pier still operates with free entry and offers rides, entertainment, bars and restaurants, ensuring a lively end to the road trip.

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