So, whilst I officially finished this long-distance pathway at the end of September, there were still three or four sections where I deviated from the official route. I have subsequently corrected three of those anomalies, which just left this section to the west of Knockholt to finish, and with the forecast for Thursday showing dry and sunny conditions I decided that would be the time to complete this outstanding section.
It was Mrs PBT’s comment, shortly before bedtime, that's sowed the seed of a different idea in my mind. She stated that the buses would be crowded due to the rail strike (she’s still a little concerned about COVID), but I put her straight, and said that the next round of industrial action wasn’t due until the following week, and so the buses would be fine. This was where the seed planted the previous evening turned into a distinct possibility, particularly after my WhatsApp suggestion came back with no takers.
I decided to postpone the trip to the Swan until the following week and take advantage of a full service on the trains. Rye sprang instantly to mind, because over the Christmas period, I had drawn up a list of locations and pubs, I wanted to visit over the course of the coming year, using public transport. A quick look at National Rail inquiries indicated that town was easily doable by train, and In fact is just an hour’s journey from Tonbridge. Rye is a thriving and bustling tow, packed full of independent shops. Many of them are housed in attractive and characterful old buildings, and the same applies to the Waterworks, a micro-pub housed in the town’s former waterworks.
Roughly an hour after leaving Tonbridge, my train pulled into Rye station. Judging by the number of people leaving the train, Rye is obviously a popular destination, and after an absence of almost four years, I couldn’t wait to start exploring and renewing my acquaintance with the town. Join me next time, as I visit two pubs and two hotel bars: two of them old favourites, and two of them new.