Travel by numbers: Kent

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As Britain's first high-speed domestic train service launches, Simon Calder calculates the appeal of the Garden of England

606

Year in which "The Mother Church of the Anglican Communion", Canterbury Cathedral, was founded by St Augustine. Nearly six centuries later the Archbishop, Thomas Becket, was murdered in the cathedral. The precincts now comprise a World Heritage Site, and Kent's leading tourist attraction. canterbury-cathedral.org

1

Scheduled destinations from Kent International Airport in Manston on the Isle of Thanet. The former RAF base enjoyed a year as the base of a low-cost airline, EUjet, but since it collapsed in 2005 services have been meagre. At present you can fly to Jersey, but on Saturdays only. flybe.com

80

Maximum crew aboard HMS Ocelot, a Cold War nuclear submarine that was the last ship to be built at Chatham Dockyard in Kent, in 1962. The dockyard is now a big tourist attraction, claiming to be "the most complete Dockyard of the Age of Sail" in the world – with the Ocelot one of several ships that can be explored. chdt.org.uk

1750

The date of construction of the earliest surviving oast house in Kent. Designed to dry hops in preparation for brewing beer, many of these striking buildings have been converted into places to stay. Rural Retreats has availability in August for this one-bedroom oast house the village of Shoreham; four nights' rental, £466. ruralretreats.co.uk

153

Total length in miles of the North Downs Way, which begins in Dover and offers excellent walking through less-travelled parts of Kent, continuing west into Surrey and Hampshire. nationaltrail.co.uk/northdowns

140

Speed in mph of the new "Javelin" trains using the high-speed line between London St Pancras and stations in Kent, which begin on Monday. The trip to Ashford will take only 37 minutes; when the full service begins in December, Canterbury West and Folkestone will be less than an hour away. southeasternrailway.co.uk

4

Centuries of history that are covered in the Heritage Walking Trail around the spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells, marking 400 years since the discovery of the Chalybeate Spring which put the town on the map. You can drink a glass of the iron-rich liquid for 25p. visittunbridgewells.com

1924

Year when Winston Churchill moved into Chartwell House, which remained his home until his death in 1965. Today it is a National Trust property where you can learn about the life of the great statesman, and enjoy the fine gardens and views across the Weald. nationaltrust.org.uk/chartwell

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