Getting there & around
Regular trains and buses chunter in and out of London in this region but it's less easy to move sideways through the area using public transport. Renting a car is ideal for touring, but beware the rush hours of 6am to 9.30am and 4pm to 7pm when commuters can snarl the traffic to a snail's pace. Contact National Traveline (0870 608 2 608; www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk) for information on public transport in the area.
Explorer tickets (adult/child £6.80/5.30) provide day-long unlimited travel on most buses throughout the region; buy them at bus stations or on your first bus.
First Group (www.firstgroup.com) offers a FirstDay Essex pass for a day's unlimited bus travel on its county services. It costs adult/child/family £6/4.40/12. It operates a similar service in Hampshire for £4.40/3.35/10. There's also a FirstWeek pass available in both counties for £28 or £16.50 respectively.
Stagecoach Coastline (www.stagecoachbus.com) serves the coastline, East Kent and East Sussex areas. Travellers can buy an unlimited day (£5.50) or week (£20) Solent Travel Card (www.solent-travelcard.org.uk), good on major bus lines along the Hampshire coast.
Arriva (0870 120 1088) also offers a variety of day, weekly and monthly passes.
If you're based in London but day-tripping around the southeast, the BritRail London Plus Pass allows unlimited regional rail travel for two days in eight (£70), four days in eight (£132), or seven days in fifteen (£176) and must be purchased outside the UK.
You can secure 33% discounts on most rail fares over £10 throughout the southeast of England by purchasing a Network Railcard(08457 48 49 50 for the phone number of your nearest station; www.railcard.co.uk/network/network.htm; per yr £20). Children under 15 can save 60%, but a minimum £1 fare applies. There are some restrictions on usage, and you can't travel before 10am Monday to Friday.