One of the joys of a concessionary bus pass is the ability to wander off on a whim and for free. From a base in Tunbridge Wells it is possible to travel to Crawley, Bromley, Maidstone, Eastbourne, Hastings and Brighton without a change of bus en route.
Yes, it is slower than train travel or using the car but it is free. Most of the services employ double-decker buses, so a fine view of the passing scenery which is not possible using a car and without the blur of a train journey.
For the most part the services are reliable and the buses reasonably clean.
Today I headed off towards Maidstone via Tonbridge. Opportunity to inspect the road works on Tonbridge High Street and admire the architecture of Hadlow Folly and Mereworth church.
On arriving in Wateringbury I decided I did not have time to complete the journey to Maidstone. I alighted at the Wateringbury Hotel stop, crossed the road and inspected the timetables. I had just missed the bus to Tunbridge Wells via Paddock Wood.
A thirty minute wait beckoned but then a 6X came into view.
The 6X operates between Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells hospitals and stops only at Barming, Wateringbury Hotel and Nettlestead. The 'bus' was a tour coach. It took fifteen minutes to arrive at its destination. A quick change then onto a bus between the hospital and Tunbridge Wells town centre via Pembury Road. In all it had taken thirty minutes from Wateringbury to alighting in Tunbridge Wells.
A small bonus: just as we were leaving the hospital the bus I had missed at Wateringbury hove into view.