The A261 was originally part of a major route from Hythe to London (in the days before the growth of Folkestone).
Newingreen - Hythe
Looking southeast near Lympne
The road starts on the A20 to the north of Lympne at Newingreen, site of England's first 'motel'. The junction is on a sharp bend and so the A20 is briefly dualled to aid the junction.
The road winds its way through the trees before bending sharply right into the hamlet of Pedlinge - merely a few scattered houses. There is then an even sharper bend left and the road starts to descend for the remainder of its distance. It soon reaches the outskirts of Hythe. It runs into town along London Road, ending at a signalised gyratory on the A259.
The gyratory is fairly modern, however, and the A261 originally continued ahead along its northern side to end on the A259 a few hundred yards further east.