Fun things to do in Kent

  • Cathedral from the cloisters
    Cathedral from the cloisters
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  • Cathedral west and south
    Cathedral west and south
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  • Broadstairs Food Festival, Kent, UK.
    Broadstairs Food Festival, Kent, UK.
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Kent

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    (Royal) Tunbridge Wells

    by grayfo Updated Aug 22, 2013

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    Royal Tunbridge Wells, now part of commuter land, lies at the heart of one of the most scenic stretches of countryside in England. In Georgian times this popular spa town gained a reputation as the place to see and be seen amongst royalty and fashionable members of the aristocracy, the old buildings that remain reflect this heritage, especially in the Pantiles where the spring still exists.

    Retaining much of the charm and elegance of its Georgian heyday, Royal Tunbridge Wells today has all the modern amenities, a large number of shops, cinema, hotels, etc. with some nice countryside around it reflected in the town's pleasant Common. Must see sights include: the Pantiles and its chalybeate spring, the Millennium Clock, Calverley Grounds and the Salomons Museum to name but a few.

    April 2005

    See My Travel Page for more information.

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    Rochester

    by grayfo Updated Aug 18, 2013

    Rochester located on the river Medway is known as 'the City of Great Expectations' due to its link with Charles Dickens. This historical city has a Dickens Centre and hosts Dickensian festivals in the summer and at Christmas. Rochester is a great place to spend a day with its half-timbered buildings and souvenir shops leading to the Cathedral and Castle. Must see sights include: the castle, the cathedral, the Guildhall, the Corn Exchange, Restoration House and Eastgate House to name but a few.

    December 2010

    See My Travel Page for more information.

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    Ramsgate

    by grayfo Updated Aug 15, 2013

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    Ramsgate is a commercial ferry port, with a car ferry service, and has the only Royal Harbour in Britain, which also happens to be one of the largest on the English south coast. The town is a gentile resort, which became popular after a visit by George IV in 1827. Ramsgate is full of Georgian and other historical buildings. St Augustin's 1851 Roman Catholic Church was designed by Pugin, where he is now laid to rest. Must see sights include: Ramsgate Main Sands, The Hugin (a reconstructed Viking longship), the Townley House and three notable churches to name but a few.

    September 2000

    See My Travel Page for more information.

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    Folkestone

    by grayfo Updated Aug 11, 2013

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    Regenerated Folkestone is a resort town located on the South East coast in Kent. The town has a sandy beach to one side of the working harbour and a pebble beach to the other. The town is a place of wide leafy avenues, period architecture and has a cobbled old High Street. On a clear day it is even possible to see the coast of France. In the past Folkestone was a Royal holiday destination but now it is better known for being the place where the Channel Tunnel begins. Must see sights include: the harbour and the Creative Quarter a home to a thriving collection of artist’s studios and creative businesses.

    See My Travel Page for more information.

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    Lenham

    by christine.j Written Jul 29, 2013

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    Lenham is a beautiful, small village. Our hotel was right at the village square which is surrounded by the village shop, the post office, a fish-and-chip place, a bakery ( very good!)and some smaller shops in an old building, including a charity shop. The old church is near-by, surrounded by the churchyard.The church was damaged by a fire in 1297, but there is still a stone seat from this period. On the wall there are frescoes from 14th century.
    Getting to Lenham is easy, it has got its own exit from the motorway M20 and there is train station with direct trains to London. From the village square to the train station it's about a 15/20 minutes walk.

    St Mary, Lenham the stone seat from 13th century Frescoe of St Michael weighing souls

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    Kent Life:tourist trap or place to go?

    by christine.j Written Jul 29, 2013

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    Kent Life is a mixture of a playground for young children and a museum about life in Kent in former times. I was not sure if I should write about it under "what to do" or "tourist trap". We were there on a Monday morning at 10, when it was supposed to be open. It wasn't and we had to wait outside with a good number of other people. I heard the day before there had been a special event, so maybe everybody was still tired. Anyway, the entrance opened late, the café inside didn't open until almost 11, the toilets hadn't been cleaned with the litter bins overflowing - my first impression was not very good.
    Entrance fees are £ 8.95
    Children cost from three years on.
    Some rides inside cost extra and when we asked how much, a friendly member of the staff had no idea. Maybe they had just employed new people?
    An exception was the man who ran the tractor rides, they started on time, were free and he was friendly and knew what he was talking about.

    The playground is large and the children loved it, especially the jumping castle.
    But the sandbox was a disgrace: Only about five cm sand above hard soil and this was covered with lots and lots of rabbit droppings. Since you see signs saying "wash your hands" all over the place, I thought they'd better keep their playground cleaner and put up less signs. The same was true for most of the animal enclosures, dirty with the excrements lying around.

    You can buy food to feed the animals, so it says in the entrance hall with the gift shop, but inside there are signs on most enclosures saying "don't feed us". In fact, the only animals which visitors were allowed to feed were the sheep.

    There is a nice indoor playground, again with a lot of signs of dos and don'ts - some clearly contradicting each other. Close supervision by adults was asked, and at the same time no adults were allowed to walk into the climbing part of the indoor playground. Twice I saw parents disregarding this, walking in and helping their crying children.

    The good parts of Kent Life were the museums, so I was glad we hadn't given up early. One house kept in the fifties is close to the playground, all other buildings of the museum are uphill.There is a whole Kentish village, complete with a village hall and several shops. There are also beautiful gardens and a very nice small restaurant. We could sit outside under old trees and enjoy very good, large sandwiches.

    I still don't know if I'd call this a tourist trap or not. It's too expensive for just the museum part, even though this is really good. It's far too expensive for just the playground part. If I were to go there again, I'd not go on a Monday morning -maybe it's better and cleaner on another day.

    In the museum village the Now, what is a (grand)parent to do?? The tractor ride was fun for everybody A house left in the fifties
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    Canterbury

    by christine.j Written Jul 29, 2013

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    Canterbury is best reached by train as parking is limited in the old part of the town. We were there in July and with us thousands of other tourists, so it was very busy. The cathedral is breath-taking. I won't write much about Canterbury, there are some very good pages on VT, especially the one by Leics.

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    Chartwell

    by ingreaa Written May 29, 2013

    Sir Winston Churchill lived there from 1924 till 1965. The property is well looked after, and you could see things as they were in 1920s and 30s. The grounds are spacious and picnics are allowed in the meadow and on the lower lawn by lake.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • Scotney Castle

    by Mariajoy Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Scotney Castle was home to the Hussey family since 1778 and given to the National Trust in 1970. The property is situated just off the A 21 at Lamberhurst.

    The New House is built from sandstone which was quarried from the estate (now landscaped gardens). Its ground floor is open to visitors and one can wander the grounds, buy refreshments in the walled garden, see the old 18th century Scotney Castle, and admire the lakes and beautiful gardens.

    For details of opening times/ticket prices/special events etc visit the National Trust website. Entrance is free to National Trust members.

    Boat House New House
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Archeology

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    Hever Castle

    by ChrisnJan Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The childhood home of Ann Boleyn, second wife of Henry viii, this is one of my favorite places to visit locally to where I live. The oldest part of the castle, the gatehouse, dates back to 1720. Having passed through centuries of ownership by Tudor Royals and various wealthy families, the castle fell into a bad state of disrepair during the 1700's. In 1903 William Waldorf Astor bought the castle and poured a lot of time and money into restoring it. He also built the Tudor village as well as the superb gardens that surround the property. The castle itself is very impressive from the outside and from the minute you cross the drawbridge, pass through the gatehouse and into the courtyard, you can get a real feel of times gone by. Furnished with many Tudor portraits, furniture and artefacts, this place has so much atmosphere it really is easy to visualize Tudor queens sauntering past you in the corridors.

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    Hever Castle Gardens

    by ChrisnJan Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    These gardens are absolutely superb anytime of year. The Italian Garden was designed specifically to display Lord Astor’s collection of Italian sculptures and the flowerbeds are crammed with colour. There is an information kiosk, tea rooms bars and restaurants in the grounds, although personally I feel this is a perfect place for a picnic on the lawn. Ther is also a large lake where you can hire boats during the summer months. Discounted admission into the gardens can be bought if you do not intend going into the castle and dogs are allowed into the gardens but must be kept on leads at all times.

    The rose garden

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  • Downderry Lavender Nursery

    by Mariajoy Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This lovely nursery in the heart of Kent near Tonbridge, grows a vast array of different types of lavender and offers excellent advice to anyone who is interested in growing lavender.

    There is a very small shop selling all kinds of lavender products from books to bags, from soap to mugs and with varying prices.

    lavender trug lavender hung to dry lavender still for producing lavender oil
    Related to:
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    Headcorn

    by Jenniflower Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Further into Kent and another interesting name for yet another interesting village!

    It is very close to Biddenden, and we ventured here in search of a cream tea, when the recommended tea place in Biddenden proved to be closed!

    But we were glad we came here as the tea was superb, as was the scone (have a look at my restaurant tip re it!).

    Headcorn has a rather interesting history!

    It started out as a 'den' or clearing of land, where pigs lived. Later on, this land was given to the Maison Dieu at Ospringe, near Faversham the King Henry III. From then on, a weekly market started and the village grew from there.

    Under King Edward III the weaving industry flourished in this village, and Headcorn's prosperity can be attributed to this era.

    It is by no means a large town, but it is small and bustling, with a life of its own. Plus the tea and scones are divine!

    Stunning architecture in Headcorn! Afternoon tea in Headcorn :) Afternoon tea in Headcorn :)
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

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    Hever Castle

    by Jenniflower Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    We love castles, and needed to go and see one with some friends of ours.

    Taking into account their age, a castle like Warwick Castle was off limits due to the many steep steps there are, so we had to go to a castle that wasnt too far out of London, plus that was small enough for them, plus with not too many steps!

    In Hever Castle we found this! We were delighted.

    It is essentially a fortified home, with stunning gardens and a man-made lake too.

    This was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn in 1505AD, who later married King Henry VIII in 1533AD. He himself stayed here and his is a very masculine, timber-filled room. Hers is a smaller room, with a large fireplace. Her original headboard for her bed is there still, with her name carved into it.

    In the library next door are ancient books they read, and I particulalry liked a little blue book that was beautifully printed by one of the first printing presses. It is well illustrated and written with a calligraphic pen in a gothic script, and is well thumbed!

    The oldest areas of the castle date all the way back to 1270. This consisted of a walled bailey and the gatehouse. A tudor dwelling was built within the walls in the early 1500's by the Bullen family. The original front door from this time can be viewed in excellent condition today, although, because there was further building added to the castle, it is no longer a front door but an inner door.

    We were unable to take photos inside unfortunately, but understandably.

    Hever Castle Outside the Castle Gorgeous coloured leaves on the castle walls
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    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

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    Hever Castle gardens

    by Jenniflower Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Hever Castle has a large garden surrounding it.

    This section of the garden is to the front and side of the castle. The more formal, Italian Garden, is to the rear of the castle, where the 35 acre lake is found.

    As mentioned in my other garden tip, 1000 men worked on these gardens for a few years, creating a beautiful and rolling garden out of what was essentially marshland. It has taken many years to mature and is reaching that maturity only now.

    The contained rose garden contains over 3,000 plants alone.

    There is a Yew Maze, and a water maze (built on Sixteen Acre Island), which is very popluar with the children!

    I have taken quite a few photos of the gardens and will upload them shortly into travelogues on my Kent page.

    Ducklings going to the little stream Rose garden with 3,000 plants Green and lush everywhere! Quite beautiful! Standing under the terrace :)
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

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Kent Hotels

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