Escape the rat race, smell the apple orchards, feel the salt spray, gasp at the stunning views. Kent, the Garden of England has something to offer everyone.
You can get from central London to Kent in just under an hour. In few other places is London so near yet feels so far away.
Kent is perfect for a fun filled family break, a romantic getaway at a spa with your partner or energetic hikes up into the cliff tops. You can find super modern art galleries and age old heritage sites. It would be hard to ever get bored in Kent. The North Downs and the Weald have been named outstanding areas of natural beauty and are a must see when you visit.
Kent has fast links through to France and Belgium so a lot of people speed through this place, over to the next continent but people in the know take time to discover what it has to offer.
So what are the main things to do and see in Kent?
Kent has a 350 mile coastline framed with glorious rural landscape. With tiny coves and secluded bays you can easily find your own patch of sand to enjoy. You can stretch out and enjoy the sun or if you are looking for something more active you can find many water activities to enjoy. You will find surfing, kite surfing, sailing, kayaking and leisurely boat trips on offer.
If walking or cycling is more your thing, then the 4200 miles of public rights of way in Kent will definitely keep you challenged. There are also many fields, woods and country parks to amble through. On your way you will discover orchids, unusual birdlife and woodland deer if you are lucky.
There are also many wildlife parks and zoos that let you go on safari without travelling outside the country. You will be able to discover many animals not native to England and different rare breeds.
Kent has a rich history, being England’s oldest county. The Canterbury cathedral, a World Heritage site, is home to the Archbishop of Canterbury. There are also many castles that are definitely worth a visit. Whitstable, Hever, Walmer, Leeds and Dover Castles are all open to the public and offer different events and activities. Some examples are medieval jousting tournaments, falconry and other special exhibits.
Take a trip back in time into the lives of some local people, famous and unknown, rich and poor. Well known names to the area are Churchill, Charles Dickens and Charles Darwin. Find out where they used to live and what their day to day lives used to be like.
For architect buffs you can find Victorian houses, Oast houses, Medieval Cinque ports, Tudor villages and beautiful half-timbered homes. Lullingstone Roman Villa is one of the best preserved Roman sites in England. It’s fascinating maze of crumbling rooms bring the Roman era to life.
In the Kentish towns where Dickens and Turner found their inspiration, new age artists are now having their turn. Among the funky boutiques and cafes, artists are showing off their contemporary designs.
The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury is becoming more and more popular. It puts on big shows and also displays innovative works in its studio. Many other galleries can be found around Kent to satisfy the art lover’s curiosity.
Some big events are held each year in Kent which draws in crowds of thousands. The Canterbury Festival is held in October and showcases theatre, music, comedy, dance and exhibitions. For literature lovers there is the Folkestone Book Festival. It is held over 10 days and the town becomes a hive of activity. The Darling Buds Classic Car Show held every year in Kent.
Kent is also a food lover’s delight. From local pub grub to Michelin Starred restaurants serving up freshly caught fish washed down with tangy cider and locally brewed beer. You can also visit Kent’s vineyards and breweries to see where the magic happens and get a cheeky taste to refresh you after a long day.
With so much to do in Kent it is hard to know where to start but what I do know is that you will need more than a day to discover all there is to offer.
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