Kent’s glorious rolling countryside, picturesque villages, beautiful castles and hundreds of miles of coastline make the county a perfect destination for a break away
Why visit Kent?
Whether you’re looking for a fun-filled time with the family, a relaxing break, or a weekend of outdoor activities with friends, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Kent. From the thrilling rides and attractions at Margate’s Dreamland to the exotic wildlife at Howletts Wild Animal Park, Kent really is geared up for families. Enjoy a day out on one of the fabulous beaches surrounding Margate, Folkestone and Broadstairs, or there’s the Blue Flag beaches of Botany Bay and West Bay which are firm family favourites.
Lovers of the great outdoors can take the long-distance footpaths that follow the coast and the North Downs, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding coastline and countryside. Designated cycle routes run across the county for those who prefer to explore on two wheels. Passionate about watersports? Head for one of the many centres across Kent that provide a range of activities, including surfing, sailing, paddleboarding and kitesurfing.
If you’ve a more relaxing time in mind, you couldn’t have picked a better place. Weekend breaks in Kent offer the chance to explore the county’s rich heritage. There are some absolutely stunning buildings to admire, from Penshurst Place, a beautiful 14th-century manor house, to romantic Hever Castle. For a spot of culture, look no further than the Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate.
The historic city of Canterbury with its magnificent cathedral has plenty to offer, including a wide range of shops, restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars. Visit the elegant colonnaded walkway known as The Pantiles in the Regency spa town of Tunbridge Wells or amble along the historic streets of Maidstone. If you still haven’t satisfied your desire for shopping then a visit to the huge Bluewater Shopping & Retail Destination could be the answer.
You’ll find exceptional produce including Whitstable oysters and Romney Marsh lamb on menus in bistros, cafes, bars and restaurants across the county. So, whether you’re planning a quiet romantic meal, a family get together or a celebration with friends, you can look forward to some simply wonderful food during short breaks in Kent.
A brief history
Richborough Fort was founded in AD 43 at the main landing point of the Roman invasion of Britain. The story of Kent’s Roman occupation until the withdrawal in the 5th century is told at the Canterbury Roman Museum. Saint Augustine was appointed as the first Archbishop of Canterbury in 597 and the city became the centre of Christianity in England. Following the murder of Thomas Beckett at the cathedral in 1170, Canterbury became a place of pilgrimage and provided the background for Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Long periods of conflict with France and the Netherlands saw the construction of many castles and forts along the Kent coast, including those at Walmer and Deal, as the Medway became of increasing strategic importance to the British naval fleet. Chatham was established as a royal dockyard in 1567 and produced over 500 ships for the Royal Navy. The Chatham Historic Dockyard provides a fascinating insight into Kent’s rich maritime history.
When’s a good time to visit Kent?
It’s easy to get to this beautiful county, so why not time your visit to coincide with one of its many events and festivals.
Known as the Garden of England, it will come as no surprise to learn that there are plenty of events celebrating Kent’s fine produce. Brogdale’s Cherry Fair in July showcases 400 varieties of the fruit and features live music, local producers and entertainment. Also taking place in July is the Whitstable Oyster Festival, a heady mix of fresh produce, music and comedy. The Faversham Hop Festival in September celebrates over 800 years of the hop industry in the Faversham area with music and Morris dancing, while the National Apple Festival and the Broadstairs Food Festival take place in October.
One of the UK’s most intriguing music festivals has to be LeeFest. The festival first took place in founder Lee Denny’s garden in 2006 when his parents went on holiday. The award-winning festival has continued to grow and takes place in Kent each summer. Past acts have included The Futureheads, Mystery Jets and the Cribs. Look out for further details of this fantastic event. Broadstairs Folk Week is held in the second week of August with events and festivities taking place throughout the town.
The Canterbury festival in October is one of the biggest cultural festivals in the South-East and features a wide range of events, including music, theatre, comedy and dance.
Chrtistmas celebrations are held across the county, with ice skating in Tunbridge Wells, Santa Specials on the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway and carol services at Canterbury Cathedral. Rochester holds the delightful Dickensian Christmas with a candle-lit procession, carols and street performers creating a wonderfully festive atmosphere
By train: Regular services run from several London stations and the journey to Kent takes less than an hour.
By road: Kent is easily accessible from the national motorway network, and local road links are excellent.
By air: London Gatwick and Heathrow are the closest airports.
Getting around: Kent has efficient bus services and hundreds of miles of cycling and walking routes to enable you to explore the county.
If this beautiful county sounds like a great weekend destination for you, then check out our affordable hotel options in Kent.