KENT REGION GUIDE
Nestled in the southeast corner of England a short distance from the capital, Kent is well deserving of its title as the 'Garden of England'. This region of rolling countryside, sleepy villages and seaside resorts is the destination of choice for Brits and visitors alike looking to get away from it all.
Voted one of the best destinations in Europe for families, you’ll find no shortage of things to do in Kent, from riding steam trains across the lush green landscape to exploring the many castles, stately homes and beaches. Start your adventure in Kent by simply boarding a P&O ferry to England.
Kentish Coastal Escape
Home to one of the most iconic sights in the United Kingdom, the white cliffs of Dover are just part of the 350-mile coastline of this county. The city of Dover offers plenty for younger visitors to enjoy, with walks along the Western Heights hilltop fortifications, a chance to play kings and queens in Dover Castle and even a sea safari tour of the smuggler's caves below the famous white cliffs.
If you're seeking sun and sand, the region has an abundance of clean and calm beaches, many of which are located in the seaside resorts of Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs. In these peaceful coastal towns you can learn to surf, Jet-Ski, go rock pooling or just laze on the beach and build sandcastles.
Kent’s Cathedral City
One of the prettiest and most-visited cities in Kent county is Canterbury. Resting along the River Stour, this city contains many historical sites including a Roman built city wall, the UNESCO Heritage Status Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine's Abbey and the crumbling Canterbury Castle. The city is famed for its literary heritage, with Geoffrey Chaucer's legendary work Canterbury Tales based on a fictional pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral from London.
Learn all about the city's colourful past by taking a historical river tour, so you can simply sit back and enjoy the sights and views from the water. Art gallery, museum and library; Beaney House of Art and Knowledge houses an eclectic array of exhibits, historical artefacts and a great little café to relax in. The city is also great for foodies, with a number of fantastic places to eat and drink. Take your pick from the new Nordic eatery Salt, to the classically British Restaurant Deeson's or the fish lover's favourite spot, Chapman's Restaurant.
Town Life in Kent
Quaint rural towns make up the heart of the Kent countryside, representing a quintessentially English experience. Only 30-minutes by train from London, Royal Tunbridge Wells is one of the county's most popular historic towns, having regularly hosted royals Queen Anne and Queen Victoria. This well-heeled town features a famous colonnaded walkway – the Pantiles – which leads shoppers to boutique stores and independent retailers. Spend your time in Tunbridge exploring the many gardens and stately homes before embarking on a steam train ride along the Spa Valley Railway.
Another great sea-town to visit is Whitstable. This charming community owes its fame to its abundance of fresh oysters, which are celebrated at the annual Oyster Festival. Much of the bohemian character of the town is derived from the many independent craft shops, delicatessen and bakers found in the village centre. Discover the area's shipbuilding heritage, enjoy a drink at the pub on the beach or simply wander through quiet alleyways to seek out panoramic viewpoints.
Kent’s Outdoor Wonders
A staggering 28% of Kent is classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), so you never have far to go to get some fresh country air. Step outside the towns and cities and discover the lush landscape of High Weald, a protected national park comprised of ancient woods, rolling hills, traditional cottages and romantic castles. Here you can cycle, hike and traverse an area that spans Surrey, Sussex and Kent.
A source of pride to those in the county is also the Kent Downs – another AONB – which is blessed with a wealth of wildlife, nature reserves and country parks. Dine on locally produced dishes and just drink in the atmosphere and old world charm of the villages dotted throughout the Kent Downs.
Discover the delights of Kent by boarding a ferry to England with P&O. Our Calais to Dover crossing makes visiting Kent from France a breeze. Otherwise, our ferries operating from Rotterdam to Hull or Dublin to Liverpool will allow you to step ashore in England.