Great Britain

Things to do in Kent

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 as 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 that this county has to offer. Start your adventure in Kent by simply boarding a P&O ferry to England.

Home to one of the most iconic sights in the United Kingdom, the white cliffs of Dover are just a fraction 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 around on the beach and build sandcastles.

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Calais Port

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Dover Port

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Evening

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Leeds Castle in Kent, England

Things to do in Kent

Kent’s Cathedral City One of the prettiest and most-visited cities in the county of Kent is Canterbury. Nestled along the River Stour, this city contains countless historical sites including a Roman-built city wall, the UNESCO Heritage Status Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine's Abbey, and the crumbling ruins of Canterbury Castle. The city is famed for its literary heritage, with Geoffrey Chaucer's legendary work The Canterbury Tales based on a fictional pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral from London.

Amongst the many things to do in Canterbury are: river trips, art gallery visits, and a tour of the Cathedral. Learn all about the city's colourful past by taking a historical river tour so you can simply sit back and enjoy the sights from the water. Art gallery, museum, and library all-in-one: the 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 classically British Restaurant Deeson's, Chapman's Restaurant for fish-lovers, or try Orlando Bloom’s favourite Mexican cuisine at the eclectic Café des Amis.
 
Canterbury Cathedral in Kent

Steam train in Kent, England

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 members of the royal family 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 seaside 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, delicatessens, and bakers found in the village centre. Discover the area's shipbuilding heritage, enjoy a drink at one of the many pubs, or simply wander through quiet alleyways to seek out panoramic viewpoints of the coast.

 

Kent’s Outdoor Wonders

A staggering 28% of Kent is classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so you never have far to go to get some fresh country air and breath-taking views. Take a 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 across Surrey, Sussex, and Kent.

A source of pride to those in the county is also the Kent Downs – another Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – 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.

 
White cliffs of Dover in Kent England

Ashford Designer Shopping Outlet in Kent, England

Shopping in Kent

If you love shopping then Kent might be the place for you. Out of all of the things to do in Kent there are plenty of shopping hubs, from Ashford Designer Outlet, Lakeside, or hit the shops in Whitefriars, Canterbury. 

This charming community owes its fame to its abundance of fresh oysters, which are celebrated at the annual Oyster Festival.

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