Steeped in history and coastal scenery
astles, cathedrals, countryside and coast - is there anything that Kent doesn’t have? Well, no actually. From Dover’s white cliffs to the cathedrals of Rochester and Canterbury, there’s so much to see and do in the Garden of England. You can shop on cobbled streets, explore maritime history along coastal paths, tuck into fresher than fresh fish and admire brightly-coloured orchards, beautiful countryside and mighty castles. What are you waiting for?
History and Heritage
With castles and historic houses everywhere, it’s hard to know where to start when exploring Kent’s heritage. We suggest making your own pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral before visiting England’s second-oldest cathedral at Rochester which is also home to a well-preserved Norman castle. And on the subject of castles, King Henry II’s Dover Castle is a must-see.
Arts and Culture
The Turner Contemporary in Margate celebrates the much-loved painter’s association with the town by showcasing an impressive collection of historical and contemporary art. Folkestone’s Creative Quarter is a hive of arty activity with galleries galore and budding painters busy in studios. And why not take a boat along the river from Maidstone to the Museum of Kent Life , a fantastic open-air historical experience.
Must See Attractions
If you like castles and cathedrals then you’re in luck. Kent is blessed with the best in military might at Hever , Dover, Rochester and Leeds , whereas the cathedrals at Rochester and Canterbury are simply awe-inspiring. And for something a little different, Dungeness has the fascinating and slightly odd combination of nuclear power stations, fishermen’s huts, and the largest expanse of shingle in Europe.
Food and Drink
To experience the finest ingredients creatively combined then dine at Wallett's Court in Dover. For seasonal produce bursting with flavour then visit the Goods Shed restaurant in Canterbury - the surrounding farmer’s market is full of inspirational local produce as well. A glass of sparkling wine at Tenterden Vineyard or a pint at Britain's oldest brewer, Shepherd Neame , will round things off nicely.
From Geoffrey Chaucer’s colourful characters heading to the shrine of Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral to Charles Dickens’ beloved Rochester , Kent has been an inspiration for the world’s greatest writers. You can get an insight into the life and works of these two great authors at numerous attractions across the cathedral cities.
If you want it, then Kent most definitely has it. For antiques head to the historic spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells , for hidden gems lose yourself in Canterbury’s maze of side streets and for a book on any subject imaginable Baggins Book Bazaar in Rochester is the country's largest second-hand bookshop. And if you still haven’t found what you’re looking for then Bluewater has an incredible 330 plus stores.
Thrill-seeking youngsters are spoilt for choice in Kent. They can jump onboard the Great Expectations Boat Ride at Dickens World , drive a real JCB at Diggerland even watch a battle boom out at Dover Castle. And to experience a little piece of Africa where you least expect it, join a safari at Port Lympne where more than a 1,000 animals roam free including elephants and giraffes.
Psst... Handy Hints
In the Garden of England, take a guided tour through some of the 180-plus gardens and be inspired by celebrated designers across the ages.
Follow in the footsteps of Charles Dickens on a self-guided walking trail of Rochester. Leaflet available from the Medway Visitor Information Centre .
Port Lympne Wild Animal Park offers the ultimate safari experience.Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, Kent
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