Our guide to holidays in Kent
Aaaaah Kent, long known as the garden of England and beautifully diverse, this characterful county just seems to stand apart from the rest of the UK. Think nostalgic landscapes, thriving farmland and country estates that sit peacefully waiting to welcome their visitors. Hop on the high-speed train from Kings Cross St Pancras to the South East and you’ll have 40 minutes or so to sit back and watch as oast houses, rolling fields and bustling villages amble past your window.
There’s something about a holiday in Kent that makes you feel as though you’ve stepped into a bygone era, and you’re never far from a sleepy village with a local pub that’s been welcoming visitors for centuries. If you head to the coast you’ll find resorts that have played host to families for many a generation, and if you’ve never been to Dreamland in Margate then trust us, you haven’t lived…
For those quieter days, Canterbury Cathedral sits at the heart of the elegant city of Canterbury, and with Whitstable fast becoming a foodie favourite, it’s just a short drive away from some of the most popular spots to dine out.
Places to visit in Kent
Let’s start at the place that’s attracted visitors to Kent for more than 1400 years…the resplendent Canterbury Cathedral. Beautiful, peaceful and home to more than its share of history, this has got to be one of our favourite places to visit in the whole of the UK…let alone Kent. The cathedral’s still one of the most popular places to visit in Kent, and you can choose from an audio tour or a guided tour to make sure you don’t miss anything.
On a slightly different note, you’ll find an old favourite down in Margate in the form of the newly reopened Dreamland. Chat to anyone who visited Kent as a child and the chances are they’ll start talking about Bem Boms…so it’s good news that the seafront’s once again home to one of the county’s best-loved attractions.
You can’t have a Kent holiday without visiting one of its castles, and Leeds Castle is as good a place to start as any. Once called “the loveliest castle in the world” and one of Britain’s most visited historic sites, Leeds Castle’s best known as a former Tudor palace with a place in English history.
There’s one more attraction we seriously think you should squeeze into your holiday in Kent, and that’s Howletts. One of the county’s original animal parks, this attraction’s home to more than 400 animals. If you like your days out with a bit of a challenge, you’ll be able to show off your grit with the Treetop Challenge. A high ropes course for visitors over 1.2 metres tall, this section’s a great way to experience Howletts from a monkeys-eye view.
Things to do in Kent
If you’re planning your first break in Kent, make sure you put a few days aside to experience some of those things to do that just epitomise the county. The Hop Farm’s always a good place to start, and it’s perfect for families thanks to the animals who call it home and the indoor play area for wetter days. In fact, the attraction hosts events throughout the year too, so it’s a great place to take the kids during your time in the county.
And then there are the iconic landmarks that you need to get up close to just so you can say that you have…landmarks like the White Cliffs of Dover. Cared for by the National Trust, the cliffs stand in all their glory watching over the English Channel below, and we can’t think of a better way to get to know the region and its place in history than by walking around the site of one of the most patriotic attractions in the UK. On a clear day you’ll be able to see all the way over to the coast of France, and if you wander your way along the coast path towards South Foreland Lighthouse you’ll be able to take in the views with a walk.