Kent Guide - Things to Do
Canterbury Cathedral is an absolute must see for any visitor to Kent. It is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and is quite simply a magnificent building of awesome proportions. Historically it is of great significance being the site of the original establishment of the Church in England by St Augustine and since Henry VIIIs break with Rome, is also the headquarters of the Anglican Church. The murder of Archbishop Thomas a Becket in 1170 placed the Cathedral firmly on the Pilgrims Trail, as described by Chaucer in his Canterbury Tales. For a different perspective on the city, take a guided river tour and enjoy the natural beauty of this historic city.
Discover the history of Cranbrook and the surrounding area as well as a variety of collections at the Cranbrook Museum housed in a delightful timber-framed building.
Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Light
87 years of Steam Railway Heritage set against the backdrop of some of Kent’s most picturesque countryside is what makes a journey on the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway a totally unique experience. We are proud to operate the most complete collection of one third full size Steam Locomotives in the world with 13½ miles of track stretching across the picturesque Romney Marsh from the Cinque Port town of Hythe to Dungeness.
Leeds Castle is frequently described as the most beautiful castle in England, if not the world. It sits in its own lake surrounded by glorious gardens incorporating a golf course and a 'Go Ape' tree top adventure. There is always a schedule of enticing events at Leeds with fireworks, concerts, jousting and food fairs throughout the year.
Lullingstone Castle is one of England’s oldest family estates, dating back to the time of Domesday. Its innovative World Garden brings together cutting-edge horticulture and plant heritage, the idea for which emerged during the curator's nine-month kidnap ordeal in Colombia in 2000. One of the most unusual plant collections is The World Garden at Lullingstone Castle where Tom Hart-Dyke created a unique garden inspired by his captivity in Central America where he was hunting rare orchids.
The Rare Breeds Centre is great fun for children who want to make friends with a variety of farm animals while Wingham Wildlife Park offers opportunities to encounter more exotic creatures like lemurs and wallabies. Even wilder are the beasts at Howletts where gorillas, elephants and tigers are bred as part of the Aspinall Foundation's Conservation Project.
Situated in a commanding position overlooking the Channel is Port Lympne a splendid mansion built in 1912 by Philip Sassoon. It is now set within the grounds of a Wild Animal Park devoted to the conservation of many endangered species including gorillas and rhinos amongst others. This is a great place to experience the thrill of an African Safari without the expense of trekking to Africa.
Kent's other Cathedral may not be as awe-inspiring as Canterbury but it is nevertheless an impressive building and Rochester is an interesting town to visit, especially during the Dickens Festival when you are liable to bump into Magwitch and other colourful characters. Miss Havisham was inspired by a visit to Restoration House described as "the finest pre-Civil War town house" in Britain. One of the best preserved Norman Castles guards the River Medway and is open daily.
Gardens in Kent
The gardens of Kent represent one of the most compelling reasons for visiting the county. Romantic gardens like Sissinghurst, planted by the poet Vita Sackville West, and Scotney Castle, with its deliberately ruined fairytale castle, are amongst many National Trust properties located in the region. The largest collection of conifers in Europe can be found at Bedgebury Pinetum, which also boasts the tallest tree in Kent and an adventurous swing through the tree tops with 'Go Ape'. Another fine collection of trees and plants can be discovered at Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, which is being splendidly restored and includes many outdoor activities for children.
Walking in Kent
John Harris has setup a fantastic website with hundreds of walks throughout the beautiful Kent countryside. Their walk descriptions are available free of charge and they have information on group walks. Hundreds of FREE walks to download, details of all the books, maps and walking clubs in the county.
Ramsgate is the only port in Britain to have a ‘Royal’ Harbour, granted by King George IV in 1821. The Marina is busy with the local fishing fleet as well as international yachtsmen and all manner of water-sports are on offer from sailing and surfing to water skiing, power-boating, canoeing and diving. There are easy walks along the coast to Broadstairs and Pegwell Bay and many trendy restaurants giving a cosmopolitan air to the seaside town.
Deal boasts the last pleasure pier to be built in Britain, reputed to be the exact length of the Titanic, and with a celebrated restaurant at its end. The delightful town is steeped in history and maritime connections with the fascinating Timeball Tower and the hotel where Lord Nelson stayed with Emma Hamilton amongst many historic attractions.