15 Best Things To Do In Kent, England

15 Best Things To Do In Kent, England

By will

Kent, England is a beautiful destination full of fascinating sites and activities. From its stunning White Cliffs of Dover to its historic Leeds Castle, there is so much to explore.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day out or an action-packed adventure, you’ll find something to suit your needs in the Garden of England. Here are 15 of the best things to do in Kent, England.

From touring the historic city of Rochester to sampling traditional Kentish food, there are plenty of exciting activities that will get you exploring. Take a boat trip on the River Medway, go shopping in Tunbridge Wells, and enjoy an afternoon at Leeds Village.

With so much to offer, Kent is the perfect place for an unforgettable holiday.

Explore the White Cliffs of Dover

White Cliffs of Dover
Photo by Oast House Archive

You can’t visit Kent without exploring the breathtaking White Cliffs of Dover! Standing at the edge of the cliffs, you can take in some of the most stunning views of the English Channel and the French coast.

The cliffs, which are composed of Chalk Marl, are a symbol of Britain’s enduring strength and resilience. A visit to the White Cliffs of Dover gives visitors the chance to experience the beauty of the landscape and be part of a rich history.

The cliffs are also home to a variety of wildlife, including some rare species of nesting birds. Be sure to bring your binoculars and camera to capture the breathtaking views of the cliffs and incredible wildlife.

Whether you’re looking for adventure, or just a peaceful stroll, the White Cliffs of Dover are the perfect destination for your next visit to Kent.

Visit the Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle, Kent
Photo by Christine Matthews

Immerse yourself in the majestic beauty of Leeds Castle in Kent, England – a stunningly preserved medieval fortress that boasts 900 years of history.

Built in 1119 and surrounded by a 500-acre estate, this castle is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the South East of England. From the moment you step inside the castle walls, you’ll be taken back in time, surrounded by centuries of fascinating history.

With a stunning interior featuring a grand staircase, lavish furnishings, and an impressive collection of antiques, Leeds Castle offers a unique experience.

There’s plenty to do at the castle. You can explore the castle gardens and visit the on-site falconry centre. You can also admire the magnificently restored castle rooms. Additionally, you can take a boat ride across the lake or enjoy a picnic in the gardens.

The grounds also offer a variety of activities for kids, including a playground, a maze, and a castle-themed adventure play area. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or an educational family outing, Leeds Castle is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

Take a Day Trip to Canterbury

Canterbury Cathedral - Trinity and Corona Chapels of 1184
Photo by Phil Brandon Hunter

Just a short drive from Leeds Castle, Canterbury is a must-see destination in Kent, England, offering a wealth of cultural, historical, and religious attractions.

Start your visit off by taking a stroll through the cobbled streets of the city’s historic center. Here you will find some of the oldest buildings in the city, including the ruins of St. Augustine’s Abbey and the city walls that date back to the 11th century.

The city is also home to the famous Canterbury Cathedral, which has been the main Anglican church in the country since the 5th century. The cathedral is a beautiful and imposing building, with its Romanesque architecture and breathtaking stained glass windows. Inside the cathedral, visitors can also explore the tombs of several famous figures, including Archbishop Thomas Becket.

In addition to the cathedral, make sure to visit some of the city’s other religious sites, including the remains of St. Martin’s Church, the oldest church in continuous use in England, and the ruins of St. Augustine’s Abbey.

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There are also a number of museums and galleries in the city, including the Beaney House of Art and Knowledge and the Canterbury Heritage Museum.

For a taste of local culture, take a boat trip on the River Stour or explore the city’s shops, restaurants, and pubs.

Canterbury provides a unique experience for visitors, offering a blend of history, culture, and religion.

Admire the Scenic North Downs

Head out to the North Downs for a breathtaking experience, where rolling hills, lush greenery, and picturesque views await.

The North Downs span a huge area of Kent, from Farnham in Surrey to Dover in the east, and are a great place to explore.

Whether you’re looking for a quiet stroll or a more challenging hike, the North Downs has something to offer.

The area is well-known for its abundance of wildlife, with species such as the red kite, skylark, and adder all making their homes in the area.

If you’re lucky, you may spot some of these creatures during your visit.

The North Downs are also home to some incredible historical sites, such as the Battle of Hastings site and the ancient hill fort of Bigbury Camp.

Whatever your interests, you’re sure to find something to explore in the North Downs.

So don’t miss out on a visit to this beautiful part of Kent!

Tour the Historic City of Rochester

Step back in time and explore the historic city of Rochester, where a wealth of fascinating architecture, monuments, and attractions await.

From its impressive castle and cathedral to quaint cobbled streets, Rochester offers visitors the opportunity to experience a vibrant and fascinating past.

Tour the Rochester Castle and take in its impressive Norman keep, or explore the ancient cathedral with its beautiful stained glass windows and stunning architecture.

Wander the cobbled streets and admire the historic buildings and monuments, including the Guildhall Museum and the 14th-century Eastgate House.

Visit the tranquil Rochester Riverside Park to enjoy a relaxing walk and take in the stunning views of the River Medway.

Explore the vibrant Rochester High Street with its shops, eateries, pubs, and other attractions.

Enjoy a guided tour of the city and visit some of the hidden gems that are off the beaten track.

With so much to explore, Rochester is the perfect destination for a day trip or weekend away.

Visit Reculver Castle and Country Park

Experience a fascinating glimpse into the past with a visit to Reculver Castle and Country Park, located in the beautiful county of Kent, England.

Located on the north coast of Kent, this historic landmark is full of mysteries and wonders. Built in the early 12th century, the castle was originally a Roman fort and was later used as a Saxon Shore fort.

With a wide range of historical attractions, including the ruins of the 12th century church, the castle walls, and the 12th century towers, visitors can learn more about the history of this region.

In addition to its historical significance, Reculver Castle and Country Park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including swans, geese, ducks, and terns. Visitors can explore the park’s many walking trails, take in the views of the nearby coast, and spot some of the many birds that make their home here.

Whether you’re looking for a day with the family or an educational outing for yourself, Reculver Castle and Country Park is the perfect place to explore and make memories.

Enjoy a Pint at Shepherd Neame Brewery

Visitors to Kent, England can enjoy a unique experience at the Shepherd Neame Brewery, the oldest brewery in Britain. Here, they can sample a variety of beers and ales brewed on-site. The brewery offers a range of tours, from a simple beer tasting to a full-day tour. On the tour, visitors can learn about the history of the brewery and how beer is made. They can explore the brewery’s traditional brewing methods, the methods of fermentation, and the art of selecting the perfect ingredients. Visitors can also explore the brewery’s vast collection of historic artifacts, including bottles, barrels, and advertising memorabilia.

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At the end of the tour, visitors can enjoy a refreshing pint of beer in the brewery’s atmospheric bar. They can sample a range of traditional ales, stouts, and lagers. A selection of food is also available, including light snacks, traditional pub meals, and a selection of local produce. The bar also offers a range of exclusive beers, which are only available at the brewery.

Visitors to the brewery are sure to leave with a unique experience and a fantastic taste of Kent’s oldest brewery.

Walk the Seaside Promenade in Margate

Take a stroll along Margate’s picturesque seaside promenade and soak up the unique atmosphere of this charming seaside town.

Enjoy the stunning views of the sea, and perhaps take a dip in the ocean if the weather permits.

Walk the entire length of the promenade and take in the different attractions, including the Dreamland amusement park, restaurants, bars and shops.

There is also a stunning Turner Contemporary gallery, which features artwork from the renowned British artist, JMW Turner.

Then, take a break and take a seat on one of the benches and admire the views.

Along the way you’ll find plenty of delightful ice-cream parlours, so be sure to treat yourself to a sweet treat.

Margate’s promenade is the perfect place for a leisurely stroll, and provides a great opportunity to explore this wonderful seaside town.

Visit the Chatham Historic Dockyard

Discover the fascinating history of the Royal Navy at the Chatham Historic Dockyard. Located in Kent, England, the dockyard is the world’s most complete example of a dockyard from the Age of Sail.

It was established in the early 17th century and has been in operation ever since.

With its collection of historic buildings, ships, and artifacts, the dockyard provides a window into the past, allowing visitors to experience the days when “wooden walls”patrolled the seas.

The main attraction is the shipbuilding yard, which is a large open space filled with ships of all sizes and eras. Visitors can explore the different vessels, learn about the unique history of each one, and even take a tour of a full-scale replica of the HMS Victory, the flagship of Admiral Nelson.

In addition to the shipbuilding yard, there are a number of other attractions such as the wooden walls exhibit, which provides a glimpse into the life and duties of a Royal Navy seaman. The dockyard also offers a variety of interactive activities, including a hands-on workshop in which visitors can build their own model ships.

The Chatham Historic Dockyard is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of the Royal Navy.

Wander Through the Street Art in Folkestone

Folkestone is home to a vibrant street art scene, with colourful murals adorning the walls of many buildings throughout the town. It’s a great way to get a feel for the local culture and artistry of the area.

You can take a self-guided tour, or join one of the many organized walking tours of the murals. There’s something to capture the eye on every corner – from the street art of the Main Street to the large murals of the Old High Street. The art is displayed on the sides of buildings, walls and even houseboats.

There’s a wide variety of styles to explore, ranging from traditional art to modern graffiti. Many of the murals are painted by renowned local and international artists. Visitors can also explore the mural-covered alleyways, which are often home to small cafes and galleries.

It’s a great way to discover hidden gems in Folkestone, and take in the unique sights and sounds of the city.

Visit the Hever Castle and Gardens

Having spent the morning admiring the street art in Folkestone, I decided to take a break and visit the beautiful Hever Castle and Gardens. This stunning 13th-century castle was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII. It’s a great place for a day out for the whole family.

The first thing you’ll see when you enter the grounds is the gorgeous double-moated castle. The gardens are also a sight to behold; with over 30 acres of grounds, there’s plenty to explore. The gardens are full of flower beds, lawns, topiary, and a lake with a Tudor-style bridge.

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For those who want to explore the castle itself, there are a range of guided tours available, including a “Secrets of the Castle”tour. There are also regular events throughout the year, such as falconry displays, jousting tournaments, and garden theatre performances.

After a day spent wandering around the castle and gardens, you’ll be sure to have made some wonderful memories.

Go Shopping in Tunbridge Wells

After taking a break from sightseeing, head to Tunbridge Wells for some shopping. Tunbridge Wells is a bustling town located in Kent, England, and it’s the perfect place to find unique items to take home.

From high-end boutiques to local shops, there’s something to suit everyone’s taste and budget. Whether you’re looking to pick up a souvenir or two, or you want to treat yourself to some new clothes, you’ll find it all in Tunbridge Wells.

The town also boasts a variety of antique stores and markets, where you can find an array of interesting and unusual items. Whether you’re searching for vintage clothes, furniture, art, or something else entirely, you’ll find it in Tunbridge Wells.

With its cobbled streets, old-fashioned shops, and charming atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to pick up a special memento to take home with you.

Take a Boat Trip on the River Medway

Cruising down the River Medway is a great way to experience the beauty of Kent, England. The river runs through many pretty towns and villages, providing picturesque views and a great opportunity to explore the local area.

The journey starts in Tonbridge and winds its way down to Allington, passing through East Farleigh, Teston, West Farleigh, and Yalding. You’ll be able to take in the sights of rural Kent, from the rolling hills and lush countryside to the unique architecture of the old buildings and churches.

The boat trips are incredibly relaxing, and you can choose from a variety of tours, ranging from short cruises to all-day excursions. You can also enjoy a tasty lunch or dinner on board, allowing you to fully appreciate the beauty and tranquility of the River Medway.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic outing, a fun day out with the family, or a chance to explore the local area, a boat trip on the River Medway is sure to provide a memorable experience.

Sample Traditional Kentish Food

Experience the unique flavors of Kent with a traditional Kentish meal! A visit to the county of Kent is not complete without sampling some of its traditional dishes. From traditional pub grub to hearty stews, Kentish food has a unique flavor all its own.

While some dishes are inspired by British classics, such as fish and chips, others are closer to true Kentish cuisine. One of the most classic dishes in Kent is the Kentish ploughman’s lunch, which is a mix of cheese, bread, pickles, and other accompaniments.

Another traditional dish is Kentish hop-pickles, which are made with pickled hops and spices. Other Kentish delicacies include roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, jellied eels, and the classic Kentish apple pie.

Try a traditional Kentish feast for a true taste of the region!

Enjoy an Afternoon at Leeds Village

Take a stroll through bustling Leeds Village and enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of Kentish life! Located in the heart of the idyllic countryside of Kent, Leeds Village is a charming spot to spend an afternoon.

The village has a rich heritage, having been founded in 1086 and there are still plenty of historic buildings and monuments to explore. From a 13th-century church to a 15th-century pub, Leeds Village has a wealth of interesting attractions to discover.

The village also has a variety of shops and eateries to explore. Visitors can find a range of unique gifts and souvenirs at the village’s independent stores. There are also several tea shops and pubs where you can enjoy a traditional Kentish meal or a refreshing pint of local ale.

Alternatively, why not take a picnic and find a spot to relax in the village’s picturesque gardens? Leeds Village has something for everyone to enjoy!

Conclusion

It’s been a pleasure exploring Kent and its many attractions. From the White Cliffs of Dover to the historic city of Rochester, there’s plenty to see and do in this beautiful English county.

I’d highly recommend taking a boat trip down the River Medway, sampling some traditional Kentish food, and taking an afternoon to explore Leeds Village.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing weekend away or a full week of sightseeing, you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy in Kent. So don’t delay – go explore this amazing county today!

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.