7 areas to visit in Kent ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ

Here are 7 areas to visit in Kent, this gem of a county in South East England that provides all the ingredients for a perfect staycation: culture, history, beautiful views, retail therapy, yummy food and let’s not forget the beaches!

1. Canterbury

This beautiful bustling city has ancient walls built by the Romans that circle the cobbled streets, medieval centre and peaceful, beautiful Cathedral that was founded in approximately 597 and is the headquarters of the Church of England and Anglican Communion.

  • Canterbury Cathedral
Cathedral
  • Crooked House – Located at the end of Palace Street and sometimes known as Sir John Boys House, King’s Gallery or Old King’s Shop. It was built in the 17th century and some claim that it inspired a passage in Charles Dicken’s David Copperfield. It is now the home of Catching Lives bookshop, which raises money for the homeless.
Kent
  • Statue of Geoffrey Chaucer – Born in 1343 and considered the greatest poet of the Middle Ages and well known for his book ‘The Canterbury Tales’.
Kent
  • Westgate Gardens – Beautifully kept gardens in the city centre with the historic landmark of Westgate Towers situated by the entrance. Take a stroll along the River Stour or hire a boat and enjoy being punted along!
Westgate Gardens
  • Eastbridge Hospital of St Thomas the Martyr – Founded in the 12th century for pilgrims who came to visit the shrine of Thomas Becket. It is now an Almshouse and features 3 buildings: The Eastbridge Hospital, Greyfriars Chapel and The Franciscan Gardens
Kent
  • The Buttermarket – This is now a very pretty area of several shops and and the Christchurch Gate entrance to the Cathedral but over the years it was used for lots of different things. Up until the mid 17th century, the area was known as the Bull Stake where bulls were tied here overnight and then baited by dogs, in the hope that this would produce more tender meat. After this horrible practice had died, a market hall appeared, complete with a theatre and store rooms above an open-arched space, which was given the name Buttermarket.
Buttermarket
  • Marlowe Theatre – This was named after the playwright Christopher Marlowe who was born in Canterbury. The theatre is a modern building and boasts all different types of shows such as West End musicals, ballet, orchestral concerts, stand up comedy and many more. If you would like an evening of culture then please book your tickets here. Just to the right of the Theatre is a bridge with a beautiful view looking down the river complete with a theatrical mask statue in the background!
Marlowe Theatre
  • City Walls – These were built in the Roman time and surround the city. It is possible to walk along them and every 100 metre or so and little enclosed areas with window slits where the city would have been defended from the enemy. It is fun walking along the walls and imagining all this.
  • King’s bridge – This is located in the high street just opposite the Eastbridge Hospital. It offers beautiful views looking down the River Stour
Kent

2. Fordwich

Situated just a 10 minute drive from Canterbury is the UK’s smallest town with a population of 381! There is a beautiful Town Hall, built in the 15th century and still running as a Town Hall today, 2 (?!) pubs, The Fordwich Arms and The George & Dragon, some lovely old buildings including an oast house and a beautiful walk along the River Stour

Fordwich
Kent
15th Century Town Hall
Kent
River Stour

3. Whitstable

This beautiful seaside town is a must do when you’re in Kent. From the beautiful beach huts at Tankerton Beach, the high street with all independent shops (not a chain store in sight!), the alleys with the interesting names and the oysters! If you’ve never tried an oyster before then this is the place to try one!

  • Tankerton Beach Huts – A tranquil, shingle beach where you can enjoy long peaceful walks at low tide, paddle and explore the rock pools. There is a large grassy hilly area behind the beach, partially lined with colourful beach huts and plenty of open spaces for picnics overlooking the beach
Kent
Tankerton Beach
  • Whistable Beach and Harbour – Carry on walking from Tankerton beach and you will reach the harbour and Whitstable beach. The harbour is home to pop up bars and a handicraft market. Sometimes there is live music to listen to while you enjoy a cold drink and an oyster with the sun on your face.
Kent
Oysters
  • Harbour street – also known as the high street is one of the prettiest main streets of a town that I have ever seen. All independent stores (no chain stores in sight!) bunting stretching across the street and a carnival atmosphere in the air, what’s not to like! It’s also the perfect place to do your shopping!
Kent
If you don’t have an oyster on the beach, try one here on Harbour Street. Best place in town!
  • Squeeze Gut Alley – If you feel like a walk after your oysters, head behind harbour street and check out the amazing names of the alleys. My personal favourite being Squeeze Gut Alley. When you walk through it, you’ll see how it got its name!
Kent

4. Sandwich

What’s not to like with a name like this?! Another beautiful town with medieval buildings, a lovely beach, nature reserves and 2 world-class golf courses! My favourite is the signpost on the way into the town.

Kent

5. Leeds Castle

The castle that can be found approximately 30 miles from Canterbury, is built on islands in a lake formed by the River Len and has existed since 1119. Over the centuries the castle has been rebuilt and restored and has been open to the public since 1976.

In the 16th century, Henry VIII lived here with his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. The castle has been the location in several films including Moonraker and in several tv series including Doctor Who. So if you watch either of those, there is a good chance you will recognise it!

The castle also features a golf course and guest accommodation, some of which is in the castle itself and the rest is glamping and holiday cottages. This would make for a perfect golfing weekend!

There are also other things to do in the grounds apart from golf, so non-golfers, don’t worry! There is a large maze with a grotto in the centre, a mini golf course, a birds of prey centre with falconry displays, a dog collar museum and a large adventure playground fort the little ones. There are plenty of cafes in the grounds incase you need a quick coffee or want to enjoy an ice cream in the sun.

Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle
Kent
Leeds Castle
Mini golf!

6. Margate

This is one of England’s original beach towns, with families having visited every summer for generations. As I was in Kent I thought I’d better check it out and see what all the fuss was about and I wasn’t disappointed.

  • Margate is home to some amazing cafes, checkout Cliffs a quirky cafe that also features a vinyl shop and hair salon, the Curious Cupcake Cafe for a delicious treat and for when you want a meal head to The Greedy Cow.
  • Dreamland – You can’t come to Margate and not pay a visit to Dreamland, an amusement park with vintage rides, including the UK’s oldest wooden rollercoaster! Dreamland also features all the other fun you’d expect to find at a fair; live music, pop up bars, restaurants and even a roller disco! Time to lace up those skates and head over to Dreamland…
  • Turner Contemporary – This is an internationally renowned art gallery that shows contemporary and historical art and features artists such as Tracy Emin, Paula Rego, Grayson Perry and Antony Gourmley (sculptor of Angel of the North) Free entry to all exhibits!
  • Others – Don’t miss out on the Shell Grotto, Adventure Golf, Margate Caves and the Crab Museum. Apart from the golf, these are perfect activities for a rainy day.
  • Margate Sands – Last, but definitely not least is the beach. You can’t miss out on a stroll across the Margate sands and then grab a cold drink in a nearby bar to watch the stunning sunset
Kent
Image by Vernham

7. The White Cliffs of Dover

These are one of the Uk’s most famous iconic landmarks with the white chalk cliff face being seen as a symbol of home and war time defence. Several popular war time songs mention these cliffs including the popular song ‘There will be bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover‘.

The cliffs are also home to a whole array of wildlife and stunning views and if you’re lucky you may even spot a Peregrine Falcon.

The best way to enjoy the beautiful views is to take a walk along the cliff tops, starting at the visitors centre.

There is also a lot of history surrounding these cliffs. At the viewpoint at the beach at Langdon Hole it is possible to spot the wreck of the SS Falcon, which was iron screw steamer that caught fire (carrying a cargo of hemp and matches) and ran aground. The second wreck can be seen from the shores of Fan Bay and is a German trade vessel. It was the largest 5-masts and full rigged ship to ever be built and after a speed miscalculation it collided with R.M.S Brighton.

If you get a bit peckish during your walk (it can get quite cool and blustery up there) then drop in to Mrs Knotts Tearoom for a yummy snack. You’ll also be able to the South Foreland Lighthouse, which was built during the Victorian era.

Tours are also available. To arrange a tour, check out my Handy Travel Apps page for which tour apps to use.

White Cliffs of Dover
Image by IndiraFoto
Kent
Image by Wilhei

C.King

Brit girl on a bummel. A solo female traveller accompanied by her camera, aiming to see as much of the world as possible and sharing what she's learnt along the way!

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