heritage and Gardens
History-rich Kent boasts stunning castles, gardens and stately homes
Once a separate kingdom, and England's oldest county, Kent can trace trails deep into an enthralling past. The geography that today means easy access to London and Europe, has for centuries ensured a defensive role. The result is a compelling collection of castles, historic houses and maritime heritage.
Kent's sacred places are special too. Canterbury's World Heritage site includes one of England's most important historical buildings: spectacular Canterbury Cathedral, home to the Archbishop of Canterbury and centre of Christian pilgrimage. Then there’s Rochester Cathedral - dating from 604, its England’s second oldest.
Kent's heritage sights excel at evoking the day-to-day experiences of past peoples; rich and poor; famous and unknown. Gain insights into the lives of Churchill, Charles Dickens and Charles Darwin. Here you can roam the homes of lords and ladies, butlers and parlour-maids. Hop on a steam railway or take an intriguing guided tour, or wonder at the marvellous collections at the Powell-Cotton Museum. Kent's museums and themed attractions bring the past vividly to life. Architectural delights include oast houses, weatherboarding, Kent tiling and half-timbered homes. Discover medieval cinque ports like Walmer, Tudor villages, Georgian resorts, gracious Victorian houses.
Kent boasts glorious gardens - exquisite sanctuaries where fragrance, colour and delightful design help you recharge and revive. To world-famous sites like Hever Castle and Penshurst Place, add lesser-known gems: the Quex Gardens, Belmont House and Gardens and the delightful Godinton House and Gardens.
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