Paul O'Grady's Great British Escape
What is the one thing that could make the gorgeous Kent terrain of beautiful beaches, sprawling countryside and stunning landmarks even better than we thought? It turns out, the missing ingredient was a personal tour by Paul O’Grady! TV presenter and proud man of Kent, O’Grady’s new TV series, Paul O’Grady’s Great British Escapes, sees him give a personal tour around all corners of Kent, showing off our luscious landscapes, learning about Kent’s history and discovering some hidden gems along the way. While lockdown keeps us close to our homes, it's time to live vicariously and smell the hops, breathe in that fresh sea air and start planning our Kentish escapes for 2021. We'll be watching along at 8pm every Wednesday on ITV, and making sure we’ve got all the details right here…
Episode one sees O'Grady brave a flight in an original 1930’s Tiger Moth to marvel at the world-famous White Cliffs of Dover and considers their symbolism of home and hope for troops returning from the war. Though we’d love to be seeing them from a bird’s eye view, we’ve got a few spots where you can get a spectacular view of the amazing landmark on firm ground!
At Castle Farm, Paul uncovers the true meaning of The Garden of England, learning about the history of Hoppers and the fascinating way they're grown and cut to provide the essential ingredient for our delicious Kentish beer. After exploring Kent’s outstanding falconry scene, O’Grady heads to the magnificent Hever Castle to explore the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. After uncovering some lesser known history about Henry VIII's wife who met a sticky end, Paul explores the glorious gardens and traditional Castle maze.
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The hotspots from episode one, and some more places to visit on your journey...Hever Castle & Gardens
Set in the beautiful Kent countryside, come and visit Anne Boleyn's childhood home at Hever Castle,...The Hop Shop at Castle Farm
The Hop Shop is based on Castle Farm – a family run lavender farm in North KentThe White Cliffs of Dover
There can be no doubt that the White Cliffs of Dover are one of this country's most spectacular...Samphire Hoe
Samphire Hoe is a stunning site at the bottom of Shakespeare Cliff between Folkestone and DoverLeeds Castle
Rising majestically from the still waters of its moat, surrounded by 500 acres of parkland and...Scotney Castle
Relax in the garden with a fairytale castle backdrop, with over 770 acres of woodland to exploreWalmer Castle and Gardens
Walmer Castle is one of the most fascinating visitor attractions in the South EastPenshurst Place & Gardens
The Sidney family home of Penshurst Place has been the place for poetic inspiration and lavish Royal...King Henry VIII
A truly historic English pub, from its dramatic Tudor chimney stacks to its oak beams, open fires...The Royal Hotel
Steeped in history, this early 18th century town hotel offers the perfect setting for exploring Kent...
Exploring his neck of the woods, Paul heads off on the great Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, the delightful miniature steam train that allows you to marvel at the glorious Kent coastline as you travel west from charming Hythe. Stopping at the RSPB nature reserve, Paul had the joy of scouting out leeches in the fresh water pools. We think we’d stick to admiring the many wildflowers and birds in this special spot!
Heading back out to the beach, Paul discovers the traditional Kentish job of ‘shrimping’, and we get to admire the unrivalled views of this barren but beautiful beach. Can you see why Paul calls Dungeness his 'favourite place on Earth'? We certainly can!
Finally, heading back inland to Romney Marshes, Paul gets acquainted with some unlikely furry friends at Annie’s Alpacas. If the thought of Alpaca Yoga doesn’t make you feel all that zen, you can always meet and greet the alpacas, and embark on an Alpaca trek around the marches for a much more tranquil way to meet these lovely animals.
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Follow in Paul's footsteps, and some other spots we know you'll want to check out on your travelsRomney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway
There’s nothing quite like a ride on The Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway - so it’s little wonder...RSPB Dungeness Nature Reserve
Dungeness is the RSPB's oldest nature reserve and occupies nearly 1,000 hectares of the Dungeness...Alpaca Trekking Centre
Alpaca Trekking/Walking is great for those of you wishing to try an activity of a different nature...Kent Wildlife Trust - Romney Marsh Visitor Centre and Nature Reserve
Kent Wildlife Trust - Romney Marsh Visitor Centre is the perfect place to start exploring the marsh.Romney Marsh Shepherds Huts
Luxurious accommodation in Shepherds Huts in the picturesque countryside.Hythe Imperial Spa and Health Club
Positioned in a quiet corner of Hythe Imperial Hotel is a superb space to relax and re-energise.Coast Restaurant at Hythe Imperial Hotel
Coast Restaurant at the Hythe Imperial Hotel offers fine dining in an elegant and relaxed setting.Dungeness B Visitor Centre
Learn about nuclear energy and how it is used to produce electricity at the visitor centre for the...Rocksalt Restaurant and Bar
Rocksalt offers the freshest fish from the boats in Folkestone harbour and locally-reared meat from...Dungeness Gallery
A unique gallery made of three Edwardian railway carriages, situated between two lighthouses. See...
Episode three kicks off with O’Grady taking on the waves of the English Channel in a speed boat, setting off from Dover Harbour to glimpse the iconic White Cliffs once again. He uncovers wartime tunnels and long-lost shipwrecks, and some more animal friends along the way – and we wouldn’t expect anything less from the famous animal-lover!
Paul heads inland to charming Broadstairs and discovers its past as Charles Dickens’ favourite holiday spot. We’re quite proud of our many Dickens connections, and with it being 150 years since Dickens' death this year, there’s plenty of ways to explore his history in Kent.
Over to picturesque Whitstable, Paul braves monsoon conditions to try the famous Whitstable Oysters, and meets the West family who have been sorting, selling and shucking oysters for generations. Finally O’Grady returns to the White Cliffs for a meeting with professional forager Lucia of Wild Kitchen, and they discover the best bits to sample from the cliff edge and rockpools.
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Recreate the O'Grady tour of Kent, and find some more gems on your way...Dover Sea Safari
Dover Sea Safari offers you a unique and exhilarating family experience with a coastal tour like no...Bleak House Broadstairs
Charles Dickens' favourite holiday home and where he wrote David CopperfieldTurner and Dickens Walk
Take a walk along the 4 mile route between Turner's Margate and Dickens' Broadstairs.Dickens House Museum
Dickens House Museum celebrates one of England's best loved authors connections with the townWestwood Cross Shopping Centre
With more than 50 stores, restaurants and entertainment venues, has plenty going day and nightWhitstable Beach
With blinding blue skies and scenic surroundings this picturesque seaside town offers the perfect...The Wild Kitchen
The Wild Kitchen offers foraging experiences to get those taste buds dancing including the Tour de...
Paul finally ticks off a major spot on his Kent bucket list, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Canterbury Cathedral, the magnificent cathedral and site of the infamous Thomas Becket murder! If you’re making your own pilgrimage to the Mother Church of the Anglican world, make sure to check out some of the best independent shops and cafes nestled in the medieval Cathedral Quarter.
In the close village of Pett Bottom, Paul enjoys a tipple at one of Ian Fleming's favourite watering holes, Duck Inn. Just as we’re proud of our Dickensian history, we’re proud of our Bond heritage too, and a 007 expert gives us the low down on why the author loved Kent so much...
We’re back on a steam train, as Paul hops a ride on the Kent and East Sussex heritage railway, running through 10 miles of gorgeous West Kent countryside, and we get a glimpse of charming town of Tenterden.
Finally, it wouldn’t be a #pogescape without some furry friends, and the Big Cat Sanctuary is a special gem nestled in the Kent countryside. The conservation centre is home to 46 of the world’s most endangered felines, and if you know a fellow animal lover in your life, their visitor days are not to be missed.
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If you enjoyed episode 4 of #pogescape, we think these spots will be right up your street...Canterbury Cathedral
Visit Canterbury Cathedral to come face to face with stunning architecture and history as rich as it...Canterbury Cathedral Lodge
The best located accommodation in the City! Canterbury Cathedral Lodge is a unique and contemporary...The Foundry Brew Pub home of Canterbury Brewers & Distillers
The Foundry is a unique craft brewery, Distillery, restaurant and bar located at 77 Stour Street. ...Canterbury Historic River Tours
This multi award winning guided Historic River Tour provides a truly entertaining experience which...The Canterbury Ghost Tour
If you want History, Humour and Haunting, there is only one place to be- The Canterbury Ghost Tour!Canoe Wild
Whether you are looking for some fresh air or family fun, Canoe Wild is a great day out for everyone...Kent & East Sussex Railway
Steam through beautiful countryside on the Kent and East Sussex Railway, recognised as both...The Big Cat Sanctuary
Big Cat Sanctuary in Smarden, Ashford, home to to over 50 cats including African Lions, Sumatran...Howletts Wild Animal Park and Port Lympne Reserve
Home to some of the world's most endangered animals, including Kent's only gorillas and black rhino,...Shepherd Neame Visitor Centre and Brewery Tours
Discover more about the wide range of award-winning beers and the brewery heritage.Canterbury Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Just a couple of miles outside the city, our campsite is sheltered and beautifully maintained. Just...
Paul's exploring the wonderful forests of Kent this week, and he's starting at Wildwood Trust, the wildlife conservation centre fighting to protect some of the UK’s most endangered animals. Though we wouldn’t ever want a water vole anywhere near our shoes (!), this hidden gem is a must visit for a fun, family friendly and informative day out.
Back in the spirit of the ‘Garden of England’, Paul escapes to Kentish Pip, a 100 year old cider apple orchard and learns the art of ‘panking’. We’re proud of the wonderful produce our Kent terrain yields, and there's so much to explore - from ciders and breweries to the delectable wines of the Wine Garden of England.
Heading deep in to the weald of Kent, Paul meets the magnificent shire horses and discovers all about ‘horse coppicing’. He also discovers a little known Kent secret – the thousands of bees that live in our sprawling woodlands! If you too want to experience the delicious sweetness of fresh Kentish honey, a trip to one of Kent’s local food shops like Macknade Fine Foods and Perry Court Farm is waiting for you...
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What will you discover on the O'Grady Tour of Kent?Wildwood Trust
Set in forty acres of ancient woodland, Wildwood, near Canterbury is a British wildlife park and...Macknade Fine Foods
South-East’s leading food hall, built on a 170 year history of food, farming and retailing.Perry Court Farm
The farm shop is located in the Stour Valley in the finest Kent countryside, surrounded by...Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest
The National Pinetum is home to a world leading collection of conifers and is a centre for...Lyminge Forest
Lyminge Forest is set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is one of the largest areas of...Biddenden Vineyards
Kent’s original vineyard, Biddenden was established by the Barnes family in 1969, celebrating its...
Paul kicks off the grand finale by heading out the extraordinary Red Sand Sea Forts, also known as the Maunsell Forts. Built 13 miles out to sea in the Thames Estuary, these eerie WWII anti-aircraft towers are an incredible relic of WWII and are now a very special site for all budding photographers to visit. Sticking by the sea, Paul heads out the beautiful Botany Bay, one of our favourite places for a seaside walk!
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Kent tour without a trip to the magnificent Dover Castle! The famous landmark that towers over the town has endured 900 years of history, from a traditional medieval castle to an essential clog in WWII Victory as the birth place of Operation Dynamo. Whether you’re there for the panoramic views from the tower or to immerse yourself in 1945 in the WWII tunnels, this is a family friendly day out you don’t want to miss.
Finally, ending on a high, Paul makes his way to Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve, one of the UK’s leading wildlife conservation centres. From day trips to see the giraffes to once-in-a-lifetime luxury stays next to the tigers and bears, this special place is absolutely worth adding to your Kent 2021 bucket list.
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The stars of the final episode, and ways to extend your own O'Grady Tour of Kent...Tiger Lodge at at Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve
The first of its kind in the UK, Tiger Lodge is one of the most forward-thinking and unusual places...Port Lympne Mansion Hotel
This unique boutique hotel has eight lavishly decorated bedrooms, four intriguing reception rooms...Rhino Lodge at Port Lympne
Rhino Lodge is the most idyllic place to relax in style and comfort at this peaceful retreat,...Dover Museum and Bronze Age Boat Gallery
Dover Museum, the district's largest and most varied museum, has a range of fascinating real objects...