We know that now we've reached step 2 in the Government's roadmap to reopening, you’ll be keen to get back exploring Kent safely this spring. Our number one priority right now is ensuring that people are able to enjoy our glorious county in a safe and responsible way; looking after ourselves, one another, our businesses and the landscape around us. We're supporting Visit England in encouraging us all to Escape the Everyday Responsibly, to remind us all to stay informed and considerate to make sure that the reopening has a positive impact on local communities.
With over 3,700 km², encompassing magnificent castles, glorious gardens, stunning coastal views, and a world-class hospitality scene, there’s more than enough Kent to go around. So, help everyone to enjoy a little slice of the Garden of England safely by following the simple steps below...
- Respect that guidelines are regularly changing - please ensure you keep up to date with the latest government advice, always check guidelines before heading out and #KnowBeforeYouGo
- Respect and support our local businesses. Non-essential retail is back, and many of Kent's food and drink businesses are back open for al-fresco dining, so we really encourage you to shop locally and support independent businesses. Visit Produced in Kent for a range of wonderful local producers and businesses.
- As we look to support our businesses’ staff, let’s take Produced in Kent’s #CaringCustomer pledge to show you will respect rules and regulations, and be aware that the staff are adapting to brand new rules just as the visitors are.
- Respect the place you're visiting. Always follow their guidelines, remember to check on their website ahead of visiting, to understand any specific requirements for your visit.
- If you’re caring for young children, please make sure they stay within your eyesight to ensure social distancing from others, as well as respecting the property around them for their own safety.
- Respect our local communities by sticking to the Public Rights of Way (footpaths and bridleways), keeping dogs on the lead, not picnicking on private land, not parking outside people’s houses, and taking your litter home.
- Respect the wildlife. Nature may have recolonised some areas, so please tread carefully and look out for wildlife that has moved into unexpected places this year. Please keep your dog on the lead and stick to footpaths and bridleways so as not to disturb ground nesting birds and other wildlife.
- Respect any specific guidelines that have been put in place by our friends and partners across the county, by planning ahead before travelling, and checking what facilities are open to you (Forestry Commission, Woodland Trust, KCC Country Parks, National Trust, English Heritage, RSPB, RNLI, Natural England, The Canal & River Trust, Kent Downs AONB, High Weald AONB, Kent Wildlife Trust and your local district council)
- Protect yourself and others. Always follow hand washing guidance, and social distancing rules.
- Protect the landscape by ensuring you are following the Countryside Code, which sets out how visitors to rural areas can behave safely and responsibly. Take a look at the following video with an updated Countryside Code, produced by Natural England.
- Protect the environment by travelling sustainably and staying local. If you can, try to journey by foot or bike. This means you’ll have a chance to experience our wonderful county as you travel, and you won’t have to worry about finding a car parking space.
- Enjoy getting off the beaten track. We know everyone has their favourite spot in Herts - or maybe their favourite two, or three - but if large numbers of people head to the same place, safe social distancing becomes difficult. Why not take the chance to seek out some new favourites away from the crowds?
- Enjoy our range of wonderful foodie businesses going the extra mile! After a devastating year for the hospitality business, it’s time to enjoy your local independent shops and outdoor dining spots again. Being respectful to staff and abiding by their regulations means they’ll be able to enjoy their businesses reopening too.
- Enjoy our beautiful coastline safely, by following the important advice issued by the RNLI. Please be aware that the usual life guard service may not currently be in place.
- When you’re out and about, enjoy taking photos of your surroundings and sharing them with us @VisitKent. We’d love to see them, and share them with others!
If you are holding off from getting outside, or are self isolating and unable to leave your home, we’re totally committed to bringing the very best of the Garden of England straight to you. Follow us on social at @VisitKent, or sit back and enjoy an at-home tour across this glorious county with our Virtual Kent experiences (Virtual Gardens, Virtual Castles, Virtual Museums). When the time is right and safe to do so, we’ll be waiting to welcome you with open arms.