Here at Visit Kent, we’re always keeping our eyes peeled for fresh and exciting ways to experience the Garden of England. And, whether it be in the form of a brand-new visitor venue or maybe just a slight slant on a trusted old favourite, believe us when we say that we’re never short of newness in our charming corner of the country!
This summer we’ve been lucky enough to enlist the help of some of our favourite Insta accounts, inviting eight of them to come and #ExperienceKent like never before, each meeting a host of innovative local businesses along the way.
Luckily for you (and for us), our Insta friends have documented their Kent adventures over on their grids, so that you too might be inspired to try something new on your next escape to the Garden of England. Ready?..
Breathtaking views paired with mouthwatering food was the winning recipe combination for our first #ExperienceKent itinerary, which found travel blogger and self-confessed foodie Chloe Gunning trekking and tasting her way around Ashford. We can think of few places more scenic to start the day than wonderful Wye, where Chloe joined Lisa Filmer from Coast & Country Rambles who had organised a bespoke walking route encompassing this stunning stretch of the North Downs Way. The perfect way for Chloe to refuel on completion of her hike? A trip to Macknade Fine Food's newest venue in Ashford's Elwick Place of course! Here Chloe enjoyed a well-deserved spot of alfresco dining, before heading inside to pick up a delicious hamper of local goodies (including Kentish cheese, along with English Sparkling Wine from nearby Westwell Wine Estate). Chloe's mouthwatering selection of Kent treats was then devoured for dinner as a way of rounding off the day in her home-away-from-home, Chilton Farmyard B&B.
We feel a little lazy just looking at travel blogger Macca Sherifi’s Insta profile, which is aptly named An Adventurous World (demonstrated time and again by his exciting escapades across the globe…) Macca joined the equally-energetic team from social enterprise Primal Roots, and together they embarked on an adrenaline-fuelled day that ensured he experienced first-hand the inspirational work the Primal team are doing in order to rehabilitate addicts through fitness. From running along the top of the iconic White Cliffs of Dover to a fitness class in nature’s playground, this is a side to White Cliffs Country we’ve certainly never seen before, and an experience that has us lacing up our trainers to join one of Primal Roots’ upcoming retreats already…
Kent local Tilly Milnes often has team Visit Kent resembling human heart-eye emojis thanks to her gorgeous feed of Garden of England snaps, so we knew she’d be just the girl for the job when it came to trialling out a picture-perfect photography tour in marvellous Medway, courtesy of Louise Hubbard Photography. Louise took Tilly on a walking tour around charming Rochester, imparting invaluable photography knowledge along the way, which focussed on both camera and iPhone use. Concluding her itinerary with drinks and dinner at Copper Rivet’s brand-new Pumproom Restaurant (which, may we add, is pretty picture-perfect itself), Tilly’s terrific trip has us itching to get outside and start perfecting our own Insta snaps pronto!
Stunning sandy bays and traditional seaside amusements may be among the first associations to come to mind when thinking about marvellous Margate, but there’s so much more to be explored along this stretch of Kent’s coastline, as Sushmita Chatterjee discovered for herself as part of her exciting #ExperienceKent itinerary. Sushmita rounded up her husband and children, as they joined Hannah Scott (better known as Dr Forager) for an epic family foraging course on the Isle of Thanet. Through foraging walks, education, and cookery courses, Hannah brings her guests back to nature as they enjoy the holistic benefits of the great outdoors, the fruits of the land and the time and space to escape the daily grind. Sushmita had an incredible morning with her, learning to identify nutritious coastal plants and seaweed, and ultimately experiencing this popular seaside spot, in a whole new light.
After the last 18 months, it’s more important than ever before that we learn to take time out and do something just for ourselves. Someone who’s mastered the art of multitasking is local favourite Katy Towse, who’s Insta updates focussed on life as a family with three (gorgeous) little ones forever keeps us entertained! This Wonder Mum headed to tranquil Tunbridge Wells for a day of ‘me time’ which incorporated forest running and forest floor Pilates at breathtaking Bedgebury Pinetum, followed by a heavenly holistic experience at The Spring Rooms located in The Pantiles. Feeling ready to relax? Us too…
If lockdown’s reignited your love for running over the last year, this next athletic adventure might be just the one for you. If anybody can tempt us to lace up those trainers and hit the tarmac, it's local lady Charlie Cooke, whose Insta account titled What Charlie Ran Next paints a fairly compelling picture of what Charlie's preferred pastime entails. Charlie limbered up to experience historic Canterbury like never before when she joined a fascinating (and fast paced) Canterbury Running Tour, led by brilliant local guide Andy. From getting active to getting arty, Charlie then joined the team from Creative Pilgrims for a wonderfully creative activity, before concluding her jam-packed day the only way we know how; with locally produced food and drink (and a well-deserved sit down) courtesy of the terrific team at The Foundry Brew Pub. We'll drink to that - cheers!
Wherever Angie wanders, we’re left feeling inspired to wander too, making her the perfectly placed person to invite along for an experiential day in scenic Swale! Angie’s itinerary encompassed a marvellous medley of fabulous local produce from Macknade Faversham, glorious gardens at Doddington Place Gardens, and even the opportunity to get hands-on with a bespoke photography workshop run by Through The Lens Photography Experiences. Angie's charming outdoor adventure has us grabbing our cameras and heading straight to Swale at the next available moment...
Who better to invite on a two-wheeled adventure along Kent’s charming coastline than the brilliant Jools Walker (aka Lady Velo)? Jools jumped on Southeastern’s high speed line from London (complete with Brompton Bike in tow, of course) and arrived in fabulous Folkestone for a two-day itinerary filled to the brim with breathtaking cycle routes and perfectly-placed pit stops. From Beachborough Park to Brockhill Country Park (and some seriously stunning refuel views at Folkestone Harbour Arm), check out exactly what Jools got up to in her pinned trip highlight.