Creative Experiences in Kent
28th March 2021
Browse around independent galleries, immerse yourself in creative culture, discover inspiring local talent, and let your imagination run wild somewhere unparalleled… Are you painting a picture of your next artistic escape? Well lay down those brushes, The Garden of England is already waiting to spark your creativity…
Follow along our charming coastline where you’ll uncover the jewel in Kent’s creative crown, The Isle of Thanet. Sprinkled with exciting galleries, quaint independent shops, cosy cafés and innovative artists, Broadstairs, Margate and Ramsgate proudly stand as some of the most exciting creative hubs in the UK. Boasting those Turner skies, the internationally-renowned Turner Contemporary gallery, the iconic Dreamland Margate, the only royal harbour in Britain and miles of blue flag beaches, this vibrant area combines quintessential seaside living with flamboyant cosmopolitan pizzazz, leading The Isle of Thanet to be an unmissable destination on your holiday bucket list. With its radiant creative flair, eclectic experiences and glowing art scene, be sure to dip your toes in this wonderful slice of the East Kent coastline during your adventure…
From heart-centred businesses and inspiring artists, to post-card perfect photography tours and craft-making workshops, our glorious county really does have it all. Don’t believe us? Come and see what The Isle of Thanet and the rest of Kent has to offer for yourself…
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Turner Contemporary Art Gallery
Visit the beating heart of Kent’s creative culture at the world-renowned Turner Contemporary in Margate. Designed by award-winning architect Sir David Chipperfield, the stunning seafront gallery celebrates JMW Turner’s spirit of enquiry with a rolling programme of exhibitions and events, each showcasing local and international talent. Admire the astounding collection of arts at the gallery, then head outdoors for a windswept wander along Margate’s sandy shores where you’ll be greeted by Antony Gormley’s Another Time. Gazing out over Margate’s horizon, this striking sculpture stands as part of 100 other cast-iron figures dotted all around the world, so you’d be mad to be miss this spectacle on your artistic adventure. And if you're thinking of staying the night, be sure to check in at Langmead Guest House in Ramsgate.
Refurbish and re-love
Does your wardrobe needle little love? If endless months indoors has left your closet crying out for a refresh (you have to wave goodbye to those trusty sweatpants at some point), Miss Gingers fabric shop and haberdashery holds the essential ingredients for style reinvention. Situated in colourful Folkestone, this quaint gem is bursting at the seams with events and classes focused around sewing, dressmaking, embroidery, upcycling, and sew much more! Just a stone throw away, you’ll discover The Upcycled Trading Company nestled within Folkestone’s Creative Corner (trust us, you can’t miss it). Specialising in all things sustainable, this heart-centred business provides a selection of workshops for any curious creatives eager to try their hand at upcycling. Put your artistic skills to the test, remaster a once-loved piece and take an extremely unique piece of East Kent home with you
If your perfect recipe for an Instagram-worthy snap includes a cup full of maritime history, a dash of Victorian architecture and a sprinkling of sensational scenery, then you can tick, tick, and tick off those demands with Louise Hubbard Photography. Offering guided tours around beautiful Medway, visitors can capture a treasure trove of picturesque places such as Fort Amherst, The Historic Dockyard Chatham and the sixth oldest castle in the world, Rochester Castle. Or snap up some of our charming county’s most photogenic spots with Alex Hare’s Explore and Discover Tours. From golden sands and lively coastal towns to glorious greens and quaint villages, design your tour to your own creative requirements.
Mrs. Baker’s Theatre Company
Lights, camera, action! Medway proudly stands as the home to many artists such as Billy Childish and Charles Dickens (only one of the most prolific novelists in the country), so the creative culture here is ripe for the picking. Head along to Mrs. Baker’s Theatre Company Art Tours and discover how the arts are practiced in this vibrant area today. Be led by your very own costumed guide to both high profile and off the beaten track creative corners, ready to take part in a mix of eclectic experiences such as musical performance, printmaking, or even puppetry!
Whether you consider yourself a budding florist or a total novice, Blooming Green in Maidstone is sure to have the perfect workshop to help you blossom. Make your own floral crown, assemble a personalised handtied bouquet or learn the tricks of the trade and discover how to grow your very own flowers. Alternatively, release your inner Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore as you take a spin at Wheel Throwing at This Art of Mine. Put your pottery skills to the test, have free rein of the painting process, and see what cooking clay masterpiece you can create!
Romney Marsh Shepherd’s Huts
Unleash your creative side with Romney Marsh Shepherds Huts craft making workshops. Get cosy in the snug Shepherds Hut as you master the process of natural dying, the craft of needle felting, and learn about the myriad of colours obtained from plants ready to use in craft creation. Design your very own beautiful pieces and leave with a new skill so you can impress your friends and family at home!
Creativity and rural idylls
From pottery and jewellery classes, to sculpting willow and weaving baskets, Cowshed Workshops offer the chance to escape the worries of modern life, learn a new skill and meet local artists and makers. What’s more, with a workshop set on a rural farm in idyllic Tenterden and surrounded by hop gardens and woodland, you’ll truly have the chance to switch off and indulge your creative side. From willow weaving and summer photography to calligraphy workshops, Belmont House and Gardens offers the chance to get crafty within the setting of a beautiful manor house and gardens, and let’s face it, what could be more inspiring than that? Whichever course you weave into your summer, you’ll learn new techniques and skills passed on by the experts, plus (most excitingly) you’ll have the fruits of your labour to take home.
Block printing, mosaic making, pottery, tile making, bee-keeping...the list of experiences on offer through Kent Craft Hive is extensive, so if lockdown has helped flex those creative muscles, you know where to go for a bespoke workshop. Held in a dedicated barn within a beautiful garden, Kent Craft Hive is all about learning new skills, crafting and getting creative while out in nature.
Made in Ashford is the ultimate collaboration of designers, makers and crafters, creating and passing on their skills through workshops throughout the year. Here, you can not only pick up gifts from local makers, but new crafting techniques from workshops and courses designed to provide creative training and benefit the wellbeing of their participants.
All that glitters is gold on a Hiareth Creative weekend workshop as you learn the techniques behind making bracelets, earrings and rings. And for newly engaged couples, there’s the chance to really make your big day special, with workshops for making your very own wedding rings – now that’s one ridiculously romantic gesture to start married life off right.
Capture Kent: Unique outdoor photography experiences
Coastline, lighthouses and the White Cliffs of Dover - Capture Kent's photography walks in Dover offer some of the best and most iconic Kent views. While walks through Chatham Maritime offer up a chance to capture industrial heritage, magnificent architecture and Chatham's waterfront. For seaside nostalgia, we recommend their walk along the Margate coast, packed with views, history and stories of one of Kent's seaside favourites. Whichever walk you choose, experts Andrew Dennis and Benjamin Bowles will pass on plenty of skills and knowledge to enrich your photography, before ending with a relaxed a relaxed light lunch and drink.
Before you embark on your creative-fuelled adventures, please do check our partner websites as many attractions and locations now request that you pre-book. There may also be new procedures in place in order to keep their staff and visitors safe. Take a look at our guidance on how to best Respect, Protect and Enjoy our wonderful Kent attractions and landscapes...
Stay a while
Travel with Arriva
As restrictions start to lift and the government’s plans to ease out of lockdown come into effect, Arriva are here to support our local communities. Plan your journey, track your bus in real-time, buy, store and activate tickets all in on one handy app. Search Arriva UK Bus app in your app store which is free to download or visit www.arrivabus.co.uk/app. You can also plan your journey, buy tickets and check out the latest news and offers online at www.arrivabus.co.uk. All Arriva buses are COVID-19 secure, to find out more please visit www.arrivabus.co.uk/help/coronavirus
As our worlds begin to open up again, Southeastern Railway are looking forward to welcoming you back on board their trains. Whether you’re continuing to travel for work, starting to think about returning to the office, planning to meet friends and family or are looking forward to visiting one of the wonderful destinations in Kent, Southeastern are there to help and support you every step of the way. Travel looks a little different from before and Southeastern want to reassure you that they are doing everything they can to help make you feel more comfortable, such as cleaning trains more frequently with anti-viral products, regularly wiping high touch areas and supplying hand sanitiser points at busy stations. So whenever you are ready and when it feels right for you, whatever journey you are taking, Southeastern want you to feel you can travel safely and with confidence.