First Date Ideas in Kent

Trust us, we know how daunting the whole first date experience can be. The combination of nerves, excitement, fear of the dreaded awkward silence and don't even get us started on choosing what to wear! How do you create an outfit that says 'oh this? I just threw it on', whilst also trying to channel your inner James Bond or nail some of Carrie Bradshaw's most-iconic looks? Luckily for you, our charming county boasts an abundance of romantic spots to soak up, so you and that special someone can make your first date one for the memory books. From strolling around luscious vineyards to skating it back to the 80s at a retro roller-room, treat your love interest to one of these idyllic spots and a second date is sure to be on the cards...

Tiller and Wheel

When you’re knot shore of where to go (sea what we did there), set sail on your blossoming romance and head to the horizons with Tiller and Wheel. Hop aboard the historic Sailing Barge and discover East Kent’s charming coast and peaceful waters. From one-hour trips to full day excursions (depending on how well you’re getting on), there’s a trip to suit every voyager. If you need a little more anchoragement, there’s even options for prosecco-topped afternoon tea, perfect for those tempted by a tipple and a homemade cake-yum!

A wheely good time…

©James Billings

Rochester Cathedral (Museum of the Moon)

Stepping outside for a stroll under the stars can be a little unbearable at this time of the year (brrr), but with Rochester Cathedral’s Museum of the Moon exhibition, the enchanting glow of the night’s sky can be enjoyed inside away from the cold. The wonderful display features a seven-meter replica of the lunar surface, compiling NASA imagery, moonlight and surround-sound composition to create a wonderfully romantic setting. Treat that special someone to a date out of this world and if you’re looking for Valentines options, the visit includes a glass of bubbly on the 14th Feb, so you can raise a glass to your first date under the moonlight.

Out of this world…

The Isle of Thanet

We think the best way to really get to know someone is by unleashing their competitive side as soon as you can-if you’re dating a Monica Geller, it’s probably best to realise on the first date, right? Watch the awkward silence and forced conversation drift away as you channel your inner Sherlock, unearth clues, and unlock the door to the Isle of Thanet’s fantastic escape rooms. Or, strap up your skates, grab your neon leg warmers and skate back to the 80s at Dreamland’s retro Roller Room-the perfect excuse to indulge in some hand-holding when you feel like you’re going to trip!

The key to their heart…

Biddenden Vineyards

Fancy something a little more relaxing? Wine not book a private tour of Biddenden Vineyards and discover the viticulture techniques used to create world-class wines?  Wander hand in hand through the sun-kissed vines as your personal guide shows you around and answers any questions you may have, indulge in a sharing platter made from local produce and taste the award-winning wines to discuss yours, and your date's favourites. 

You’re the wine that I want…

Go Ape Leeds Castle

If even the thought of watching a horror film makes you want to cry, but you’re still desperate to show your date how fearless you really are, then get in touch with your inner Tarzan and Jane and head to the treetops at Go Ape, Leeds Castle. Be released into the forest ready to tackle rope bridges, speed down zip wires and make your way across intricate crossings, all challenging at 40 feet above the ground. Spend the morning taking on the obstacle course, then reward your accomplishments and teamwork with a romantic lunch against the backdrop of ‘the loveliest Castle in the World’, Leeds Castle.

Smiles for miles…

Hythe Imperial and The Spa Hotel

If you consider yourself more of a traditionalist when it comes to dating, how about wining and dining your date at one of Kent’s hotel restaurants? Treat your valentine to dinner at The Spa Hotel and be welcomed with a glass of fizz, before indulging in a delicious three-course meal complemented with live music from Jessica Louisa. Or, tuck into a four-course dinner at the AA Rosette Coast Restaurant at Hythe Imperial. Chat away the evening, then head to Kent’s only Moët & Chandon bar to toast your date, whilst enjoying breath-taking views of the seafront.

Wine and Dine…

©@backyard.explorers

Tunbridge Wells

The historic spa town of Tunbridge Wells has so much on offer for visitors, making it a picture-perfect spot to spend a first date. For those with a sweet tooth, take a bite out of the Spa Valley Railway’s afternoon tea and enjoy this English tradition in a less-than conventional method-on a steam train! Or, shake things up and see how well you and your date really mix with cocktail making at One Warwick Park. If you’re more enticed by taking a deep breath of fresh air, peddle along to Countrybike and soak in the sites of this beautiful area, stopping off at the many attractions along the way.

Swipe right for Tunbridge Wells…

Maidstone

Located in the heart of the Garden of England, Maidstone’s romantic villages, hop gardens and luscious landscapes provide the perfect backdrop to set the scene. From romantic boat trips on the Kentish Lady and delving into Kent’s fascinating history at Maidstone Museum, to hearty pub lunches at The Boat House and farmyard fun at Kent Life, there’s so much to see and do here. For a date to remember, take a spin at Wheel Throwing at ‘This Art of Mine’. Release your inner Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore as you enjoy a glass of bubbly and help each other create a pottery masterpiece. *Disclaimer* There will be no topless Patrick Swayze at this event.

Fall in love with Maidstone...

Eagle Heights

For those wanting to unleash their wild side, Eagle Heights will make a fantastic first date spot. Grab those wellies and prepare to be amazed as you and your date come face to face with nature. Watch as the beautiful birds glide high in the sky against the backdrop of Darent Valley’s sweeping countryside and learn the history and habitats of these majestic animals. If your date is going well, how about treating them to one of the experiences here? From meeting meerkats and hiking with huskies to alpaca trekking and owl flying, you can guarantee a huge smile on your date’s face.

For the lovebirds…

Chapel Down 

Treat that special someone to an indulgent day out at Chapel Down, England's leading winemaker. With the new 'Tasting to Table' experience, visitors can explore the wonderful winery and vibrant vineyard on a tutored tour, learn the secrets behind the wine-making process from grape to glass and refresh the palate with 7 award-winning Chapel Down wines in the tasting rooms. Couples will then finish the evening tantalising taste buds with a 3-course delicious dinner at The Swan restaurant, accompanied by refreshing glass of Chapel Down's finest.

Great minds drink alike...  

The Curious Brewery

Calling all the beer lovers! Head along to the brand-new 'Beer Meats Cheese' experience at The Curious Brewery and show your date a beer-rilliant day out (sorry, that one was bad). Get a taste of curious brewing as you and your valentine indulge in a tour and tasting around the brewery, accompanied by a platter of local cheese and charcuterie. After your tour, you'll receive a special gift to take home with you, adding a little memorabilia to your first date.

Raise the bar...

Arriva

If you're in need of a speedy way to get around, or are trying to avoid the awkward conversation of who's the designated driver on your first date, then hop on board Arriva. With routes in Maidstone, Medway and Swale, you don't have to limit yourself to only visiting one of the attractions (or having just one drink!). Think you could be in with a chance of being crowned Kent's most deserving couple? Then there's no better time to travel with Arriva. Enter their competition for the opportunity to spend a date night on board accompanied by a personal butler, before indulging in dinner courtesy of one of the local restaurants. Email your 100 word or less description, name and location to arrivavalentines@smokinggunpr.co.uk 

Hop on board...