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Free things to do in Kent

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Josh Carter
29th November 2023

Exploring and truly experiencing the Garden of England doesn’t have to break the bank, so read on below to discover our top days out that are also purse friendly. From a day out exploring one of Kent’s finest vineyards to an afternoon adventure with the family riding around the beautiful Kent countryside, it’s time to leave the wallet at home and come and experience days out in Kent that are priceless in every sense of the word.

Vineyard vistas

Explore some of the beautiful vineyards here in the Wine Garden of England all for absolutely nothing with their wonderful self-guided tours around the estates. Visit Balfour Winery on a warm summer's day - collect a map from their Cellar Door and explore the picturesque Estate at your own pace. Over in Gusbourne, you can embark on a gentle 35-minute walking route which takes visitors through the vineyards and its stunning views toward the Romney Marsh. Before taking the route, make sure to head into The Nest to collect your complimentary map.

The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge

Set in the heart of historic Canterbury, The Beaney is home to some of Kent’s finest collections. From the original Bagpuss with some of the original TV scripts to the impressive sculptures of The Magna Carta Barons, alongside the likes of mummified animals! With so much history waiting to be discovered a day at the museum never looked so intriguing. If you'd like to continue your exploration of Canterbury's story, wander down the high street to the Roman Museum, which has a Roman mosaic pavement, jewellery to pottery swords. 

White Cliffs Country

If you find yourself over in East Kent, you're definitely not going to have a shortage of things to do for free. In Deal, you can walk along the beach, spotting fishing boats and sheds and then take a wander along its 1950s pier, which is the only intact leisure pier in Kent. If you'd like to try and go a little further, you can walk from Deal all the way to Dover, meandering along the cliffs and through picturesque coves. In the other direction, you can walk to Sandwich Bay, which is full of wildlife and perfect for dog walks and then into Sandwich itself for beautiful backstreets and a bite to eat! Just outside Deal, Betteshanger Park has lots of activities on throughout the year and has plenty of trails for bikes. 

If you're here for the weekend, consider staying at some of Keepers Cottages properties, such as Rosewood in the heart of Walmer; The George with its own large garden, or Dexter's which is a stone's throw from the beach and high street in Deal. 

Dreamland Margate

With vintage rides and just a stone throw from the seaside, Dreamland Margate is the perfect place to explore on a family day out with the perfect entry price - completely free. Enjoy pop-up entertainment throughout the park throughout the year and if you fancy testing your nerves there's a simple and good value pricing for the vintage rides, plus amazing street food to get stuck into. On your way out you stop off at the classic arcades stacked with pennies! 

Once you've done all the exploring of the park, head along the coastline and explore some of Thanet's 16 sandy beaches, which are stunning in the low winter light, or for making sandcastles in the summer... 

Turner Contemporary

Further around the bay in Margate, explore cutting edge artwork and sea views at the Turner Contemporary. Year round, there's a raft of award wining artwork to suit every taste - from classical paintings to interpretive pieces. After a day at the gallery you can enjoy an afternoon at the beach just outside, where you can spot the magnificent Antony Gormley sculpture hiding in the sea. If you need more information on how to spend the day, Margate's Tourist Information Centre is just outside the gallery entrance! 

Crab and Winkle Way

Dig the bikes out from the shed and get ready for a bike ride adventure, from Canterbury to Whitstable (or vice versa). Ride along the old railway line that once ran between these two beautiful locations in the early 19th century, once of the first to be built in Great Britain. In the autumn it's a haven for golden leaves and cosy pubs at either end, and of course in the summer the beach awaits! This seven-mile route is just waiting to be explored. 

Sandwich Guildhall Museum and Archives

Discover one of the most celebrated documents in history – The Magna Carta and its sister document – The Charter of the Forest dating from 1300. Not only can you see this astonishing part of history, they also have fantastic temporary collections celebrating the history of Sandwich all for free. So why not head out today and learn a new thing or two? 

Lower Leas Coastal Park

A true hidden gem here in Kent is the wonderful Lower Leas Coastal Park in Folkestone. Begin your journey walking through the beautiful gardens and smelling the fresh flowers. Then stop off for a visit to the largest free adventure play area in the south east, perfect to keep the kids entertained.

Penshurst Place

Having a family day out during the winter season doesn’t have to cost a lot, especially with the charming English countryside on your doorstep. The Penshurst Place parkland is a wonderful place to get the kids out of the house and let their imaginations run. Whether it’s a winter picnic, filled with scrumptious soups and tasty hot chocolate or a game of stuck in the mud, you can enjoy a wintery day out in the 2,500 acre estate and enjoy free car parking year round, just outside the Gift Shop and Porcupine Pantry Café! 

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