When it comes to days out in Kent, we’re all about quality. From days out with the grandparents, to time spent relaxing with friends, or running around with the kids, these great value days out are all about making the most of quality time spent together and making memories that don’t cost the earth.
We know that with costs rising, watching the pennies is more important than ever, so we’ve rounded up some of our top tips for low cost days out that truly deliver when it comes to good value experiences. From free tickets for little ones and ideas for wonderful wintry days out that cost no more than a hot chocolate and a slice of cake, to days out with loved ones that leave you with memories to last a lifetime, trust us, these great value ideas are worth every penny.
Visit Chiddingstone Castle and for as little as £3 for parking you’ve got access to 35 acres of gardens, walks and grounds to explore - £3, that’s it! Discover breath-taking views of the North Downs, woodland wanders and even access to the tea room for those well-earned hot chocs. If you do fancy ducking into the castle, and trust us with its extraordinary collections from around the world, it’s certainly worth it, entrance is just £9.50 for adults and £4.50 for children over five. What a deal!
Our friends at Visit Thanet have rounded up some of the best value days out around! Take a look at their free and low cost ideas for days out that range from adventure golf and Explorer Packs to keep little adventurers busy at the beach, to fantastic deals from the likes of the Powell Cotton Museum and Quex House and Gardens which are offering entry for just £2.50! What’s more, there’s some great deals to be had with joint attractions tickets for favourites like the Hornby Visitor Centre and Margate and Crampton Tower Museum, offering you not one but two days out for less.
We’ve said from the start that the great value days out are all about making memories, and what could be more memorable than a family visit to Canterbury Cathedral, a Kent icon and the oldest cathedral in the country. What makes this an even more valuable visit is that until the end of December 2023, children under 18 can visit absolutely free when accompanied by a paying adult – yep, free! So there you have it, don’t pass up on the chance to take the family on a visit to this Kent favourite that is rich in history, has welcomed pilgrims for centuries and has even been written into literature. What’s more for just £5 you can even enjoy a guided tour which is packed with fascinating facts, behind the scenes info and interactive activities.
While teaching younger generations about the sacrifices that were made during the Battle of Britain by The Few is invaluable, a visit to the Battle of Britain Memorial comes at a very low cost. Here you’ll find an atmospheric spot to reflect on those sacrifices, replicas of Spitfire and Hurricanes to help bring it all to life, not to mention the National Memorial and Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall which lists the names of The Few. And unbelievably all of this comes at just the cost of parking alone. If you’re inspired, the ticketed indoor Scramble Experience is the perfect way to take your visit to the next level. While it’s the only paid for option on site, it’s well worth the fee, offering an exciting audio-visual experience with hands-on activities and access to more information.
Exceptional architecture, 1400 years of history and free entry, Rochester Cathedral is the ultimate free day out. Discover the second oldest cathedral in the country which has plenty of hidden treasures to be found, including centuries old graffiti which paints the picture of the region’s long maritime history, alongside mason’s marks which tell the story of this incredible building's creation. Round off your visit with a wander through the gardens before heading to the café in the Crypt for coffee and cake.
For a free day out that is guaranteed to reward you with beautiful views, why not explore the North Downs Way? Cutting across the South East of England and Kent Downs National Landscape, this National Trail offers walkers of all abilities 153 miles (246 km) of spectacular scenery, picturesque villages and glorious countryside, easily accessible from London. Running from Farnham to Canterbury and the White Cliffs of Dover, the trail will give you the best views of those autumnal colours and crisp winter land and seascapes, and you'll discover history every step of the way: there are eight castles, three cathedrals, three archbishops' palaces and numerous stately homes and gardens close to the Trail. After a day of exploring, you can sample English ales flavoured with Kentish hops at traditional English country pubs and inns, or try sophisticated wines from one of the various local vineyards.
And if you want to add a little bit of history to your coastal adventure, you can do just that at Dover Castle. With countless stories to unfold, history to unveil, and people to discover, your day out at one of Kent's finest castles is waiting. To make the day even better, Dover Castle has teamed up with Good Journey to get you 20% off when you travel car free! Find out how you can save on your next day out in Kent.
Three days out on one joint ticket – what’s not to love? Medway boasts history galore and with the Medway Heritage Attractions joint ticket the whole family can take a visit to three of its top attractions for just £37.50. Yes, Eastgate House, Rochester Castle and Upnor Castle are all included in the entry, which is valid for three months, so you can travel from an Elizabethan house with Dickensian links, to a Norman tower keep, to a riverside artillery fort, all on one ticket. And from great value to utterly free, the guided walking tour with The City of Rochester Society is the perfect way to explore this vibrant town with a local guide. So that’s 90 minutes of fact-packed and intriguing tales all a zero cost.
Maidstone has a myriad of free and low costs things to do, from the Archery Challenge and Aqua Challenge at Maidstone Leisure Centre that costs as little as £10 a head, to farmyard thrills at Little Fant Farm, which has a tea barn, farm animals and beautiful grounds, perfect for that day out with your little ones and the grandparents in tow. While entry to Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats is low on cost but big on delivering smiles from little ones, costing just £4, with every penny going towards keeping the goats happy too. Going from low cost to absolutely free, we recommend the River Park Trail for wildlife spotting, cycling, walking, and even trying your hand at brass rubbing along the way!
In White Cliffs Country, it’s all about exercising your body, not your credit card! Follow historic town and village trails for unique tales, take cliff top wanders over those iconic cliffs (seriously, how much more memorable a day can you get?) to St Margaret’s or walk part of the Saxon Shore Way. Take to two wheels on the Skylark Trail, or bike from Deal to Shepherdswell on the Miner’s Way Cycle Trail. For little busy bodies, Betteshanger Park is packed with low-cost fun ranging from fossiling to geoacaching and archery, while its new Kent Mining Museum tells all about Kent’s former colliery and local life. Rainy days are filled with visits to free museums like Deal Museum, the Women’s Land Army Museum and Sandwich Guildhall Museum, which even has displays of the original Magna Carta! While Samphire Hoe on a bright clear day is perfect for an afternoon of bird-spotting, walking and breath-taking views – bring that camera!
It’s nearly time for pantomime season – oh yes it is! Don’t let little ones miss out on this ultimate Christmas experience this year, as Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone is offering the chance to grab those tickets with a £4 early bird discount! Be whisked away on that magic carpet ride with Aladdin and enjoy the perfect traditional Christmas family day out. But you’d better be quick as this discount only lasts til the end of September!