May half term in Kent

Sophie Hewitt

27th May 2021

Parents, after more than a year of restrictions in place and school holidays where the highlight of the week is another walk around the park, we are so excited to share our plans for May half term in Kent! This holiday should be all about reconnecting, enjoying days out with the grandparents and seeing your little ones have a whale of a time at attractions across Kent. From castles lowering the drawbridges for special events, to swimming pools, adventures at wildlife parks, and even some FREE days out, it’s all happening this week!

Marvellous Maidstone

Our lovely Leeds Castle is going wild this week with green-fingered fun in celebration of National Garden Wildlife Week. While you’re appreciating the gorgeous castle grounds, little ones will be able to get their hands dirty, learn how to grow seeds, go on a bug safari and take to the trails on a wildlife adventure through the grounds! Just up the road at Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel, we recommend stopping off for some active fun, where youngsters can take a dip in the pool, try their hands at pitch and putt and even take a swing at tennis in the beautiful grounds.

Make it historic

This week is all about discovery at Hever Castle, with the chance to learn about inventors, ancient artefacts, physics and archaeology in three different shows for little learners. Meet Victorian and Edwardian scientific explorers, debunk myths, search for Saxon, Tudor and Medieval treasures, and learn all about the inventors who have made history! Ah, we’ve missed our heritage railways, so we’re so excited to say Kent & East Sussex Railway will be back steaming through the countryside from Tenterden. Better still, the week of discovery continues as the kids are encouraged to play nature detectives as they journey down the line. Plus, with a certificate and sticker given to each child, we can guarantee this day out will be a winner.

Fantastic free finds

We all LOVE a free gift, little ones included, so we’re excited to hear that throughout half term, The Battle of Britain Memorial will be lining up a special treat for younger visitors, with a free make and fly Spitfire or Hurricane model with entry to the Scramble Experience. With an interactive look into the history of the Battle, little ones will be enthralled on this historic day out. Take a visit to England’s first cathedral, Canterbury Cathedral this half term and your little pilgrims will get in for free! Discover the very place where history has been made, from the grisly murder of Thomas Becket, to the inspiration for Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, it’s all here waiting to be discovered!

Active and outdoors

Ah we all know little ones looooove to run around and let off some energy, and we reckon Betteshanger Park is the perfect place to do just that! Archery, a pirate trail, fossil hunting, traffic-free cycling…whatever your young athlete has in mind, you’ll find it here. Better yet, pitch up at the Folkestone Camping and Caravanning Club Site and you’ll be in for an active seaside staycation that’s sure to make little adventurers smile. Reconnect away from Netflix and video games and enjoy that sea air and a night under canvas for the perfect family break.

The Isle of Thanet

We’ve checked every weather app around and it’s looking (fingers crossed) like we’re in for some sunny weather this half term! After weeks of rain, treat the family to a round of mini golf, go rock-pooling along those 19 miles of sandy beaches, or grab your Coastal Explorer Pack for a spot of wildlife detecting. With blue-flag beaches to choose from, ice creams to be had and heaps of fun, we have to say a visit to the coast is the perfect way to start recapturing those missed family moments.

White Cliffs Country

It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get set to BAKE at Chequers Kitchen in Deal this half term. Their family baking workshop will soon have you mastering the art of the Cornish pasty or apple turnover, while the family sushi-making workshop will set you on a roll (see what we did there) when it comes to making the delicious Japanese delicacy. Further along the coast Dover Castle is bringing history to life and revealing wartime secrets with their Dover at War event! Meet wartime characters, hear their stories and take on a secret mission during the Bank Holiday weekend. 

Wild Things

Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve and Howletts Wild Animal Park have reopened and can’t wait to welcome your wild things back. Discover the county’s only spectacled bears, gorillas, rhinos and monkeys at Port Lympne, before venturing Jurassic Park style (one for the parents) into the Dinosaur Forest. Or, meet those iconic baby elephants, tigers and more within the 90 acres of parkland at Howletts, and don’t forget to chill out at the Animals of the Ice Age exhibition for the coolest day out!

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 You can also plan your journey, buy tickets and check out the latest news and offers online at All Arriva buses are COVID-19 secure, to find out more please visit