New ways to #ExperienceKent
1st August 2021
Already crossed the threshold of each of Kent’s castles? Ticked off a visit to every one of our award-winning beaches? Tasted your way around all the pubs and cafes you can think of? If you’re looking for a new way to discover our wonderful county, we have fantastic news for you. We’ve rounded up a whole host of partners county-wide who have a new experience, or a never-been-seen visitor offer to share with you.
From artistic adventures to forest bathing, prepare to experience Kent from a whole new angle this summer…Plus, as our businesses are proudly displaying VisitBritain's We're Good to Go kitemark, all you’ll need to worry about is which experience to choose first!
Margate’s internationally renowned gallery may well be celebrating double digits this year, but whether you’ve been lucky enough to visit Turner Contemporary before or not, a trip to this striking building at any time is likely to offer culture vultures an exciting new perspective. Presenting a rolling programme of exhibitions, events and learning opportunities, this summer's highlight reel includes Ellen Harvey's first UK solo show 'The Tourists', two-channel video installation 'Ashes' (2002–2015) by artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen, and outdoor sculpture 'April is the cruellest month' by Michael Rakowitz which forms part of the brand-new Waterfronts commission from England's Creative Coast. Plenty of newness to spark your creativity!
Boasting a brilliant blend of pretty pebbled beaches, candy-coloured shop fronts yearning to be snapped and shared on Instagram, and gourmet delights at every corner; Whitstable Maritime's unique Coastal Trail & Oyster Walk around one of the Garden of England’s most sought-after seaside spots provides wayfarers with the perfect way to spend a summer day in the sunshine. Packed full to the brim with stunning seascapes, and glimpses into this charming port’s past, Whitstable offers an ideal haven for any coastal explorer.
For traditional pedal power, Country Bike offers easy online bike hire, whether you choose to rent them for a day or a week. Offering a drop off and collection service, along with rental locations already along cycling favourites, the Pilgrims Way and Tudor Trail in Sevenoaks, Kent's wide range of winding paths and magnificent trails await. Fancy an expert-led excursion? Opt for a guided tour courtesy of Col’s Kent Bike Tours and allow cyclist Col to lead you on a leisurely bike ride (suitable for all ages and abilities) as you explore both little-known gems and iconic Kent sights, accompanied by fascinating local facts along the way!
Who says your Kentish adventure needs to end at sundown? We have a whole raft of unique home-from-homes for you to hunker down in after a day of exploring the Garden of England. Enjoying a coastal caper? Our friends at Keepers Cottages have you covered with over 80 self-catering cottages, peppered along the Kent coast. Alternatively, from pads with pools to stunning shepherd huts, Bloom Stays’ range of hand-picked homes will have you booking up that next short break faster than you can say ‘and, relax’…
Say goodbye to any road rage, and instead settle down for a relaxing rail ride through Kent’s countryside. Sounds like bliss, right? There really is no better way to enjoy a unique experience here in the Garden of England than with our friends at Southeastern Railway who provide safe and speedy services across the county, giving you a chance to focus fully on trying something new (while also catching a glimpse of our county’s stunning scenery at the same time…)
Kentish Lady - Self-Drive Boat Rental
From the rail tracks to the river for our next exciting experience; a self-drive boat hire on the upper River Medway, courtesy of Kentish Lady. With a travel area running between Allington Lock and Teston Lock, cruise casually through the beautiful Kent countryside, unleashing your inner Attenborough as you get in touch with a fantastic array of nature and wildlife along the way. Pack a picnic and round up the troops for this wonderful escapade atop the water. Aye, aye Captain!
Sherlock: The Official Live Game
Sherlock needs your help! Take on a mission across Canterbury as you uncover a series of clues, conundrums, and codes that need to be cracked in this original Sherlock-inspired challenge. Gather your most esteemed group of intrepid friends to find key evidence and solve the mystery. You'll be digitally assisted along your journey with content from the hit BBC show’s cast, including animated videos, voicemail, and text messaging.
Saltmarsh Walking Company
Guided wanders along the coast, strolls through ancient woodland and the chance to explore the countryside of Whitstable – a day with the Salt Marsh Walking Company is a great way to discover the Kent countryside on foot. With the promise of a picnic of locally sourced produce, and plenty of historical points of interest along the way, we can promise you it will be a chance to enjoy a real slice of the Kent countryside.
England's Creative Coast
Take part in the world's first-ever art GeoTour. Using GPS-enabled technology, it will give you a playful, new way to explore seven new artworks along the South East coast. Perfect for art lovers, families and those wanting to explore their own towns, England’s Creative Coast’s geocaches are hidden in, and around, our outdoor artworks, galleries, and coastal towns for you to find. They’ve even hidden secret seaside-themed stories and rewards in every cache. Launched in April and May 2021, this Art GeoTour has been created by the local people that live in each place and developed in partnership with Geocaching HQ and the Geocaching Association of Great Britain.
Discover something new at Kent’s oldest vineyard when you embark on one of Biddenden Vineyards’ self-guided tours, brand-new for 2021. Follow a marked route as it takes you on a walk through the vines, giving an insight into Biddenden’s family vineyard history and the grape varieties grown on the estate. This self-guided tour includes a tasting flight of either three or six wines, and there’s no need to pre-book, simply check in and purchase your self-guided pack at the Vineyard Shop on arrival. Cheers to that!
If Tokyo’s got you considering dusting off the activewear in order to try your hand at a brand-new sport, we think we might have just the thing for you! From scenic strolls and scuba diving to kitesurfing and kayaking, our friends at Active Ramsgate are encouraging you to grab your racket, board or even just your walking shoes as you discover exactly what’s on offer along this stretch of the Isle of Thanet to get your blood pumping and your heart racing...
Tansy Dowman Forest Bathing
Tansy Jane Dowman’s forest therapy, mindful walks, and retreats for women offer the ideal opportunity to get back into nature, and with so many glorious landscapes in our county, Kent has got to be the place to start that journey. Tansy’s workshops are all about rewilding yourself and reconnecting with nature through crafts, classes, and guided meditations, so if you’re looking for a chance to switch off and escape from the hustle and bustle, they’re the perfect antidote to life’s everyday stresses. And breathe...
Ever wondered if you can eat the plants that grow around our coast? On the Isle of Thanet, Doctor Forager (Hannah Scott PhD), offers a range of distinctly different food experiences. Through foraging walks, education and cookery courses, Hannah hopes to bring her guests back to nature as they enjoy the holistic benefits of the great outdoors, the fruits of the land and the time and space to escape the daily grind.
For something a little different, Huckleberry Woods is ideal for the young and young at heart. This family-run farm offers the chance to treat little ones to a picture of rural life with one-to-one experiences, relaxed visits, and the chance to meet (and fall head over heels in love with) a whole host of micro and miniature breeds.
Brand new axe-throwing centre Battle Masters in Gravesend takes ‘experience’ to the next level as visitors can try this completely safe but super exciting activity. Popular in the USA, axe-throwing entertainment is making its way to England and Kent is lucky enough to house one of the few centres in the UK making it a truly unique experience. With a bar, and an escape room also on site it’s perfect for a thrill seeker looking for an edge-of-their-seat experience.
The stunning scenery of the North Downs is a sight to behold and the epic Augustine Camino Pilgrimage Trail from Rochester Cathedral to St Augustine's in Ramsgate is the perfect showcase. Taking in seventy miles of downland, the trail passes historic castles and standing stones and meanders through picturesque Kentish villages, glorious wildflowers and wonderful woodland. Walk the route in sections, stopping to pause at the many breath-taking view points along the way or for the more adventurous, spend a week taking on the trail, staying in pubs or camping along the route. Taking in Rochester, Maidstone, and Canterbury, as well as the stunning surrounding countryside, the pilgrimage is a true opportunity to discover Kent’s rich and varied history and heritage.
Historic Dockyard - Hands-On Ropery Experiences
Our friends over at the Historic Dockyard, Chatham have been showing people the ropes (if you’ll excuse the pun…) for generations, and they’re delighted to be bringing back their guided, group Ropery Experiences for 2021. Did you know that rope has been made at Chatham Dockyard for 400 years? That’s right; miles upon miles of rope that has rigged the mightiest vessels ever to take to sea, including Nelson's Victory was made right here in Kent! Today Chatham is the only one of the original four Royal Navy Ropeyards to remain in operation and, together with its related buildings, forms the finest integrated group of 18th century manufacturing buildings in Britain. The ancient craft of rope making still takes place daily, using traditional techniques mastered centuries ago. The Historic Dockyard calls these special artisan craftsmen and women ‘master ropemakers’, and invites you to learn the craft yourself as part of your next visit to this iconic Kent site…
Hever Castle's Brand-New Woodland Obstacle Course
Children can now explore a newly created obstacle course and woodland area in the stunning grounds of Hever Castle. The new obstacle course in Woodland Walk off Lake Walk is aimed at 4 – 8 years old with plenty of natural activities designed to spark the imagination and burn off some energy. Young visitors can tackle wooden obstacles, balance, and climb over logs and stepping stones, scale rope ladders and explore a den. Everything has been created from materials already in the woods from fallen or cut down trees and the paths are made from wood chip from the trees. Hever Castle is set in 150 acres of grounds and offers the perfect family day out. The new obstacle course can be accessed from Lake Walk, simply follow the signs to Woodland Walk.
Louise Hubbard Photography
Snap up some of Kent’s most spectacular sights on a photography experience day with Louise Hubbard Photography. From beautifully back-dropped coastline to striking settings with a dash of history, you’re sure to find a fabulously framed spot that will make your friends and family as green as our landscapes!
Upcycled Trading Company
This summer, unleash your hidden creative side when you 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.
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.
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