Escape Hibernation

28th March 2021

Shut down the Netflix app, stop the scrolling on social media and be gone with the blanket! It’s time to blow off the cobwebs from your exploring boots, get that heart pumping, and escape hibernation once and for all. Our charming county provides a bountiful supply of exciting things to see and do, so instead of escaping to your fantasy in front of the tv screen, come and experience it right here in Kent. From explorations across golden sands to discovering our natural world in a whole new light, you’re certain to uncover why they call us the Garden of England…

Come on over to wonderful White Cliffs Country, where the sea meets the sky, the past meets the present, and life-long memories are created in abundance. Lined by the iconic White Cliffs of Dover, framed with chalk-lined bays like the beautiful St Margaret's Bay, and bounteous in stretching spaces, when it comes to scenery, Dover, Deal and Sandwich does not disappoint. Be spoiled by the breath-taking sights discoverable at every turn, and unearth this striking slice of our county. Whether your agenda includes spotting wildlife at Samphire Hoe nature reserve, admiring the area's unspoiled landscapes while walking the North Downs Way high up on those iconic cliffs, taking to two wheels through the 250 acre Betteshanger Park, or diving into White Cliffs Country's fascinating past, The Key to England offers the perfect place to breathe in the fresh air, and escape the lockdown blues…

So what are you waiting for? It's time to lace up your exploring boots and discover the range of outdoor experiences across Dover, Deal and Sandwich, and further afield in Kent.

Discover even more experiences...

Swing into action

Psst, you may or may not have heard it already, but we’re welcoming a pretty special sporting event to Kent this year. For those of you who simply can’t wait for the action to tee-off this July, it’s time to stretch those legs, dust off your clubs, and swing into action yourself on one of Kent’s top golf courses. Royal St George’s, Prince's, and London Golf Club boast some of the very best golfing experiences around, and each waits patiently to provide you with the perfect escape from yet another round of the dreaded home workouts. Cricket more your cup of tea? Being the birthplace of the county game, Kent County Cricket Club has all your cricketing needs covered! Throughout the year a packed programme of matches offers something for everyone, plus, keep an eye open for special events and music concerts being hosted at this special ground.

Refuel

All this adventure is hungry work, right? Linking landscapes to the dining table, roll up your sleeves and head out on a gourmet foraging adventure with The Wild Kitchen in Deal along East Kent’s salty shores and shady woodland. Uncover unique delights such as edible seaweed, fresh shellfish, field plants and herbal cordials, ready to indulge in a tantalising foraged feast back at the Wild Kitchen’s charming Georgian restaurant. Meanwhile in West Kent, located in the heart of rolling countryside, Frasers of Egerton offers an idyllic setting on a 300-acre farm from which to enjoy an abundance of fresh, seasonal produce straight from the kitchen of its 2 AA-Rosette award-winning restaurant. Something that’s sure to tantalise those taste buds… 

Countryside and wide open views

Resting on the coast near St Margaret's Bay, The Pines Garden is the perfect place to escape for peace, quiet and a taste of the countryside. A stroll through the six acres of organic gardens offers plenty of discoveries, including a poetry path, lake, children's sustainability trail, and more than 40 species of fruit and vegetables. And where can you get a taste of some of that organic fruit and veg? In their very own tea room, which offers an ever-changing menu packed with locally produced delights. But if a slow saunter and cake isn’t quite enough to persuade your family into the great outdoors, you’re bound to find something to spring into action for at Betteshanger Park. With miles of traffic-free cycling trails, archery, fossil hunting and even forest school, we can guarantee a visit here will be one action-packed adventure. 

Bright Moon Tai Chi

For an outdoor experience that will engage the mind, body and soul, Bright Moon Tai Chi in Deal offers a taste of meditation in motion! Whether you choose a quigong or tai chi session, you'll have the chance to discover all about low impact martial arts and the meditative benefits they can have. With flexibility in the classes delivered, be it experiences for families or adults, these sessions are the perfect introduction to slow-moving martial arts, whatever your level of fitness or mobility. 

Mind and body

Escape to the great outdoors

Laced with winding paths and framed by natural beauty, head outdoors and stretch those limbs at one of Kent’s outstanding outdoor spaces. Boasting 2,500 acres of open landscape, treasure-filled Penshurst Place Parkland offers the perfect place to escape hibernation, meanwhile a wander through the glorious grounds of Godinton House is sure to pique the senses as this picture-perfect garden bursts into life for a new season. 

Aqua Adventures

Ready for a new challenge? Dive into open water swimming in the surroundings of beautiful Bewl Water reservoir, with Kent’s only certified Swim Smooth Centre, TriSwim. As one of the fastest growing outdoor water sports in the country, open water swimming is definitely worth a Tri (sorry!). Once you're floating full with confidence, head straight to the Isle of Thanet’s sandy shores where a wealth of watersports and active adventures await. Active Ramsgate are bursting with brilliant ideas to get that heart pumping on the coast. For those who’d prefer to keep their toes out of the water, Whitstable Maritime’s Coastal Trail & Oyster Walk offers the optimal opportunity to admire Kent’s spectacular shoreline from afar. Delve deep into Whitstable’s fascinating history with this 5km circular route.

A new way to explore

If lockdown’s reignited your love for running this year, you may well be on the lookout for some exciting new trails to tread in the coming months. Experience historic Canterbury like never before when you lace up and join a fascinating (and fast paced) Canterbury Running Tour. Your guide Andy will provide an overview of Canterbury at its most beautiful, whilst also sharing some stories of this charming city’s many secrets. More of a trail than tarmac runner? Escape to beautiful Bedgebury Pinetum instead. With its miles of off-road routes trails, this National Pinetum and Forest provides a chance to escape from stuffy gyms into the fresh air, offering the opportunity to get fit where you can be truly inspired by stunning natural surroundings.

Off on safari

Wandering wildlife? Check. Sweeping scenery? Check. Picture-perfect views? Check. Grab those binoculars and reconnect with the natural world right here in Kent. Home to over 760 animals across 90 species, including spectacled bears and Kent’s only giraffe, take a journey through South America, Asia, and Africa in just one day when you embark on a safari adventure at Port Lympne Wild Animal Reserve. Alternatively, be led through some of the county’s finest wildlife reserves by a knowledgeable guide, discover secluded spots off the beaten track, and see what curious creatures you can discover lurking along the way, on a nature-spotting safari with Kent Wildlife Trust

Where the wild things are

If wild things make your heart sing, you’ll want to head straight to one of Kent’s wild animal parks or family farmyards where you’re guaranteed a wide array of animal antics. At Wildwood Trust near Canterbury come nose-to-nose with British Wildlife past and present including bears, wolves, otters and wild cats to name a few. Or, 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.

Louise Hubbard Photography

Make sure you leave our county with not only a heap of life-long memories, but also a camera-roll full of awe-inspiring shots. 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!

Put your feet up

If you’ve been reading our sporty suggestions with a little trepidation so far, fear not! We know that for some, enjoying a breath of fresh air doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand with a chance to raise your heart-rate. Instead, why not opt for an experience in the great outdoors that allows you to put your feet up and simply enjoy the ride? Head full steam ahead to Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway’s exciting group experiences where you’ll chug along scenic railroads taking in the views of the picturesque Cinque Port town of Hythe, family-friendly seaside village of Dymchurch, and the railway’s headquarters at New Romney, before reaching the UK’s only desert in Dungeness. Alternatively, release your inner Disney prince or princess with a trot along to White Horse Farm in North Kent. Saddle up for a day jam-packed with horse-grooming and feeding, before galloping away in a carriage along Gravesham’s luscious countryside… 

Just around the river bend

One Canoe, plus two paddles, equals an afternoon of fun. Yes, if you want to explore Kent’s rivers and take in stunning scenery, Canoe Wild is for you. No experience is required here and all the equipment is provided, just book online for amazing trips to Fordwich, Grove Ferry or a Private 1-1 Lesson. Freshwater, open-air, close to wildlife, there’s simply no downside!

Explore Kent on two wheels

Whether you're a beginner or well on your way to making the Tour de France - after a prolonged stint of time spent indoors, why not change it up a gear, and head outside on a two-wheeled adventure? For cyclists feeling apprehensive about saddling up for the first time (or the first time in a long time), there’s no better place to head than Wider Experiences. Offering a comprehensive cycling experience in Kent and Sussex, the Wider team provide training programmes and refresher courses year-round for Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced cyclists as well cycling fitness, road safety and off-road (mountain bike & trail riding) courses. For those of you ready to shed the stabilisers and ride out on your own, Country Bike offers easy online bike hire, whether you’re opting to rent for a day or a week. With Country Bike’s forward-thinking rental app, your next two-wheeled escapade lies just a tap away!

Channel Bike Hire & Marsh Jeep Safaris

Explore our beautiful county on two wheels with Channel Bike Hire. Choose between cruising along the charming coastline and taking in the seascapes, or pedaling through our rolling hills and admiring the glorious greens on one of the many cycling routes. Have the chance to experience our idyllic county as you travel, with the added bonus of not frantically searching for a parking space!  If you’d rather be chauffeured around, then save the coins on the African experience and explore the Kentish hills instead with Marsh Jeep Safaris. Tour along the beautiful settings and discover grazing animals, meandering wildlife, and rare plantations along the way- there’s no better way to experience Kent’s natural world!

Birling Estate and Badgells Wood Camping

Nestled along the south-facing slopes of the North Downs in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Birling Estate offers glorious greens, stretching slopes and panoramic views to its lucky visitors. Take a second to sink into calm and truly immerse yourself in the scenic surroundings. Spend a night snoozing under the stars at Badgells Woodland Camping, reconnect with nature at the forest bathing experience, or truly indulge by packing an overnight bag and unwinding with a wellbeing weekend- whatever’s on your agenda, Badgells Wood is brimming with all the ingredients needed for the perfect retreat.

Sleep under the stars

With an enviable landscape encompassing everything from charming coastline and awe-inspiring areas of outstanding natural beauty, to thriving cities pulsing with culture, it’s no surprise that the Garden of England offers some of the very best camping and glamping experiences in the UK. Why put a pause on your adventure at sundown when you could be pitching up to a whole host of stunning sites county-wide with Curious Cow Camping, enjoying uninterrupted views from the skies above inside The Gem House’s glamping bubble, or waking thoroughly refreshed in the only place in the UK that you can spend the night within a National Nature Reserve at Elmley? Oh go on, why don’t you stay a while?

Before you embark on your outdoor adventures, please do check our partner websites as many attractions and locations now request that you pre-book. There may also be new procedures in place in order to keep their staff and visitors safe. Take a look at our guidance on how to best Respect, Protect and Enjoy our wonderful Kent attractions and landscapes

Stay a while...

Travel safely

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 www.arrivabus.co.uk/app. You can also plan your journey, buy tickets and check out the latest news and offers online at www.arrivabus.co.uk. All Arriva buses are COVID-19 secure, to find out more please visit  www.arrivabus.co.uk/help/coronavirus

Travel with Southeastern

As our worlds begin to open up again, Southeastern Railway are looking forward to welcoming you back on board their trains. Whether you’re continuing to travel for work, starting to think about returning to the office, planning to meet friends and family or are looking forward to visiting one of the wonderful destinations in Kent, Southeastern are there to help and support you every step of the way. Travel looks a little different from before and Southeastern want to reassure you that they are doing everything they can to help make you feel more comfortable, such as cleaning trains more frequently with anti-viral products, regularly wiping high touch areas and supplying hand sanitiser points at busy stations. So whenever you are ready and when it feels right for you, whatever journey you are taking, Southeastern want you to feel you can travel safely and with confidence.