28th March 2021
After far too long spent enjoying our own company in 2020, its time to think about (safely) sharing some experiences with our much-missed family and friends again.
In the past, Kent has been home to an incredible array of live events from fantastic food festivals, to open air cinema, to memorable concerts and amazing art trails but last year the county had to either cancel or reimagine many of these experiences with visitors’ safety in mind.
Dreaming ahead in 2021, there’s much to look forward to with events looking to be bigger and better than ever! With so many wonderful events in the planning, and a huge range of shared experiences to discover across Kent, it’s time to start making precious memories together again.
In Folkestone and Hythe, visitors can enjoy the benefits of coastal living with fresh sea side air, stunning walks and fantastic local food and drink. There’s also a wonderful array of local artists and creatives in both seaside towns with their work on display and for sale in the many independent shops and markets. For a unique cultural experience, the Folkestone Art Works art trail in and around the creative quarter in Folkestone showcases a huge range of outdoor art works from world-renowned artists. For live music and theatre, the Folkestone Quarterhouse has got to be the place to go, with a packed programme of events throughout the year. If films are more your thing, head to the outdoor cinema on Folkestone’s popular Harbour Arm for an outdoor movie experience. Don’t forget to stock up on tasty treats to enjoy during the film from the huge range of delicious foodie outlets on the harbour arm!
We’ve put together some more recommendations to hopefully give you the inspiration and information needed to safely share and enjoy some of Kent and Folkestone and Hythe's finest experiences in 2021…
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Pay a visit to vibrant Folkestone between 22nd July and 2nd November and you'll see a town transformed into a gallery, with striking new installations from artists, reflecting the town's rich cultural history. The Folkestone Triennial is the flagship project of Creative Folkestone and the largest exhibition of newly commissioned work in the UK - one definitely not to be missed!
Folkestone Harbour Arm
With a whole host of venues serving everything from Champagne and craft beer, to Greek mezze and hand-stretched pizzas, Folkestone Harbour Arm is the perfect spot to pitch up with friends for a spot of alfresco dining. Regular live music and events throughout the summer months accompany those sensational sea views for the ultimate afternoon by the coast.
Salute to the 40s
Start planning your vintage outfits and perfecting your victory rolls now – the war time spirit is very much alive and planning is in full swing for next September’s ‘Salute to the 40s’ event. This family-friendly festival at the Chatham Dockyard will transport you back in time for a weekend of vintage delights. From vehicle parades, music and entertainment, live displays and air raid experiences to a range of open galleries and exhibitions, there’ll be so much on offer for all the family. There’ll also be food and drink a-plenty to enjoy so dig into some traditional Fish and Chips at The Mess Deck, then grab a cocktail before testing your swing moves on the dance floor and dancing the evening away!
Music festivals at Mote Park
Longing for Live music? Craving a concert? Desperate for a dance? Reminiscing about rocking out? Oh how we’ve missed it! Well the wait is almost over because Maidstone’s Mote Park is delivering not one but TWO music events next summer with live music, food, camping, and much more. The ‘Ramblin’ Man’ Festival in July is a celebration of Classic Rock, Outlaw Country, Blues and Prog – an incredible line up for music fans. Accompanied by a beer festival and a range of stylish glamping accommodations, it looks set to be a festival to remember. ‘Rock The Mote’ also returns to Mote Park in August, another 2-day festival complete with incredible local food and drink and a stellar line-up of tribute bands, including Queen, Artic Monkeys, Kings of Leon and Take That!
Prince's Golf Course
If you fancy a little outside sporting action why not grab 3 friends or family members for an exclusive round of golf and perfect your swing in the prestigious setting of Prince’s Golf Club in Sandwich – a club steeped in history offering modern championship links golf in an idyllic Kentish setting. With mid-week and weekend 4-ball available for a limited period of time, the popular course is opening its doors to small groups of visitors who can safely enjoy a challenging round of golf set against a backdrop of stunning coastal scenery.
Elmer the Elephant in Maidstone
The year of ‘Elmer the Patchwork Elephant’ is finally set to happen for Maidstone in 2021, with the town preparing to host the herd of beautifully deigned Elmer sculptures throughout the summer months. ‘Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent’ Parade will be a colourful and vibrant parade of sculptural elephants designed by local and national artists, forming three art trails around the town, river and parks for locals and visitors to enjoy. The first art trail ever for Maidstone is a real community effort - the parade will be the culmination of a huge town-wide collaboration with local schools, groups and businesses working together to raise funds and awareness for the Heart of Kent Hospice. Make sure you march on down to Maidstone next summer because if there was ever an event that’s the perfect 2020 antidote, this is the one!
With 23 days of Art, Music, Literature and Film on offer, Estuary 2021 is the large-scale arts festival to provide that much needed culture fix we’ve all been lacking this year. Celebrating the lives, landscapes and histories of the spectacular Thames Estuary visitors will enjoy contemporary artworks, discussion and events responding to powerful themes resonant to the estuary. With art-works set within the landscape, online and within Covid-safe venues, visitors can enjoy the festival safely and focus on the incredible array of art on display.
Heart of Sevenoaks
After spending so much time at home this last year, it’s going to feel a little strange to start plotting dates, times, and events back into our - so far untouched - diaries over the coming months. Luckily for us, the brand-new ‘Heart of Sevenoaks’ event directory will give us somewhere to start from. Heart of Sevenoaks is a new and exciting online events directory, connecting the community with local events in and around Sevenoaks. Heart of Sevenoaks will be launching an event series this year, which aims to enhance culture, attract visitors, and work with local businesses to support small independents in Sevenoaks. Say hello to you new, best (most organised) friend...
Whether you’re celebrating a big birthday, booking a surprise getaway, or simply looking to spend a bit of quality time with your loved ones after prolonged time spent apart, you needn’t look beyond the Garden of England when thinking about planning your next special staycation. With over 50 hand-picked homes across the county - from cosy cottages to marvelous manors - Bloom Stays have the perfect self-catering accommodation waiting for you to make treasured memories this year.
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 hosted at the club’s iconic Spitfire Ground offer something for everyone. What’s more, keep an eye open for a series of special events and music concerts being hosted at this fabulous venue!
Leeds Castle Classical Concert
Following a year away the Leeds Castle Classical Concert returns for 2021 (10th July), promising to be a highlight this festival season. Enjoy world-class music, captivating performers and fireworks, all set against the stunning backdrop of Leeds Castle - bring a picnic, bring the family, bring a candelabra! Be sure to book up as these tickets sell out fast.
Before you embark on your shared 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 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
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.