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Ellie Graham
21st December 2023

“No one is too small to make a difference”. That’s the attitude we’re taking into the new year and, luckily for us, the people and places of Kent make it easier now more than ever to feel like you’re making a positive change. Produced in Kent rounding up some of the best local makers. Travel connections across the county calling for you to leave the car at home. Markets meaning your fridge is full with produce from just down the road. All of this and more is waiting for you in 2024, and we’re here to help with those small steps that will a big change.

Call of the Wild

Make big strides as you travel car-free to some of your favourite attractions in the county, knowing that your transport choice gets you discounts when you arrive thanks to Good Journey. One of our top picks is the Wildwood Trust, where the native species and wildlife of Britain are being protected, conserved, and rewilded. Whether you’re visiting, volunteering, or even adopting an animal, you’ll certainly be doing your part for the flora and fauna of Kent – and you can do it with half price entry when travelling car-free!

Sustainable by the sea

Looking out over the beautiful seascapes of Margate, you can enjoy a beautifully crafted meal at the upcoming Louie On Sea – a café by day, restaurant by night soon to arrive at Turner Contemporary in 2024. Coming from the nearby Westgate-on-Sea, the hugely popular Louie Louie now takes to the coast, bringing locals refreshing and exciting tastes to add to Margate’s burgeoning food scene.

Rediscover your county

Speaking of local, remember we mentioned Produced in Kent earlier? No matter where you may be in the county, you can find somewhere to eat, drink, stay, and experience with their fantastic directories of restaurants, cafes, accommodation, and attractions. If you fancy a bottle of kombucha made around the corner, have always wanted to try those famous Whitstable oysters, or want to treat yourself to a staycation in a shepherds hut, they’ve got you covered.

Markets Galore

Fancy getting your hands on some of the freshest, most delicious fruit, veg, and delicacies in town? Rochester’s Farmers’ Market has been in the business for over 20 years, and is made up of the most talented people, all growing, picking, brewing, and baking their own goods. And if you’re on the other side of the county by the coast, then Cliftonville’s Farmers’ Market is the place to go, with fantastic goodies, including vegan and gluten free options too. And for a taste of life as a local, enjoy the buzz of a White Cliffs Country farmers’ market, where you’ll find local produce from homemade chutneys and jam, fruit and vegetables to freshly baked bread. We’ll see you there!

Farmland for foodies

Nestle down amidst the beautiful outdoors at Quex Barn in Birchington, an award-winning farm shop and restaurant where you can find a butchery, fishmongers, delicatessen, fruit and veg stall, and a place to sit down for a couple of hours and fill your bellies with some delicious food.

Do your bit in Deal  

On the East coast of Kent, you’ll find a wonderful array of green spots to help you make those small steps in 2024. Head over to The Black Pig Butchers in Deal, a BBC Food & Farming Awards winner which specialises in artisanal butchery with naturally reared produce. For freshly caught fish, Jenkins and Son is a must visit, named one of the top 10 fishmongers in the UK by The Great British Food Awards. Keep the fun going with an overnight stay in Keepers Cottages’ The Green Housea home built with the planet in mind on Kent’s beautiful coast.

Raise a glass

A day out in Canterbury is incomplete without a stop off at Corkk, where the best wines of the county have been carefully selected for you to sample at your leisure. Get stuck into the wonderful local produce of Kent, learning about the unique notes that each bottle offers. With a calendar of events, you’re sure to find an evening to enjoy no matter when you visit.

Tour the Wine Garden of England

Go green while enjoying a day out of a lifetime, visiting up to three award winning Kent Vineyards, with transport, tastings and lunch included! With still and sparkling wines to rival many traditional wine growing countries, why not support your local hidden gem and experience the best of English wine with Wine Tours of Kent?

Countywide creators

And for all those occasions (birthdays, you won’t sneak up on us anymore!), Produced in Kent just so happen to have a list of some of the best creators in the county for gifts that’ll fit anyone. Soaps and skincare, home décor, jewellery, and more…you’ll be known in no time as the best gift giver in the family!

Independent Rochester

Known widely for its fantastic history, Rochester’s got more up its sleeve than a good story or two…dotted throughout the area, you’ll find some of the best independent retailers around. Go way back and browse prehistoric fossils, visit the country’s largest second handbook shop, or (if you can’t get enough of those markets), visit the Rochester Vintage & Artisan Market and shop small in 2024.  

Fill up on the essentials

Lower your plastic intake and switch out some of those single uses with a refillable jar! At The Grain Grocer, you can find all the pastas, grains, pulses, and even cosmetics to fill up on. Plus, with delicious hot drinks, homemade lunches and treats, you might just want to stay a while longer and enjoy the delights of a lovingly made meal. Find out more about how to ditch the single uses with Plastic Free Thanet.

Calling all green fingers!

Fancy getting stuck into the outdoors? At the Windmill Community Garden Centre in Cliftonville, you can do just that. With events throughout the year and weekly volunteering opportunities, come along and join in on the fun with garden workshops and afternoons spent with the local community.

Pick your own

In Sandwich, Felderland Farm have a wide range of seasonal produce available to fill up your baskets with when in season, including plums, blackberries and strawberries. Or, Lavender and Blackberry, a florist and greengrocer in Deal High Street, has plenty of lovely fresh local fruits and vegetables to put some colour into your kitchen and stomachs!

Keepers Cottages

If you’re making the most of the county and turning one day into an overnight stay, Keepers Cottages are ready with an unforgettable home-away-from-home in Whitstable, at West Cliff. Surrounded by beautiful seaside, you can make some small steps while on a getaway, as the house has an array of refillable products throughout and you’ll find goodies from local businesses in your welcome bag – now that’s a way to go greener (literally) in your sleep!