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Josh Carter
12th February 2024

Kent covers over 1,300 square miles, and you may know our White Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury Cathedral in the east and wonderful gardens in the west of the county, but with a county so big there are bound to be some gems – and you’re right! Whether you want a weekend of sampling our expanding and sophisticated wine scene, remembering the county’s incredible importance to the country’s history or simply a fun afternoon the family can enjoy, here are our surprising Kentish breaks…

The wine scene in Canterbury...

As we mentioned, the wine scene in Kent is popping off at the moment, and a place to celebrate that is at Corkk in Canterbury. With locally sourced food and drink and of course plenty of Kentish wine, the bottle shop and bar has an elegant but cosy atmosphere, and offers wine tastings with its amazing enomatic machines, where you can sample many different wines. Voted into the top 45 hippest bars in the UK by The Times and best independent retailer in England and Wales 2023 by Decanter, a visit is a must. 

If you're up for continuing the relaxed atmosphere, make a trip of it by staying poolside or riverside. in some of Keeper's Cottages properties in the area

...And the wider wine scene in Kent

Did you know that Kent has the most acres of vines planted of any UK county? No wonder we're so good at it! Visit the Wine Garden of England with Wine Tours of Kent and discover award winning wine in idyllic countryside. Spend the day visiting up to three vineyards, sampling the very best of Kent's wine and enjoy a delicious country pub lunch too with all the driving taken care of! With door to door pick up available, this is the perfect day out from your home or holiday accommodation. What could be better? Well once you've finished for the day and purchased your wares for future consumption, stay at Boys Hall - a wonderfully restored 17th Century manor house near Ashford, which of course has its own best of Kent produce served each day in the restaurant and nine characterful and historic rooms. 


Battle of Britain Memorial & beyond

Kent's history is rich with stories from both World Wars, and understanding our history is still very important, especially the sacrifices of so many. High on Kent’s famous White Cliffs stands a unique tribute to the men of the Royal Air Force who defeated the Luftwaffe in 1940 to keep this country safe from invasion. Unveiled in July 1993 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, the National Memorial to the Few features a seated airman gazing contemplatively out over The Channel towards the coast of France, where battle ensued in the skies above day after day in the summer and early autumn of that year. Over the past 30 years a host of new features, including replica fighter aircraft, the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall and the Trust’s iconic visitor centre, The Wing, has been added to this clifftop Memorial, a tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of Churchill’s ‘Few’. 

Just below and a little east, lies Samphire Hoe, which offers dramatic views up the iconic White Cliffs, and unspoilt coastline at the end of the nature park - taking sea swimming to a new level! 

Once you've breathed in all the sea air, it's time to take a well earned rest at the Hythe Imperial Hotel. Around 15 minutes from the Memorial, this hotel has a unique location sitting right on the beach, with endless views across the English Channel and the likes of a heated indoor swimming pool - bliss. 

Heading underground and back in time in Thanet

To some outsiders, the The Isle of Thanet might look as though it has a thing for tunnels. Starting in the centre of Margate, we've got two attractions which are otherworldly. The Shell Grotto has a currently unknown beginning, only being discovered in 1835 by the purchaser of a house who wished to do some renovation work in the garden. Underground, there is a small network of tunnels which has no less than a staggering 4.6 million shells arranged in elegant patterns that demand your attention. Just moments away from the Grotto, Margate is also home to the Caves, which is a cathedral-like structure formed by the excavation of chalk. In 2019 the site expanded with a new Community Building, Café, Shop and Exhibition and Interpretation spaces so you can learn about the landscape, ecology and geology of the area. Just over in Ramsgate lies a tunnel structure whose origin is a little more well known - Ramsgate Tunnels. Once a railway tunnel to the beach, it was expanded into the chalk to become an underground city during WW2 with over 1,000 permanent residents. Find out more about its story with a visit topped off by a Tunnel Teas Cafe visit on the way out. 

After all of that time underground, make the most of the sea air with a stay at No. 42 on the beachfront. A boutique hotel with tastefully decorated rooms and its outstanding Pearly Cow restaurant, oh and we can't forget the rooftop cocktail bar! 

Dover Castle's Escape Room

For thousands of years, there have been buildings of some form at Dover Castle, from a Roman lighthouse to the incredible castle itself. And this might make you want to visit, but how about escaping it? Well except for simply just walking out, you can utilise your brain and take on the Castle's Escape Room! Located inside the iconic Secret Wartime Tunnels, you are taken back to the Cold War, with a time constrained mission inspired by the Castle’s real life history of the period. 

In the town itself, head to the Dover Museum where you can see the Dover Bronze Age Boat, believed to be the oldest substantially intact boat in the world - yes, the world! After a busy day cracking codes and pondering history, head to the Dover Marina hotel on the beachfront where you can treat yourself to a spa, sauna, steam room and a spa pool, to name a few amenities! 

A slice of emerald in Tunbridge Wells

​This peaceful slice of Kent is a very popular place to visit and discover some real English-ness, from the postcard-ready Pantiles to castles that perch within green foliage for as far as the eye can see. However the area is also home to some local jewels in the royal crown. For instance, The Beacon is a hub for delicious dining within magical settings, but the most important part is the incredible view across some of the Wealden countryside, or in this part of the borough - ‘Happy Valley’! Keeping that magic going, consider staying at the Old All Saints Church, which is a dramatic converted church surrounded by fields of hops, orchards and woodlands. If that's not enough and you've not mixed it up enough (phew), head out on an alpaca walk the next day with Crowbourne Alpacas - including Quizzical and their newest baby additions! 

Castle Farm, Sevenoaks

This one is a little surprising as it feels like we've been transported to the south of France. No this isn't Plateau de Valensole, but rather Castle Farm right here in Kent! As you roll down the driveway to the lavender fields in June and July you'll be amazed by the wonderful purple buds that line the fields. Stop for a few photos wandering among the fields and then finish the trip in the gift shop where you can buy almost anything that can be infused and made with lavender - from sleep remedies to moth repellent.