Creative cities, a cultural coastline, and calming countryside certainly make the scenic shores of East Kent a tempting choice for that next short break.
What's more, with a whole host of accommodation providers, food and drink options, and days out placing sustainability right at their heart, you can rest easy knowing that you’ll be helping to do your bit for the planet, the next time you take a trip to this captivating corner of the Garden of England...
Sat right on the beautiful Thanet coastline, Turner Contemporary is best known for its amazing collection of artworks displayed in a beautifully modern building, all backdropped by a stunning seascape. The team at the gallery are aware of environmental issues facing us right now – rising sea levels, more frequent natural disasters, and altering ecosystems – and are taking action to help fight this. Having already achieved zero waste to landfill, implemented 100% low-energy LED lighting, and optimised their temperatures to conserve energy, it’s safe to say that a trip to Turner is not only supporting local artists, but also this beautiful planet!
The Wilder Blean project is making huge steps in wildlife conservation in Kent - starting with bison! European bison have arrived in West Blean and Thornden Woods as part of the project's woodland management programme. Known as 'ecosystem engineers', these bovine beauties have a great impact on their environment, restoring the natural biodiversity of a landscape through their behaviours - grazing, tree felling, eating bark, and taking dust baths! You can learn all about the amazing flora and fauna of West Blean and Thornden Woods on the Wilder Kent Safari, with options for the little ones too on the Family Wildlife Watch! Discover the wonders of the Kent woodland, and reconnect with the natural world. You might even see some bison on your day out, with Exmoore ponies and Iron-Age pigs being introduced soon too!
Getting back to basics with nature and the outdoors is the perfect way to show us the importance of being sustainable in our everyday lives, and one of the best places to do that is in Deal’s Betteshanger Park. With a year-round line up of events, like food festivals and days out for the kids, you can experience the Kentish countryside in its full glory. Hearing the call of the wild? Well, let it know you’re on your way and head down to Betteshanger for your next outdoors adventure!
Anybody else *obsessed* with Interior Design Masters? Whilst we may not be able to promise Alan Carr's witty commentary during your stay, a trip to fabulous Folkestone does offer the chance to flex that creativity. Specialising in all things sustainable, The Upcycled Trading Company 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.
Resting on the coast near St Margaret's Bay, The Pines Calyx 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.
Right at the heart of environmental conservation sits the wonderful Wildwood Trust, just outside of Canterbury. Year round this Trust is open for everyone to see and learn about a range of rare animals, including lynx and bison. Those lucky enough to visit on selected dates throughout the year will even have the chance to embark on a range of courses; from Dormouse Handling and Surveying Workshops, to Badger Ecology, Mammal Identification Weekends and even Spider Identification courses (... if you’re not too afraid of all those legs!) Each course promises to open your eyes to the world around us, and help Wildwood's visitors to understand our wild friends a little bit better.
What better way to explore what East Kent's shores have to offer, than on two feet (or two wheels)? Yes, with 19 miles of award-winning coastline, glorious green spaces, and country paths to discover, stretching your legs - and treading lightly - on the Isle of Thanet is a must on a sustainable break to Kent. Immerse yourself deep in the landscape when you walk or cycle the 32-mile, circular Viking Coastal Trail. Taking in the sights of Broadstairs, Margate and Ramsgate, and with plenty of rural countryside and quiet coastline along the way, you’re in for many an Instagram worthy view here!
And here’s even more sustainable inspo from the Isle of Thanet on all things sustainable – from eco-travelling to local farmers markets, second-hand shopping to green accommodation.
There’s nothing like a meal you’ve cooked yourself, so you can trust us when we say there’s really nothing like a meal you’ve foraged and cooked yourself... all from the East Kent coastline. 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. And (yes, there’s more!) you won’t want to miss The Wild Kitchen in Deal who specialise in cooking with British plants and seaweed that grow wild in Kent, and offer a truly gourmet gastronomic experience linking landscape to table.
Let's face it, no trip to East Kent is complete without a chance to sample some of the area's delicious, local seafood. Enter Angela's of Margate - a small seafood restaurant serving delicious, local seafood, alongside simple, seasonal vegetable-based dishes. This seaside spot has a pretty uncomplicated philosophy. They simply always consider people and the planet first, working directly with growers, fishermen and suppliers who understand how to make the most of their produce and at the same time minimise the impact on our environment. Spend an afternoon exploring the eclectic Old Town of Margate, peppered with independent shops and galleries, before reserving your seat at this foodie favourite and indulging your taste buds with Angela's changing (but always tempting) menu of fresh, ethically sourced seafood.
You’ll find everything from artisan bread to tempting kombucha at our next tasty tip-off along East Kent's shores. At its heart Root is all about providing tasty food that will do you good and make you happy, in an environment that is comfortable and friendly. Opening its doors in April 2021, this vegan and vegetarian cafe prides itself on serving up home cooked, delicious and nutritious food and drink to the people of Hythe, and lucky visitors to the area too! As well as a physical cafe, the team at Root is happy to be able to offer some of their food (along with a selection of groceries and gifts) online too - which means you can enjoy lots of the delights that Root has to offer, even after your Garden of England getaway is complete!
There’s never been a better (or more important) time to shop local, and with Kent's terrain so bountiful, there's lots of fresh food, beverages and natural products for us to choose from here. Prepare to be well and truly spoilt for choice when you pop into The Goods Shed, situated just next door to Canterbury West Station. A haven of locally sourced fresh food with a array of colourful fresh fruit and veg, local fresh meats as well as spots for coffee and meals to go, The Goods Shed is a one-stop shop for anyone paying a visit to this historical city spot. What's more, with so many independent businesses located under the same roof, when you pop in to store, you'll be supporting a whole host of local suppliers in one go!
For that perfect East Kent break, look no further than a night at the Green House, nestled in the beautiful town of Deal. Just seconds away from the seafront and pier, you can spend your days strolling by the sea, grabbing a drink, and enjoying the sunshine before heading back to your very own private garden, fit with two seating areas, perfect for serving up and enjoying a homemade meal with friends. With eco-conscious household goods and beauty products throughout, you can sleep well knowing you’re doing your bit for the planet when you spend the night at one of the Keepers Cottages.
For the wild at heart, your East Kent adventure needn't stop when the sun goes down. Kent’s very own world-renowned animal conservation charity The Aspinall Foundation, has a vision to halt the extinction and further endangerment of animals in the wild. Whether you choose a cosy, heated wooden camping pod, a staycation in the sky within a luxury tree house or a family safari tent, you’ll be sure to capture all the stunning views and amazing habitats within Aspinall's impressive Port Lympne Reserve, near Folkestone.
And if you fancy exploring even more of the great work being done at Aspinall’s, Howletts Wild Park is just up the road and full of committed, forward thinking conservation plans for the Earth’s magnificent wildlife.
Step away from the usual routine and get back into nature with a camping escape with the Camping and Caravanning Club. Enjoy pitching up and relaxing under the stars with s'mores in tow, before getting ready to explore the nearby attractions easily with sites in both Canterbury and Folkestone.
You don't need us to tell you that the most sustainable form of transport has got to be public transport. With high speed links from London, and train stations throughout Kent, let Southeastern trains take the strain on your next trip. Once you're here, Stagecoach offers great local links, getting you from A to B more sustainably.