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Ellie Graham
15th March 2024

If you thought you could feel a buzz of excitement in the air, you’re not just imagining it, something special is happening in Kent. The makers of the county are preparing the finest food and drink, fluffing the plushest of pillows, preparing adrenaline-fueled experiences, and waiting to tell unforgettable stories. That must mean one thing – the Kent Big Weekend is back. Allow us to share with you just some of the best days out on offer this year that will leave you Kent locals feeling truly treated…good luck, and happy #KentBigWeekend.

One for the tastebuds

Get your hands on some of the best local produce around this Big Weekend, with prizes up for grabs from some of the best makers in the business.

We’ll start off with a name that reminds us of those warm, summer days, drink in hand and soaking in the gloriousness that is the Kentish countryside – Shepherd Neame. Chances are we’ve all spent a restful afternoon in one of their many pubs across the county, so now’s your chance to go behind the scenes for a special sneak-peek preview of how their beautiful brews are made. With a tutored tour and tasting for two, you and your favourite beer buddy can enjoy the wonders of Britian’s oldest brewer.

If you’d rather get a fix of something fruitier, then you’re in for a treat. With such an abundant landscape, the soil here in Kent does not disappoint, bringing to life all that’s grown here, meaning the grapes grown on the Balfour Winery Estate are full of life and flavour. See for yourself with a vineyard tour and tasting for two, where you’ll walk the vast and vibrant land, before sampling for yourself the magnificent range of still and sparkling wines.

As we get into the warmer days of the year, what better way to enjoy the sunshine than with a scoop or two of ice cream made right here in Kent? Cooling, light, and delicious flavours are waiting to be tried at Solley’s Ice Cream Parlour. Take a seat in their colourful parlour (where you might even get to see Amber the dog!), treat yourself to a delicious cone, and then head out on a tractor ride for two of their glorious land – bring the cameras, this is one for the Insta feed!  

One for the experience-seekers

There are thrills around every corner, with the Big Weekend bringing with it some unforgettable experiences. Let’s see what’s in store…

Strap in and lift your spirits as you lift yourself up into the trees of Go Ape’s days out. Swing, hop, and jump as you choose from three of their adventures, with a Tree Top Challenge, Tree Top Adventure+ or Tree Top Adventure Course on the table. Whether that be in the Leeds Castle Go Ape or Bedgebury Pinetum Go Ape, you and your favourite thrill seeking friend have an amazing day out in store.

A night under the lights awaits at Kent Cricket , the oldest rivalry in world cricket resuming as our home team goes head-to-head with Surrey this April. With tickets to the County Championship Match Day, join in the fun as you cheer on the team and watch the on-green drama unfold.

Fancy getting a little wild? Book in to Kent Wildlife Trust’s Wilder Kent Safari are up for grabs. Have a day out at the Oare Marshes, an incredible spot for flora, fauna, and fascinating history. Discover the importance of this piece of land with a tour, hearing from experts in the field and widening your understanding of Kent’s bountiful landscape.

One for the storytellers

It wouldn’t be a Big Weekend if we didn’t have at least one heritage site involved. Here’s just a couple to whet your appetite and get your fix of Kent’s history…

Rising above the famous White Cliffs, high above the Channel, English Heritage's Dover Castle is an unmistakable Kentish icon. So, if you’ve not already visited, what are you waiting for? Explore Secret Wartime Tunnels, Underground Hospital, and the medieval Great Tower all in one place!

And, to experience those scenic walks that we all know and love across Kent, National Trust’s Knole Park is taking part this year. Walk in the footsteps of visitors from the past 400 years and get to know the history of the area through its stunning scenes.

One for the ‘R&R’ers

All of this excitement most certainly calls for a little bit of rest and relaxation, so whether you need some peace after a busy Big Weekend or you’re looking to dive straight into the luxury, here’s where to do it…

A charming four-star hotel awaits you and that someone special, giving you with two leisure club day passes at the Bridgewood Manor Hotel. Now’s your time to unwind, kick back, and enjoy some tranquility. Your every need will be met, with treatments, pampering, and food and drink galore.

Pinkies up, and tuck into a delicious afternoon tea for two at the ABode Hotel in Canterbury (the city’s only 4 star hotel, might we add!), as they serve up a selection of sandwiches, sweet treats, as well as clotted creams and fresh jams to go with those scones. So, however you pronounce it, enter to win this unforgettably delightful afternoon.

And for the ultimate treat to top off your 2024 Kent Big Weekend, book in for a stay at the Best Western Abbots Barton Hotel…surrounded by glorious gardens, this Victorian gem is only a 10 minute walk into the heart of Canterbury, and brings with it deluxe suites, smart TVs, standalone baths, and plenty more to make you feel like you’re getting that all star treatment.