Once the big day has been and gone, you might find yourself pondering over what’s actually open between Christmas and New Year and how to keep everyone from the kids to grandma entertained. Don't fear the festive fatigue as we've got plenty of ideas for days out in Kent during that post-Christmas no man’s land of too much turkey and not enough exercise.
Whether you’ve got a house full of visitors, or you just fancy making the most of your time off by exploring what’s on your doorstep, we’re here to help with our round up of things to do and places to see this Twixmas.
Frosted gardens and a glittering castle – the beautiful Hever Castle has got to be on your list of Twixmas visits this year. Follow the festive Pinocchio trail through the grounds, discover twinkling lights and log fires in the castle and wrap up warm to explore the Winter Garden at its blooming best. And trust us, on a frosty day the walk around the Lake, hot chocolate in hand is the ultimate way to blow away the cobwebs and beat the festive fatigue!
It doesn’t get much more magical than a visit to the jewel in Canterbury’s crown this season as The Cathedral will reopen its doors to visitors from Boxing Day. Better still join the family Christingle Workshop on 28th December for a real traditional taste of Christmas and celebrate together at the annual Christingle service afterwards, before strolling Canterbury’s cobbled streets and ducking into a cosy pub for dinner by the fire. Pure bliss.
We can’t think of a better way to relax on our Christmas break than enjoying one of Hucklberry Woods’ one to one animal experiences! Book your experience and choose from private strolls with alpacas, playing with micro pigs, and miniature donkey walks for a real back to nature experience in the countryside that’s perfect for animal lovers.
We don’t know about you, but the coast is one of our go-tos when it comes to a little post-Christmas reinvigoration. While you might not fancy taking to the waves in winter, we can recommend stopping by the Turner Contemporary which sits right on the sea-front in Margate. Celebrate Kent’s incredible local artists with their exhibition, Open, or just sit and watch the world go by with lunch in the café. For little ones, we can’t recommend the Hornby Visitor Centre enough. Track the history of Hornby’s iconic toys, from model railways, to Scalextric and Airfix. Plus, while you may not thank us for this, the centre’s shop is a must-visit for those with a little Christmas money to spend!
Be it Dover Castle, Walmer Castle or Deal Castle, Kent’s coastal castles are well worth a visit this Twixmas. Step from Roman ruins to wartime history at Dover Castle, see those iconic Wellington Boots and the Queen Mother’s beautiful gardens at Walmer Castle, or discover Deal’s Tudor artillery fortress and the history that lies behind the quirky artillery fort of Deal Castle. Whichever you choose, these incredible sites are an absolute must this season.
When you’ve had your fill of Celebrations and Christmas cake, Betteshanger’s miles of off-road cycling adventures beckon. Mountain biking, orienteering (a light run anyone?), geocaching, or just walking, it doesn’t matter which adventure you choose, it’s the perfect place to blow off some steam and burn off some turkey, before returning to festive flicks and more mince pies in the evening, of course.
Wingham Wildlife Park will be back open from Boxing Day, making it the perfect spot to take those bored tots this holiday. Meet Kent’s largest herd of dinosaurs (Jurassic Park is sure to be on this Christmas), see the UK’s only moon bears and discover incredible animal species on a visit to Wingham. Remember what we said about our love of the Christmas coast? Wrap up in your new knitwear and head to Samphire Hoe for sea views and breath-taking afternoon sunsets.
Christmas seems like the perfect time to remember the brave, and The Battle of Britain Memorial’s spectacular clifftop views to France and the Memorial itself offer the perfect place to reflect on the bravery of The Few. While The Wing and the carpark are closed during the Christmas period, the grounds and Memorial are open and just the place for a winter stroll. Along your wander you’ll find a replica Hurricane and Spitfire and the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial, listing the names of The Few.
On 2nd January Canoe Wild will be hosting the New Year’s Paddle, a guided canoe trip that will see in a 2022 of adventure. Paddle from Fordwich to Grove Ferry, soak up the peace and tranquillity of the River Stour and spot wildlife along the way. Water-side views and wildlife = the perfect winter’s day.
From 29th December marvellous Medway will be opening the doors of many of its historic attractions. With Dickensian links running through the area, it’s the ultimate place to visit during the festive period. From Eastgate House’s exhibition on the traditions of Christmas, to the fairytale Rochester Castle and the Guildhall Museum’s intriguing tales of Napoleonic Prisoner ships and impressive architecture, history is at the very heart of a visit here. What’s more, with the Beauty and the Beast pantomime running in Chatham until 31st December, there’s still time to get in a last festive sprinkle.