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Sophie Hewitt
28th November 2022

Here they are, our top suggestions and recommendations for 2023, our must dos, must sees and not-to-be-missed things to look forward to in the year ahead. We’ve rounded up the best of the best in this list, from accommodation to dream about, to bucket list plans to finally tick off that list. Ready to get planning for the best year yet?

Animal encounters

Animal lovers, this is the one for you. Head to Howletts Wild Animal Park for the ultimate experience as a Keeper for a Day. When we say this is once in a lifetime, we mean it as you’ll get up close and personal with the animals, prepare feeds and even…you guessed it, help muck them out. An absolute must – it’s no wonder this one has made it onto this year's Kent bucket list.

Amazing animal stays

Sister reserve Port Lympne offers our next bucket list item, with a stay at the Insta-famous Lion Lodge or Tiger Lodge. We know you’ve seen those incredible shots of Port Lympne’s astonishing big cats looking through the windows into these chic accommodations, but we warn you, you’d better book up fast to get this one on your 2023 hit list.

Swim, bike, run

Hands up, who has competing in some sort of major sporting event on their “Things to do before I hit age ___?”. If the thought of a marathon gives you instant blisters, allow us to suggest a triathlon – that perfect blend of cycling swimming and running. But don’t worry, we’re not suggesting you dive straight in without any training; Active Ramsgate’s GO TRI taster experience weekends are the ultimate way to test the waters and learn tips and tricks from a level 2 British Triathlon accredited coach. You'd better believe you’ll be on your way to booking up your first race in no time.

Coastal escapes

The newly opened Fort Road Hotel in Margate is top of our list for coastal escapes in 2023. Whether it’s the daily changing menu of local produce, or the individually designed bedrooms that takes your fancy, we can guarantee that those sea views will make you swoon, after all, those very views inspired J.M.W Turner himself. A roof terrace, 400 thread count sheets, unique works of art…trust us, this is one getaway you’ll want to book up for the year ahead.

Paddling perfection

Adventure-seekers, Canoe Wild are starting the year off with a big treat! Paddling along the River Stour, wildlife spotting is one of our favourite ways to experience the Kent countryside, and with a 25% discount up for grabs on Canoe Wild’s Fordwich to Grove Ferry trips until April 2023 with code BIGTREAT (we told you), there’s no better time than now to get out on the water. Whether you fancy an independent paddle or a guided tour, sunset views or sunrise spots, this one has us excited for a fresh new year. 

Aqua adventures

Whitemills Wake and Aqua Park in Sandwich will make those Total Wipeout dreams a reality with their incredible floating playground. Slip, slide and jump around at the park, take part in open water swimming sessions, or even test out your sea-legs at wakeboarding. And once you've peeled off the wetsuit and dried off, we hear the Whitemills Kitchen's Sunday roasts are another must. 

Seal spotting

If you’ve not yet seen the White Cliffs of Dover first-hand, consider this your sign to plan a trip for 2023. There are many, many ways to see this iconic view, but we happen to think out at sea is one of the best places to appreciate them. Take a Dover Sea Safari and you’ll get one of the best views around. While you may not see bluebirds, a seal spotting trip to the Goodwin Sands will offer sightings of ship wrecks and the resident grey seals.

Golfing greats

Golfers, put Kent in your diary this year because our corner of the world is not only home to some of the warmest weather in the country, it’s also home to THREE championship links courses, Prince’s, Royal Cinque Ports and, 2021 hosts of The Open, Royal St George’s. While you’re here, you’d best add Walmer & Kingsdown Golf Club to your list, an icon atop those White Cliffs with views across the English Channel – what could be better?