Your Ultimate Kent Summer Bucketlist for Instagram
23rd July 2021
Think your Insta game's pretty strong? Know your Aden from your Amaro filter, and have a Story Highlight reel that would (in your humble opinion) rival that of Nat Geo Travel's?
This summer season we're embracing the opportunity afforded to us to experience more of what's right on our doorstep. And, while 2021 might not be the year you finally get to snap the Seven Wonders of the World, we're setting you the challenge to capture as many of these Insta-worthy spots below as you discover just how photogenic our little corner of the country truly is...
Plus, as our businesses are proudly displaying VisitBritain's We're Good to Go kitemark, all you’ll need to worry about is which beautiful location to visit first.
First up we're starting with a spot that's as picture-perfect inside as it is out. Housed within a striking building designed by award-winning architect Sir David Chipperfield, Turner Contemporary Gallery presents a rolling programme of temporary exhibitions, events and learning opportunities. Stick around into the evening and you'll soon see why Turner himself was so smitten with Margate's skies!
Forget the winding lanes and traditional seaside entertainment of Brighton - if you’re looking for culture, coast and culinary grandeur look no further than Folkestone’s Creative Quarter. Peruse awe-inspiring artwork as part of this year's Creative Folkestone Triennial, stop and watch the world go by (two shot caffè macchiato in hand, of course) in one of the wonderful independent cafes, before heading harbour-side to enjoy fantastic food along Folkestone’s Harbour Arm. Make sure you have enough storage on your phone for this photo spot - there's a shot to be snapped at every turn!
England's Creative Coast
Boasting 333km of glorious coastline and cultural hotspots, our county's dramatic landscape has been inspiring artists for centuries. This summer England’s Creative Coast offers visitors the chance to explore seaside towns alive with creativity, breath-taking coastal landscapes, thought-provoking art commissions, the world’s first art geotour, and an extensive engagement programme. Led by Turner Contemporary and Visit Kent with Cement Fields, Creative Folkestone, De La Warr Pavilion, Hastings Contemporary, Metal, and Towner Eastbourne, this exciting new outdoor cultural experience will run until 12th November. Don't miss your chance to catch seven new site-specific artworks by seven international contemporary artists as part of the inspirational, new Waterfronts series.
The Gem House
You know that age-old saying 'a picture paints a thousand words'? In the case of The Gem House's unique glamping bubble, we simply couldn't agree more. Enjoy uninterrupted views from the skies above as you while away the hours with some serious stargazing - and star-snapping, of course! Oh go on, why don’t you stay a while?
Take your photography pursuit on two wheels and see how much of the Kent countryside you can cover with Wider Experiences. Offering a comprehensive cycling experience in Kent and Sussex, the Wider team provide training programmes and refresher courses year-round for Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced cyclists as well cycling fitness, road safety and off-road (mountain bike & trail riding) courses. It's time to master that #CyclingSelfie...
Ramsgate Royal Harbour
Moor up at the UK's only Royal Harbour in Ramsgate and delight in this special spot's cosmopolitan buzz. Ramsgate Royal Harbour is the perfect place to sit and watch the world go by, peruse the range of businesses and cafes nestled within the arches, or simply spend some time perfecting your reflective shot as you capture the assortment of sailing and powerboats bobbing peacefully on the water's surface.
The White Cliffs of Dover
Ah, The White Cliffs of Dover. You know the ones we’re talking about, right? The iconic natural landmark that greets you when you arrive across the Channel from France? Now, the thing is, when you're perched right at the top of them, it can be pretty tricky to get the perfect photo that really encapsulates the size and scale of this striking chalk face (believe us, we've tried) So where's the best spot to snap the White Cliffs of Dover? Ask no more as we've rounded up our top five alternative viewpoints for these iconic cliffs. Your Instagram feed can thank us later!
From the romantic Italian Garden with its stone loggia and beautiful lake, to the quintessentially English rose garden planted with 4,000 roses or the Blue Corner packed with hyacinths, hydrangeas, ceanothus, and some pretty sensational scents, you’ll forgive us for being head over heels in love with idyllic Hever Castle & Gardens. Spend a day delving into 700 years of Hever history at the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, taking in the magnificent moats, challenging mazes and award-winning gardens, before heading back to the hotel for an evening of luxury and elegance. Swoon!
Leeds Castle Classical Concert
You'll need to put the date in your diary for this particular photo opp. This spectacular summer event, unique to Leeds Castle will this year welcome back The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, with Conductor and Artistic Director John Rigby on 4th September. From daylight to dusk, the audience will be a sea of Union Jacks, candelabras and smiles. A truly memorable evening encompassing an iconic Spitfire display and superb firework finale - this ultimate summer event promises to be a memory you'll treasure for years to come.
Combine your hunger for creativity with your hunger for... well... food and drink, when you pay a visit to one of Shepherd Neame's perfectly positioned pubs. Enjoy a refreshing beverage, live music and spectacular views of Pegwell Bay from ‘The Balcony of Kent’ with a visit to The Belle Vue Tavern. Indulge in a hearty meal accompanied by panoramic views of one of North Kent’s finest beaches at The Minnis Bay bar and Brasserie. Or, sip away in early 19th century history at one of the only pubs in Britain located on the beach, The Old Neptune. What's more, why not get out and explore Kent's beautiful coast and countryside with the help of Shepherd Neame's new Pub Walk guides? There are five walks to try, all between four and six miles in length, which take in a wide variety of terrains and environments, along with some of Kent’s most beautiful scenery. A ramble followed by refreshments = picture perfection...
This next Insta spot is sure to make a splash! Jetstream Tours provide an exciting opportunity to see (and snap) the River Medway and Thames like never before. Whether you choose to set sail from Queenborough on the beautiful Isle of Sheppey, the pier at cultural favourite, Gravesend, or Sun Pier in Chatham, the hour long circular cruises offer the perfect chance to see the history and wildlife of the Medway Estuary.
The Georgian colonade of The Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells might just be Kent's prettiest shopping area, and houses an array of independent stores with everything from cameras to carpets on offer. Recognise it? That's probably because this picture-perfect shopping spot has become the most well known and photographed vista of the town. And, with its wide range of alfresco dining spots, alluring architecture, and a varied programme of events and live entertainment, it's not very hard to see why. Once you've got your fix of Tunbridge Wells' most sought-after spot, why not head out and explore of what visual treats this historic spa town has to offer?
The Historic Dockyard, Chatham
An absolute must-visit on any trip to North Kent, believe us when we say, you could spend a full day touring the Historic Dockyard Chatham. Now we know that with a site so vast, it can be tricky to know where to get that perfect Insta pic. Luckily for you our pals over at the Dockyard have given us the inside scoop (shh!) They recommend walking the decks on a Victorian Sloop, ringing the bell on a Second World War Destroyer, and keeping your step count up by experiencing the ¼ mile long Victorian Ropery. The ultimate spots to capture your special maritime memories!
The Mount Vineyard
Wonderful wine? Dappled vines? A quaint and quintessential village setting? Check, check, and check again. Often described as a 'hidden gem', The Mount Vineyard is nestled right in the heart of the picturesque village of Shoreham, just a few miles north of scenic Sevenoaks. Spend a balmy afternoon relaxing in this boutique vineyard which features 10 acres of vines within its 28 acre estate, and whatever you do, don't forget to capture the memory on camera. Who doesn't love a wine-glass-amongst-the-vines snap?
Penshurst Place & Gardens
Travel through 14th century history, relish the great outdoors and sink into tranquillity at picturesque Penshurst Place and Gardens. With 48 acres of glorious grounds waiting to be explored and an abundance of historic beauty and grandeur to discover, Penshurst Place offers the perfect peaceful escape. Ponder around the romantic garden, admire the spectacle of colour and take in the bursting borders, before strolling through the historic halls of this elegant stately home.
Mirror mirror on the wall, isn't this photo of Aylesford the fairest of them all? We're pausing for 'reflection' whilst admiring one of the many hidden gems the Garden of England has to offer. Did you know this ancient bridge is one of the earliest bridges across the Medway, believed to have been built in the 14th century? Historic and lovely, Aylesford is truly a gem.
A round-up of Insta-worthy spots in the Garden of England simply wouldn’t be complete without mention of Canterbury Cathedral, The Mother of the Anglican Church and UNESCO World Heritage site. Marvel at the stained-glass windows and ornate architecture, before taking a guided tour to discover the deeper history of Saint Thomas Becket’s infamous murder, which is the very best way to enjoy this world-famous landmark. The Cathedral's precincts offer countless angles from which to capture this beautiful building, but we recommend heading outside to the Great Cloister for a unique view of this iconic structure.
The nation’s second oldest cathedral, Rochester Cathedral is a real landmark within vibrant Rochester, so it’s no surprise that this magnificent building holds many historic, architectural and spiritual wonders. Established in AD604, the cathedral’s hallowed halls hold a medieval crypt and even a hidden library, while a stroll through the gardens will reveal the ruins of Bishop Gundolf’s Norman Priory surrounded by nature and wildlife. A little insider tip from us? To capture a photo that frames this brilliant building beautifully, head up the steps of Rochester Castle which sits opposite and offers a prime viewing platform from which to take a snap.
Reunite on seaside days out across Kent this summer. With Instagram right at our fingertips, we’re always on the hunt for that perfect photo opportunity. Luckily for us, with stunning seascapes and vibrant towns, the ‘likes’ come quickly in Kent. Many of the above bucket list locations - perfect for filling your feed with FOMO-inducing photos - can be reached with ease by train thanks to Southeastern's high speed links. So, you can stop panicking about the parking, and instead focus on what angle is going to make your next picture of the Garden of England pop! Plus, travel Monday to Friday and you'll be treated to cheaper fares and quieter trains!
Hone Your Skills
If you're not feeling fully confident in your skills to capture Kent looking its best on camera, why not book on for a day of 1:1 tuition with local photography expert? Snap up some of our charming county’s most photogenic spots with Alex Hare’s Explore and Discover Tours. From golden sands and lively coastal towns to glorious greens and quaint villages, design your tour to your own creative requirements.
If you've got a photo that will put a smile on everyone's face, make sure to tag #VisitKent so we can share it with our community! We can't wait to see it