Planning anything at the moment, even a little afternoon out, might well seem like an undulous task - one that requires 2020 (dare we say it) vision into the future, but with many places offering day tickets and flexible booking, getting your diary filled up for 2022 isn’t going to be too difficult! In this handy guide we’ve rounded up our top events and new experiences that are coming soon - we present some of our favourite things that are coming up in Kent, from specialist festivals to new historic openings.
What happens when you connect French champagne making prowess with the terroir of the Kentish countryside? In steps Domaine Evremond and its acres of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier vines, which were planted in May 2017 just outside the truly Kentish village of Chilham. With the grapes harvested, they will now be fermented and ‘sat on the lees’ for 3 years before going on sale in 2024. There are big plans for the land that Domaine Evremond acquired too, around 224 acres in total, with a modern winery building and visitor centre coming shortly after wine production.
While the main focus of The Historic Dockyard Chatham is looking at the past and the achievements of the British naval forces and the Age of Sail, there’s always something new taking place. Throughout the year you can of course wade into their historic warships, RNLI collection and the Victorian Ropery, however its highlights also include the iconic Salute to the 40’s which is held in mid-September and takes guests back to the wartime spirit with re-enactments to live music. For those who like their period dramas, Call the Midwife tours are available to explore the sets and locations, props and costumes, starting once more on the 1st March 2022.
Situated in its namesake Thanet town of Ramsgate, Ramsgatize is a festival all about hope and celebrating our ability to renew and revive our minds, bodies, spirits and environment. The festival promises a packed full schedule of events that includes exhibitions of new artworks around the natural and outdoor environment, informative talks around ecological awareness and health through to a raft of local food and drink producers to promote healthy eating. Be sure to keep an eye out on their website, and for the launch event itself which will host a unique exhibition of renewable-powered, light-based art works building on the Littoral Light previously on the Ramsgate Main Sands.
Finding yourself burnt out by the hustle and bustle of life at the moment? Feeling like the best way to restore some calm and energy, is spending some time in hand-picked accommodation and on a few curated days of activities and experiences led by our local hosts featuring all that Margate and East Kent has to offer? Then Margate Rejuvenate is for you. Combining the likes of artists studio visits to kokedama & terrarium design classes, as well as sunset fire gatherings to hot pod yoga, activities are carefully selected and put into packages catering for family and friend groups, and for singles who wish to connect with like-minded people. Keep an eye on Colin from Margate Rejuventate’s website for more information coming shortly.
Bringing a multi-disciplinary arts festival to Thanet is POW!, a community-led women’s local art organisation. Combining cultural activities, promoting equality and diversity alongside profiling the work of local female artists, POW! Explores issues surrounding Feminism, Women and Girls through education, community projects and a festival that takes place around International Women’s Day. A new experience is coming shortly called The Body Room, where female-identifying participants can express themselves creatively for an hour in a freshly covered brown paper space. Guests can then spend the time in privacy with a number of art materials to create and express however they wish.
Combining Thanet’s rich history, landscapes, people and architecture, The Ramsgate Festival of Sound is an end of summer immersive experience that highlights local talent. While 2022’s festival is currently in the works, 2021’s had a multitude of different events from drumming workshops to plenty of live music in the areas’ pubs and venues and even baby sensory experiences. Coming soon is Through the Senses, which plays on the chalky labyrinth of tunnels beneath the town of Ramsgate and its long history of smuggling and nefarious maritime activities, providing perfect material for sea shanties and immersive theatre. There promises to be sea shanty workshops, pirate shows for children, families and adults alike, and onboard a traditional smack fishing boat, some sailing activities such as stories of the history of Ramsgate harbour and sailing lessons on the barge – time to immersive yourself truly into Kent!
Soundcrash is one of the UK’s most forward-thinking live music specialists who present the iconic Funk & Soul Weekender Festival in Margate, which next year is at Dreamland from the 27th to 29th May 2022 with a whole host of genres being live including funk, soul, disco, reggae, hip hop and jazz. To supplement the festival, in the coming months there will be monthly evening Funk & Soul Seaside Sessions that’ll give fans the chance to see headline artists that include the likes of Jazzie B (Soul II Soul), Norman Jay MBE to Hackney Colliery Band, all supported by local acts, at local venues. Watch this space for dates!
Since the late 19th century and up to the late 1980’s, coal mining was a large employer and economic provider for the county of Kent with a tumultuous history. The last coal mine to close in Kent was Betteshanger, which shut down in 1989, that is today been transformed into a large country park. While Betteshanger is ideal for those wishing to burn some of their own energy by bike, foot and more, it’s expanding to also include a drive-in cinema and Christmas markets. Most notably, their newest development is the Kent Mining Museum so visitors can step into the shoes of those who powered the country for decades.
Swinging into the new year, Kent Cricket promises to start your sporting season off with a bounce. Whether it be live games of the fast-paced T20 format or a few days of relaxing under the sun taking in a bit of slower play of the county’s best team, the Spitfire Ground is the place to be. Equally, if the cricket isn’t your thing, keep an eye on the grounds’ event page. In the past, the Ground has hosted huge firework displays to the likes of Tom Jones performing, and next year renowned band Tears for Fears and singer Michael Buble are performing to name a few.
February is quite well known as the most romantic month of the year, and there’s no date quite like staring up at the stars. However, flipping it on its head is the new artwork ‘Gaia’ (the personification of the moon) by Luke Jerram arriving at Rochester Cathedral in February 2022. The piece is a detailed NASA image of planet Earth’s surface floating in the centre of the cathedral, surrounded by a musical composition aptly paired with the phenomenon. If you aren’t able to catch the Gaia, Rochester Cathedral’s surroundings, which have been in place since AD604 will certainly be a spectacle to behold themselves.
At the centre of Sevenoaks is a thriving local community which delivers a host of exciting festivals and events throughout the year. Combining a handy intro to the towns’ local businesses and ‘goings-on’ and providing a What’s On guide to the range of days out is the Heart of Sevenoaks, which will also now host several events including: the Street Food Fest and Rhythm in Oaks, an afternoon of live music. Keep an eye on their website for the 2022 calendar and be sure to book out a local day which promises to have the West Kent twist.
Bringing new life to neglected buildings, showcasing the work of the local artistic community and hosting activities in the fresh sea air, Margate Festival is an Arts festival that runs for three weeks in October. For the 2021 edition, the theme was ecology and multiple commissions were made to bring attention to the local environment and how to care and create a sustainable area. Artists who had commissions at the festival included Nicolas Deshayes, Christina Peake and Adam Chodzko. While 2022’s edition is currently behind wraps, be sure to keep an eye on their website for more news coming soon…