Family days out in Kent
Theme parks and adventure parks
If you’re after big thrills, Dreamland in Margate offers adrenaline-fuelled rides perfect for kids of all ages. There’s even a roller disco for you to try out new moves. Diggerland is also a favourite with families visiting the area, making it one of the best things to do in Kent for families. It’s an adventure theme park offering 20 different construction themed rides and drives, along with an array of additional activities.
Castles and stately homes
There are also plenty of castles to explore, including Dover Castle, Deal Castle, Walmer Castle, Leeds Castle and Sissinghurst Castle, where you can learn more about the history of the local area. Each one offers something unique, with live displays, medieval artefacts and beautiful gardens to take a wander through.
Zoos, farm parks and trains
Animal lovers will love the various zoos on offer. Howletts Zoo and Port Lympne Zoo are two of the best in the area. Both are home to some of the world’s finest creatures, from the magnificent elephant to the majestic giraffe. And for the little ones, head to The Hop Farm and Wingham Wildlife Park, where you can pet mini-cows, horses, ponies, donkeys and more.
When it comes to railways, Kent has the lot. East Kent Railway invites families to jump on board for a journey back in time on a four-mile round trip between the pretty villages of Shepherdswell and Eythorne. Discover more in the informative museum before taking a ramble through beautiful woodland.
If that’s not enough, Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway houses the world’s largest and busiest Model Railway in England. It took around 5 years to complete and has continued to run ever since 1978.
Explore Canterbury or visit the national fruit collection
For families who love literature, Canterbury Tales is a wonderful visitor attraction that takes you on a tour of the sights, sounds and smells of medieval England. Costumed guides are on hand to prepare you for your pilgrimage to Canterbury, delving into the era of Chaucer’s infamous tales.
Or return to the ‘Age of Sail’ with a visit to The Historic Dockyard Chatham. Peer through the periscope of Cold War Submarine, HMS Ocelot. Tread the boards of HMS Cavalier. Ring the ship’s bell on the deck of HMS Gannet… It’s the perfect place to pretend you’re at sea for the day.
On a sunny day, explore the home of the national fruit collection — Brogdale Collections. Find apples, pears, cherries, plums and so much more as you enjoy a daily orchid tour. They put on various festivals and events to enjoy throughout the year too. And if you want to get outside and enjoy the fresh Kentish air as a family, head to Betteshanger Country Park. Hire bikes, try a spot of orienteering and give archery a go. The options are endless!
Culture, museums and gardens in Kent
Margate Winter Gardens Theatre and Marlowe Theatre both host a wide variety of shows to enjoy. From comedy performances to musicals and dance numbers, get dressed up and witness Kent’s most talented performers.
The Turner Gallery is another great place to visit to enjoy a touch of culture, and showcases the work of artists and makers from all over the world. You can even purchase products sourced from artists, limited editions and one-off ranges from the store.
If you and your family want to find out more about Roman history or contemporary art, head for Canterbury Museums and Galleries. Home to The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge and Canterbury Roman Museum, it aims to bring the City’s culture, art and heritage to life.
Similarly, the Dover Museum and Bronze Age Boat Gallery is a local history and archaeology museum that tells the fascinating story of Dover. Entry to the family days is free, and activities are suitable for children and adults of all ages.
If you’re heading to Deal on your holidays, the Deal Maritime and Local History Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the town’s past. The Maritime Gallery houses model and full-sized boats and information on local lifeboats and men. There is also a special display about the Deal men who went to Dunkirk.
One of the most fantastic buildings in the UK, Canterbury Cathedral reaches back to the days of medieval pilgrimage. Take a guided tour, enjoy one of the free 15-minute talks, and be amazed by the spectacle of how the Cathedral looks today.
Finally, to get some fresh air in your lungs, spend the day at Goodnestone Park Gardens; one of only three gardens in Kent in The Good Gardens Guide. Once you’ve finished exploring the beautiful outdoor spaces available, be sure to check out The Old Dairy which serves delicious home-made food, cream teas and light lunches.
Golf courses in Kent
Kent is home to many exceptional golf courses for spectators, players and golf enthusiasts alike.
Royal St Georges, Princes, Kingsdown or Royal Cinque Ports?!
The Royal St Georges is set to play host to the 149th Open Championship in July 2021. Set against the backdrop of the stunning Kent countryside and with uninterrupted sea views amongst the dunes, it’s one of the world’s most spectacular golf courses.
Another wonderful course, the Princes Golf Club runs along the beautiful South East coastline and features 27 holes, practice facilities and a centrally located clubhouse.
Kingsdown Golf Club is another favourite and the second oldest golf club in the West of England. It is renowned for its stunning scenery, beautiful fairways and superb greens, while the excellent drainage makes play possible all year round.
Finally, the Royal Cinque Ports is a fantastic golfing spot. The 18 hole Championship Links golf course is regarded by many as one of the finest in the world. It also features a driving range, putting green, chipping green and pitching greens to enjoy.
Activities in Kent
From seal spotting tours to Dover sea sports, there are plenty of fun activities in Kent to get your heart pumping. If you love getting out in the sea, why not give surfing or canoeing a go? On land, try Go Ape, where you can test your nerve and scale new heights. Or challenge your family to a Go Karting race around the tracks — can you be the quickest?
For a slower paced piece of the action, discover your surroundings with gentle walks in Kent.
Cycling routes around Kent (and bike hire)
Whether you’re an experienced cyclist or a novice, the Viking Coastal Trail is a 32-mile inland loop on quiet lanes through pretty Kentish villages.
For local bike hire, check out Mike’s Bikes Deal to get the whole family kitted out.
Things to see in Kent
The famous White Cliffs of Dover are top of the list for things to see in Kent. There’s also the well preserved medieval town of Rye, bursting with historic streets, nature walks and charming pubs. You can even see the town’s distinctive outline in the distance.
There’s also Romney Marsh — a hundred-square-mile piece of peaceful countryside attracting walkers, cyclers and explorers. And be sure to visit the National Trust South Foreland Lighthouse. It’s the first lighthouse to use an electric light, where you can also enjoy kite flying, games on the lawn and ice cream in the sun.