What to do in Kent UK

A Trip to Kent UK

Kent, the beautiful ‘Garden of England,’ is so called for its gorgeous, gently rolling countryside and the abundance of fruit and hops it produces. The hops are used to make the finest beers and the apples become delicious ciders.

Did you know that Kent also has its vineyards producing English wines? Biddenden Vineyard is Kent’s oldest Vineyard having been established in 1969. Entrance is free which should please anyone on a budget.

Visitors can just pop in and wander around the vineyard’s self guided tour route. For a more individual experience you can book a guided tour and learn more about the workings and history of Biddenden’s Vineyard. These cost £1 per person and the proceeds go to the Dandelion Time charity for children that have experienced traumatic life experiences. Even if having a tipple is not your cup of tea, this fertile county offers a cornucopia of things to see and do for those having to watch the pennies.

For the walkers, amblers and ramblers, the South Downs National Park provides generous opportunities to view England’s ‘green and pleasant land,’ first-hand.

The South Downs Way, stretching 100 miles from Winchester to Eastbourne covers an area of AONB (area of outstanding natural beauty). Along the old drovers’ route, through forests, heath and open farmland down to the chalky cliffs of the Seven Sisters and Beachy Head, you’ll find plenty of quality accommodation to fit your budget.

Charming B and B’s, small hotels and campsites welcome you as do the hostelries for a refreshing drink and bite to eat. This area is perfect for families with little ones who need space and opportunity to let off steam.

South Downs National Park green hills
South Downs National Park

It’s almost impossible to talk of Kent without mentioning its historical sites and landmarks. For instance, the magnificent Rochester Cathedral is Britain’s second oldest cathedral having been founded in 604AD by Bishop Justice.

It is rich in a sense of history and you can binge on its splendid architecture; entry is free. Three years of skilful renovations has allowed the cathedral to display its mediaeval crypt which houses the “Rochester Mystery Book,” exhibition. It has been said to have influenced the wording of the Magna Carta of 1215.

On a smaller scale, The Friars in Aylesford does not charge an entrance charge to visit this ancient religious house dating back to the thirteenth century. The Friars is home to the Carmelite community and regularly hosts retreats, pilgrimages, conferences and even has a guesthouse set within acres of beautiful grounds. All are welcome to experience the unique peace and quiet within this ancient location.

The village of Aylesford in Kent
Village of Aylesford in Kent

If castles are more your thing, there is no charge to explore Canterbury Castle nor Eynsford Castle, both named for their location.

These are fine examples of Norman Castles although Canterbury is classes as a ruin. It was founded by William the Conqueror in 1070 and is one of the most ancient in Britain. Eynsford Castle, an example of an early Norman enclosure, has been largely abandoned since the 14th century but was later be used as a hunting kennels and stables in the 18th century. However, parts of the castle wall remain to their original height alongside what remains of the hall once inhabited by the residents.

For the nautical enthusiast, there is free entry to the Viking Ship, Hugin. This replica is located at Pegwell Bay in Ramsgate. Or you could just walk along the famous White Cliffs of Dover, gazing out at the craft sailing the English Channel. The National Trust provide guided walks for local knowledge. An attractive option for visitors on a budget.

White Cliffs of Dover in England UK
White Cliffs of Dover

There are a plethora of free or low cost entry museums and galleries to delight and educate the visitor. Artists flock to the Turner Contemporary World Class gallery in Margate. There is no charge for entrance but a donation is always welcomed. The gallery presents a rolling programme of exhibits and events so there is always something new to see.

Teapot Island in Maidstone, is a quirky family run business located in Yalding. There are over 7600 teapots on display and 2000 teapots for sale! The collection of teapots includes a Darth Vader model, a Queen Elisabeth and Churchill among many others. You can paint your own pottery or buy mementoes to take home.

To get into Teapot Island will cost you £2.50 if you are an adult and £1.50 for children and OAPs. The business supports the Air Ambulance Service so that is an extra incentive to pop in should you need one! In all Teapot Island is an unusual, free, fun outing for all the family.

Back in Ramsgate it is free entry to the Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum. This is a must for those who love the old Warplanes. The site features a 360-virtual tour as well as the planes themselves, a café and disabled facilities too. The small, interesting museum displays lots of personal effects and holds regular themed events.

There are many cheap or free attractions in Kent and with some planning it’s easy to fill your time with a variety of memorable, enjoyable activities. It’s worth checking opening times, transport and accommodation ahead of time.

You also have the choice of picnicking in the abundance of parks and green spaces or popping into the numerous cafes and small restaurants for a meal. There is plenty to choose from no matter the size of your budget.

Ramsgate harbour and marina in England
Ramsgate harbour