KENT – WHY GO?
As the gateway to Le Continent, England’s southeast corner has a distinctly cosmopolitan air. Kent, the proverbial Garden of England, has breezy Whitstable and the White Cliffs of Dover. On clear days you can even see the coast of France from the ramparts of Dover Castle, England’s oldest fortress.
MUST SEE, MUST DO
Ancient Canterbury, surrounded on three sides by medieval city walls, has its beautiful cathedral, crooked alleys and leaning Tudor-style buildings. Tunbridge Wells boasts its colonnaded Pantiles, while historic Rye, with its winding cobblestone streets and quaint pubs, is loaded with maritime charm.
Dover Castle is splendidly situated on a cliff top site that has protected the English coast for over 2,000 years. Within the famous White Cliffs are secret wartime tunnels – originally built in Napoleonic times, but later used in WW2. Another Kentish must-see is Leeds Castle, a Norman stronghold that rises up from two islands in the lake and has a range of attractions from beautiful parkland to a quirky Dog Collar Museum.
See the world’s best conifer collection at Bedgebury and explore the trees on your bike, by horseback or on foot. Or if you’re feeling brave you can explore some of the 2,000 acre Bedgebury Forest on a zip wire instead – just make sure you keep your eyes open to see the beautiful scenery as you whiz through the canopy.
Grab a lantern to explore these fascinating dark and damp passageways, which have been used by Romans, Saxons and Druids in the past. See caves that acted as a shelter during WW2 and visit the caves’ church, Druid altar and haunted pool.
History comes alive at the family home of Sir Winston Churchill where rooms are kept as they were during his lifetime with photos, books and even his famous cigars strewn around the house. Exhibition rooms showcase sound recordings and memorabilia from the wartime Prime Minister’s personal and political life.
MAKE A DATE
Get down to St Margaret’s Bay over the August Bank Holiday for a fun-filled day at the seaside.
Take a romantic stroll through the Enchanted Forest at Groombridge Place Gardens.
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