Did you know that Kent has been voted as Europe’s top family destination by Lonely Planet? Well having grown up in Kent I am of course biased, but it really is a much deserved title. With miles upon miles of beautiful blue-flag beaches, rolling orchards and more history than you can shake a stick at, I can see why families (and every-one else!) should flock there. Plus, it’s only one hour from London by train. So for this Friday 5 I thought I would focus on five gems within the area, enjoy!
- Dreamland, Margate
For me, Margate has a sweet place in my childhood memories. A popular holiday destination during the Victorian era due to its fresh, healing sea air, it has been subject to major investment in recent years. There is now an Old Town that celebrates everything vintage, with little boutique shops and delicious cupcake cafes. For art lovers there is the Turner Contemporary gallery, which has free admission. And let’s not forget the large, sandy beach. But to reignite many childhood memories, Dreamland Park has recently re-opened and is a must see for a family trip.
- Brogdale Farm, Faversham
You can celebrate everything that is great about the Garden of England at Brogdale Farm in Faversham. Nestled in the heart of the Kent countryside, the farm holds regular tours of its famously acclaimed orchards. There is a miniature train which is a novel way to see the different types of apples, and fun for adults and kids alike. They also hold Apple and Cherry Festivals during the summer, which is a great opportunity to sample the local cider (like no other!). Why not pop and see what else Faversham town has to offer too; a beautiful creek, quaint streets and the famous Shepherds Neame Brewery.
- Broadstairs Folk Week
Folk Week, unsurprisingly celebrates everything folk. It is a great experience and fun for all the family. The festival has its 50th anniversary this year and is incredibly popular due to the variety of events spread over a week period, including ceilidhs, music and dance workshops; plenty to keep the kids occupied. Broadstairs is a stunning seaside town with several blue-flag, sandy beaches, a picturesque pier and plenty to do including visit Bleak House, Dickens House Museum and play mini golf. So even if Folk Week doesn’t take your fancy, the area itself is a perfect getaway destination for the family.
- Whitstable Oyster Festival
Whitstable is a firm family favourite, as it is easily accessible on the train and is incredibly picturesque with its pebbly beaches, spotted with quaint fishing boats. Its proximity to the sea means you can sample incredibly fresh seafood at one of the many local restaurants, or purchase some from Whitstable Harbour to cook up back at home. In July, the town hosts its famous Oyster Festival with events covering a week and including an oyster eating challenge, children’s workshops and treasure hunts.
- Castles Galore!!
Kent has a rich history due to its position as the entry point to England from France and the English Channel. The medieval Dover Castle with its Secret Wartime Tunnels unlocks an incredible amount of history and Leeds Castle in Maidstone is set in stunning grounds including lakes and gardens that are perfect for a picnic in the sun. Deal and Walmer Castle were both built by Henry VIII are just along the coastline from each other so can easily both be visited in a day. If those weren’t enough, Canterbury Cathedral is also a great day out.
If these gems from the Garden of England take your fancy, we have plenty of hotels to stay in. Check them out here .