Kent Travel Guide

White Cliffs of Dover, Kent - © Remi Jouan

Introduction and Overview

The Kent Travel Guide highlights tourist attractions, local places of interest for visitors and tourist information for travellers. The area guide includes travel information on local transport and travel, events, facts & figures, entertainment, maps and accommodation.

The county is located next to London in the south east of England, Kent is often referred to as the 'The Garden of England', there are some outstanding hop and orchard gardens in the county which combined with the wealth of other attractions offer visitors with plenty of interesting places to visit.

The port at Dover means that continental Europe is a short distance away and the tradition of people passing through the county is continued to this day.

Kent is home to more country houses and historic buildings than most places in the UK including grand buildings such as the world renowned Leeds Castle. One of the more popular destinations in Kent is Dover; the port town where there has been maritime trade and invasions repelled in its long history.

Dover presents a vivid image of England to visitors arriving at and leaving the UK. The famed White Cliffs of Dover are a National Trust protected site of special scientific interest and among the most famous landmarks in England.

It was back in the Iron Age the first defensive earthwork were built upon the cliffs, the White Cliffs Experience in Market Square contains exhibits about Roman Dover or Dubris as it was previously known.

Local attractions include historic Dover Castle located above the iconic White Cliffs of Dover; there are a number of exhibitions to see along with guided tours available. Dover Museum has exhibitions, displays, artefacts and more exploring the history and archaeology of Dover.

The town of Deal is located 8 miles from Dover; once known for its port, fishing and mining, visitors can explore the quiet seaside resort which includes the 16th century Deal Castle, Walmer Castle and Gardens and the Deal Timeball Tower Museum.

Canterbury is the only city in Kent, located on the River Stour it is synonymous as the cradle of Anglicanism, the town has always been of strategic importance and is now also of religious importance.

The compact city centre is packed with tourist attractions including a number of world heritage sites; the compact nature of the city means visitors can explore the attractions by foot.

The Canterbury Royal Museum & Art Gallery has a fine selection of Roman relics that include mosaics. Whilst St Martin’s Church is currently the oldest parish church in England and it thought to back to around the 4th century.

Canterbury with its wealth of history through the ages has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site Status and attracts a huge number of visitors each year.

The city is a compact place; it presents a great opportunity for visitors to take a stroll around and take in the atmosphere and see for themselves the many centuries of history that dominate this city.

There are some nice small pubs and eating establishments offering a choice of local and international cuisines; where visitors can relax and take a break from sightseeing.

Canterbury Cathedral is one of the most famous attractions in Kent that brings many visitors to the area. The Cathedral along with St Augustine's Abbey and St Martin's Church, form part of the world heritage site.

Tunbridge Wells is a fashionable Georgian spa town, located 40 miles from London and 50 miles from Canterbury, its location makes it a great base from which you can travel around Kent. Founded back in 1606 with the discovery of the Chalybeate Springs, the town was a popular resort for the well off in both the 18th and 18th centuries.

In 1909 Edward VII granted the town it his patronage thus had the title 'Royal Tunbridge Wells' the town has an elegant regal feel to it but there is also a relaxed atmosphere that visitors are likely to enjoy.

The Pantiles is a colonnaded walk and is home to some interesting cafes and shops that visitors may find interesting. A variety of festivals are held at the Pantiles every year.

Many visitors come to see the displays of Tunbridge Ware, which is a unique form of wooden inlaid marquetry that was made in the area for many years. Antique shops in Tunbridge Wells sell these for those that may be interested in purchasing any.

There are also other attractions within close proximity such as Bateman's the former home of Rudyard Kipling. Tunbridge Wells usually has a full calendar of events for the season; highlights include the Pantiles Open Air Art Exhibition and the productions of the Pantiles Players Theatre.

Maidstone is the county town of Kent located 30 miles west of Canterbury in the heart of the county. The river Medway runs through the town, that helped the growth of Maidstone, historically a number of industries have been based in the town including brewing, the cloth industry and paper mills.

Local attractions include Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery, housed inside an Elizabethan manor house in the town centre. Visitors can view a number of exhibitions and artefacts, fine oil paintings and historic items from around the world.

River cruises on board the Allington Belle and Kentish Lady are available where visitors can enjoy a scenic cruise along the River Medway.

Shopping facilities include Fremlin Walk and the Mall Maidstone shopping centres that include a number of high street retailers and independent stores. The town centre includes a number of bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants offering a choice of cuisine and entertainment facilities.

Leeds Castle is 7 miles east of Maidstone, the impressive castle described as ‘the loveliest castle in the world’ is a must see attraction.

Sevenoaks is located 45 miles from Canterbury; the historic market town is well known for its independent schools including the prestigious Sevenoaks School.

History has been well preserved in the town with Kentish architecture in evidence, the town centre has plenty of character and includes a number of small and independent shops with a choice of cafes and places to eat and drink.

The Sevenoaks district area is surrounded by scenic countryside including the North Downs and the hills of the High Weald with a number of quaint villages each with its own character.

Local attractions include the 15th century National Trust property of Knole, one of the most impressive stately homes in England. Chartwell; the former family home of Winston Churchill is located a few miles from Sevenoaks in scenic Kent countryside, the historic house also features gardens.

Quebec House, residence of General James Wolfe from the 18th century; guided tours are available. Emmetts Garden is located on an Edwardian estate run by the National Trust that offers something different each season including roses, shrubs and bluebells in spring and mushrooms and toadstools in autumn.

Ashford is located 15 miles from Canterbury, historically an important agricultural and market town, there are still regular street markets held in the town. In recent years Ashford has become well known as a transport hub with both the M20 motorway and high speed trains servicing Ashford International railway station including Eurostar services.

The local countryside around Ashford includes some charming villages in scenic surroundings and a number of local vineyards.

Local attractions include the Ashford Green Corridor consisting of parks, green spaces and recreational grounds located along the rivers that go through the town bringing local wildlife to the town and offers visitors with a pleasant green space to enjoy in scenic surroundings.

Willesborough Windmill is a Grade II* listed windmill dating back to the 19th century, the windmill has been restored to its former glory, tours are available giving visitors an insight into the history and workings of the windmill.

Godington House & Gardens date back to the Jacobean era, with over 500 years of history, visitors can tour the fascinating house and impressive gardens.

Local shopping facilities include County Square Shopping Centre located in the town centre and the Ashford Designer Outlet located on the outskirts of the town centre, there are a range of shops, stores, outlets and eating facilities on site making it a favourite among fashionistas.

For fans of history and culture Kent has much to offer, the garden of England does have other attractions for visitors to enjoy, the scenic coastline is a pleasure to witness with the imposing white cliffs of Dover a famous sight.

The fashionable town of Tunbridge Wells shows another face of Kent to visitors. With Kent situated next to London a day trip for Londoners and visitors based in London is an option.

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