For centuries, Kent was England’s closest connection to the Continent. Generations came here to catch the ferries across the Channel and still do. Kent’s role in English history and culture has left it with some of the most historic landmarks and landscapes in the country. It is a county forever linked with Turner and Dickens.
Kent is a stunning county that today pulses with a vibrant reinvention. It is the classic English seaside resort and seems to somehow have escaped unscathed to still retain all its real character and charm. Here you can see layers of history from Norman to Medieval times and from the 16th century to the elegance of Georgian England. At the same time, Kent is a vibrant hub of food, outdoor activities, the arts and above all the classic English seaside holiday.
From the Norman origins to Henry V111 and Catherine of Arragon to the present day, Leeds Castle is one of the most visited English castles. Rising from the moat it is an impressive example of a magnificent stronghold. The castle is packed with features, and displays and there are over 500 acres of Parkland to enjoy. Its fireworks displays in November are legendary.
Visit Canterbury and its medieval cathedral where Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170. Come in October to make the most of the Canterbury Festival. Join over 60,000 revellers enjoying a vast programme of music, theatre and dance. Take the river boat for an unusual way to explore the city. Canterbury has it all, being part of a UNESCO world heritage site. It is history itself stretching from Roman times to Medieval England. It is, of course, synonymous with the Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.
Kent is the place to come for the classic English seaside experience. It has over 350 miles of beaches. The backdrop of the white cliffs of Dover is the classic postcard view of the English coast. But Kent has many charming towns to delight in, such as Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Margate. You can spend the time simply beachcombing or indulge in any number of watersports from surfing to kayaking and sailing. Deal in Kent is perhaps the classic postcard seaside town with its Georgian houses along the beachfront. It was once a smugglers haven. It is still imbued with impressive charm. You can best appreciate this by walking to the end of the pier where the views are breathtaking. Take your time to enjoy a refreshing drink at the cafe.
Kent is more than charm and history. It is a place packed with funky galleries and cutting-edge eateries. It has all the cobbled charm you could want and then you can spend time in the amazing Turner Modern. This has become a bastion of contemporary art as well as showcasing Turner’s connection with the area.
The countryside is ridged with its famous downs, and there are hundreds of walking trails and paths. And of course Kent is known for good reason as the garden of England. Make a weekend of it or even a holiday. Kent should be the quintessential English county to visit.