Kent

The Top Attractions in Kent

Hailed as the Garden of England, the county of Kent in South East England is known for its fertile soil that helps the county to produce some of the best food and drink in the country. Complemented by its abundance of historic sites, miles of dramatic coastline, web of national walking and cycle trails and wealth of family-friendly attractions and activities, it is doubtless one of the best destinations in the UK for a holiday.  

With something for all generations, there are so many things to do and places to see in Kent that you can easily fill your days sightseeing and exploring. To help you on your way, we’ve put together a list of the must-see top attractions in Kent, from world-famous cliffs to the oldest brewery in the UK.

The White Cliffs of Dover

A panoramic view of the White Cliffs of Dover overlooking the English Channel in Kent

Synonymous with homecoming, the White Cliffs of Dover are one of the most famous natural landmarks in England. With the bright white face of the cliffs reaching over 350ft, it makes for quite the sight to behold. For the best way to see these iconic cliffs, you can either follow the coast path towards South Foreland Lighthouse or take part in a guided boat trip from Dover Marina. 

Shepherd Neame, Faversham 

One for the grown-ups, an award-winning, 80-minute guided tour takes you around Britain’s oldest brewery, Shepherd Neame, located at Faversham Brewery. Go behind the scenes and use all your senses to learn about the brewery’s centuries-old practices and the delicious beverages created there. Tours include tutored taste testing and visits to the Old Brewery Store with its recreated coopers’ workshop.

Hever Castle

Hever Castle in the sunshine in Kent - one of the most popular attractions in Kent

The childhood home of Anne Boleyn and later the home of another Henry VIII’s wives, Anne of Cleves, Hever Castle’s history spans more than 700 years and includes some of the most famous figures in British history. Today, you can learn all about the secrets of this Edenbridge castle through self-guided or private tours and see Medieval, Tudor and contemporary architecture and artwork. 

Port Lympne Safari Park 

Book tickets to Port Lympne Reserve for a unique safari experience and the chance to see hundreds of rare animals across 600 acres of Kent countryside. First and foremost a breeding sanctuary for rare and endangered animals – including leopards, tigers, gorillas and giraffes – Port Lympne Safari Park aims to send the animals born in the sanctuary to protected areas of their native habitats. 

Canterbury Cathedral

An outside view of the front of Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, Kent - one of the most famous cathedrals in the UK

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Canterbury Cathedral is one of the oldest and most well-known Christian sites in the country. Dating back to 597AD, its story has been 1,400 years in the making and the cathedral is often described as “England in stone”. From its stunning architecture to extensive archives to fascinating cathedral tours, this is one of the must-see attractions in Kent. 

Viking Coastal Trail

One of the best things to do in Kent for the active types is the Viking Coastal Trail. A brilliant attraction, this 32-mile trail loops around the Isle of Thanet peninsula and takes in some of the county’s prettiest towns, villages, countryside and coast. Suitable for both walking and cycling, the trail can be broken up into more manageable sections and enjoyed throughout the year. 

The Historic Dockyards Chatham

The Historic Dockyards at Chatham in Kent peppered with boats

The Historic Dockyards is home to a superb maritime museum, with 80 acres of space and 400 years of history to explore. Capturing the imaginations of all generations, it invites you to see how mighty ocean-faring ships were built; test your nerve aboard HMS Ocelot, a Cold War Submarine; walk the deck of HMS Gannet; and enjoy a programme of seasonal events and talks and more. 

Leeds Castle

A few miles from Maidstone in Kent is the stunning 900-year-old Leeds Castle. An island castle surrounded by a lake within a tranquil pocket of the River Len, this magical castle enjoys a truly fairy-tale setting. Open to the public, the castle awaits with 500 acres of gardens and parkland, museums, children’s playgrounds, a falconry centre, a maze, golf, seasonal events and much, much more. 

Dreamland Margate 

A night-time, time-lapse view of the outside of Dreamland theme park in Margate, Kent

If you have little ones in tow, then a trip to Dreamland in Margate will be high on the agenda. An amusement park based on a traditional English funfair, this theme park by the sea is one of the oldest of its kind in the UK and home to vintage rides including a wooden vintage railway. Full of colour, activity and fun, this free-to-enter theme park is a must. 

The Shell Grotto

The Grade I listed Shell Grotto in Margate is one of the most intriguing and unusual attractions in the UK. Discovered by chance in 1835, the origins of the Shell Grotto are completely unknown, though theories abound. Needless to say, the sheer elaborate nature of the grotto with its 4.6 million cockle, whelk, mussel and oyster shells and more will leave your imagination running riot.

Dover Castle

A distant view of the impressive Dover Castle, known as the "Lock and Key of England" for its important defensive position

One of the Cinque Ports, Dover is a historic coastal town, famously known as the “Lock and Key of England”. Located at the gateway to the continent, Dover Castle has played a particularly important part in the town’s history and is today one of the county’s top attractions. Explore the castle, Roman lighthouse, wartime tunnels and more and absorb hundreds of years of history. 

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