Enjoy The Sun In Kent
The sun is finally out in the Garden Of England, and there’s no better way to while away the warmer days than by getting out and about with friends and family.
Here are some of Visit Kent’s picks for great days out this summer…
FORESTRY FUN AT BEDGEBURY PINETUM
Tunbridge Wells’ Bedgebury Pinetum is the perfect place for families wanting to get outside and active. The 350 acres of rolling Wealden countryside has a range of fun activities for all ages to enjoy. Little ones can head straight to the forest’s vast selection of play furniture where they can jump on board the shipwreck, get tangled up in the giant spider’s webs, bash the jungle drums, or shimmy high up to the mighty treehouse.
Miles of exciting bike trails and orienteering routes loop the forest for anyone from beginners through to those rivalling the experts to explore at their own pace. Not quite getting your adrenaline pumping and that heart beating? Visit Bedgebury’s very own Go Ape Tree Top Adventure which features award-winning high ropes and spectacular zip-wires.
For those who prefer the slower pace of life, Bedgebury provides a beautiful setting for peaceful walks and picnics. Home to a world leading collection of conifers, seasonal trails explaining more about the Pinetum can be followed throughout the year.
GO WILD FOR WINGHAM
Prepare yourself for a totally wild experience at Wingham Wildlife Park, just outside of Canterbury.
Originally opened as a bird park, Wingham is now home to a huge range of animal species including big cats, reptiles, penguins, various primates and many more. Over the last eight years Wingham has established a fantastic reputation for giving its visitors access to some of the world’s most exotic species with a real emphasis in conservation both inside and outside of the park.
Join the rangers for the Big Cat Talk, waddle down to watch the penguins eat their lunch, or even book in advance for a truly VIP experience to become Zoo Keeper for the day.
If your favourite species are of the more prehistoric persuasion, Wingham have you covered too! The park’s brand new Dinosaur Walk is now open. Showcasing 29 animatronic, roaring dinosaur models, the prehistoric era has been brought back to life for kids and adults alike. What’s more, there is no extra charge once inside the park to experience this enormous new feature.
GET ON YOUR BIKE AT BETTESHANGER
With 200 acres of pristine parkland, a visit to Betteshanger Country Park near Deal is the ideal candidate for a day of active adventure with the family.
Part of the wider multi-million pound Betteshanger Sustainable Parks scheme, this former spoil heap has a substantial selection of activities available throughout the year, making Betteshanger the perfect destination for visitors with a vast range of interests.
A two-mile track for cyclists with a dedicated speed lane means that whether you’re a biker novice, or fancy yourself as the next Bradley Wiggins, there’s something on offer for you. Bring your own bike or hire one for the day, the choice is yours.
Featured on the BBC’s Autumnwatch, there’s no denying that Betteshanger has a fantastic abundance of wildlife and nature to be discovered. Whether you prefer to do this at a gentle strolling pace, or see it whizzing past you mid-orienteering mission, make sure to absorb the miles of unspoilt views.
With a full programme of events throughout the year, and a range of new hands-on activities including archery, fossil hunting and den building, it’s not hard to see why Betteshanger is fast becoming Kent’s must-visit destination.
RIVER ROAMING IN CANTERBURY
A relaxing river ride with a beautiful backdrop and humorous history, what could be better?
Canterbury Historic River Tours allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre for an hour and discover Canterbury from the unique perspective of the River Stour.
Your river guides will provide an enjoyable and entertaining historical commentary whilst you discover some of Canterbury’s most important architecture set against outstanding views of natural scenery. Taking up to 12 passengers per boat, Canterbury Historic River Tours is the perfect way for you to get outside with family or friends this summer.
Don’t just take our word for it though! The company is nationally and internationally renowned for their historic and humorous interpretation of the city’s fascinating past. Officially accredited by Visit England and awarded their top national accolade of Best Told Story, the company also received Bronze in the 2015 Beautiful South Awards for Tourism Experience of the Year.
HOP, SKIP AND JUMP ALONG TO KENT LIFE
It’s time to dig out those wellies, roll up your sleeves and take a step back to discover what rural Kent Life was really like. This family-friendly attraction set within 28 acres of land in Maidstone is the perfect place for visiting traditional farming animals, whilst also learning all about Kent’s past and present farming heritage.
Down on the farm, visit traditional animals including sheep, cows, pigs, horses, rabbits, goats, ducks, chickens and even alpacas. The hands-on cuddle corner is always a hit with visitors providing a fantastic opportunity to get close and personal to some smaller farmyard species.
Follow fantastic floral aromas around to the farmhouse gardens where you’ll find ornamental herbs, apple orchards, seasonal fruit and veg, and even a traditional hop garden. One of the few places left in Britain where they are grown, take this unique opportunity to find out a little more about the traditions of hop picking.
Next, explore the Vintage Village where you’ll step back in time to learn all about the vibrant history of Kent’s farming industry.
For little ones there’s a wealth of indoor and outdoor play areas, and when they’re all worn out at the end of the day, why not pay a visit to Dotty’s Tea Room for a delicious slice of homemade cake?
FULL STEAM AHEAD TO ROMNEY HYTHE & DYMCHURCH
Enjoy a big day out in Kent, even if your mode of transport hails from the more miniature variety. Your journey on the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway is guaranteed to be an utterly unique experience, and a beautiful way to view over 13 miles of fantastic Kent countryside.
Operating the world’s largest collection of one-third full size steam and diesel locomotives, RH&D’s tracks span six stations and the full journey takes just over one hour to complete.
Once you’ve come to terms with the spectacular views of Romney Marsh from your carriage, why not stop off at one of the stations which are mostly within walking distance of a brilliant beach.
At Romney Station pop into the Model Railway Exhibition to learn more about the history of ‘Kent’s Mainline in Miniature’. At Dungeness grab a plate of freshly cooked fish & chips, and to finish why not hop off at Hythe for a homemade cake or afternoon tea?