Days OutEventsKent Towns



Kent’s annual Big Weekend kicks off on 12th and 13th March, giving residents from all corners of the county the chance to experience fantastic Kent attractions and hidden gems for free.

This year brings even bigger cause for celebration as it is Kent Big Weekend’s 10th birthday, with more tickets available than ever before – and some very special extra prizes planned for the weekend itself.

More than 100,000 people registered for a chance to win some of the 26,000 tickets on offer, bidding for everything from entry to famous landmarks to craft activities and luscious foodie experiences.

Experiences on offer include activities and impressive displays for animal lovers, museum tours, brewery and vineyard tours and tastings, jet skiing or scuba diving tasters, rounds of golf, greyhound racing, cricket match tickets, pottery classes and ceramic art, river tours, railway adventures, and shopping experiences.

Dreamland Margate, Jetstream tours in Chatham and Betteshanger Country Park are just some of the fantastic attractions taking part for the first time this year. Old favourites are also back with some of the county’s most popular landmarks and attractions signing up to this year’s event, including Canterbury Cathedral, Penhurst Place, numerous English Heritage and National Trust properties, Ashford Designer Outlet, The Canterbury Tales, Quex Park, Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, Dover Castle, Tonbridge Castle, Brogdale Collections, Turner Contemporary, The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Buckmore Park Karting Ltd, Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, and several vineyards.

Turner Contemporary

Turner Contemporary

Wingham Wildlife Park, Port Lyme Reserve, Howletts Wild Animal Park, Leeds Castle and Hever Castle have once again proved to be the most popular offers on the website, with thousands of people bidding to win the chance to visit each site.

More than 4,000 additional tickets have also been donated by attractions to the event’s chosen charity, The Family Holiday Association – double the amount donated last year.

But even with so much already on offer, organisers Visit Kent have thrown in some extra incentives to ensure lucky ticket holders get out of the house and out and about in the county on the Big Weekend itself.

To help celebrate the campaign’s 10th anniversary, Visit Kent and the Association of Tourist Attractions in Kent (ATAK) are hiding ten golden tickets at Big Weekend sites on 12th and 13th March, each giving the lucky recipient access to a range of Kent attractions throughout 2016. Winners will be selected at random by the participating attractions, who will allocate the ticket to one person redeeming their ticket that weekend.

The name of the ten attractions that will be holding the ten free golden tickets will remain a closely guarded secret – so the only way to stand a chance of winning a golden ticket is to redeem your Big Weekend tickets and head on down to the attraction you have signed up for.

Even if you don’t bag a golden ticket on the day, don’t fret! There are still fantastic prizes to be won by snap-happy ticket holders…

Kent Big Weekend is all about creating a memorable experience for people of all ages – and what better way to do that than to record your special moments with as many selfies as possible?

The Kent Big Weekend selfie competition will be running on 12th and 13th March across Visit Kent’s social media pages. All you have to do is share a selfie of yourself (and your friends!) enjoying the #KentBigWeekend16, and you could win a year’s membership to English Heritage for two! Feel free to help spread the word about Kent’s fantastic attractions – make your friends and family green with envy – by posting your Big Weekend 2016 experience on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and any other social media platforms.

Getting around for Kent Big Weekend also couldn’t be easier, with regular Southeastern trains and local bus services operating all weekend.

So if you are a lucky winner taking part in the Kent Big Weekend 2016, Visit Kent has all your bases covered. The only question now is, how much fun can you fit into to one weekend? Challenge extended…

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