Days OutEvents


Are you ready to grab the hottest tickets in the county?


Registration is now open for this year’s spectacular Kent Big Weekend, with thousands of pairs of free tickets to a wide range of Kent attractions now up for grabs at

Organised by Visit Kent, the event sees scores of attractions opening their doors to lucky ticket holders on 21st and 22nd March for a county-wide celebration of Kent’s fantastic tourism industry during English Tourism Week.

More than 100 big and small attractions have donated tickets for the big weekend, offering people of all ages an incredible chance to experience different sites for free.

Visit Kent chief executive, Sandra Matthews-Marsh MBE, said: “This is the most exciting weekend of the year for us, as we see thousands of people getting out and about in Kent and spreading the word about just how much we have to offer.

“We strongly encourage everyone to go on the website and take a look at the wide range of attractions participating – you will be surprised at what you find!”

Members of the public can register for as many tickets as they like to the attractions of their choice from now until 17th February. Two tickets per household will then be allocated by ballot to the lucky winners, although some family tickets will be available as well.

Last year, more than 115,000 people applied for the 20,000 free tickets.

Some of the county’s biggest attractions have signed up to this year’s event including Canterbury Cathedral, Dover Castle, Hever Castle, Leeds Castle, The Historic Dockyards Chatham, Knole and Penshurst Place. National Trust properties Ightham Mote, Scotney Castle, Quebec House, and Chartwell are all also participating.


But there are countless other activities, courses, sites and experiences to try on Kent’s biggest weekend of the year, from exploring huge sites to learning new skills.

Here is a sample of some of the scores of activities on offer:

Culture vultures

The Quarterhouse in Folkestone is also offering tickets to the critically acclaimed Confirmation by Chris Thorpe, or you could see a show from The Sarah Thorne Theatre Company. Art lovers can take a tour of Turner Contemporary.

Animal lovers

Choose to explore Howletts Wild Animal Park or Port Lympne Reserve, head to Wingham Wildlife Park, or get up close to the residents of The Rare Breeds Centre. And there’s plenty to do at Kent Life, where spring is sure to have brought plenty of new arrivals to the farm.

Weird & Wonderful

Discover Kent’s weird and wonderful by exploring the curio at the fascinating Powell-Cotton Museum at Quex Park, or get some ‘satisfaction’ on a special tour of the former home town of Rolling Stones legends Mick Jagger and Keith Richard.

Food & Drink

Quench your thirst on a special tour of Rough Old Wife Cidery, Chapel Down Winery, Biddenden Vineyards, Hush Heath Vineyards, or The Ramsgate Brewery.

Sports & Fitness

Think Kent is just about long walks? Think again and try your hand at jet skiing, canoeing, go karting, flyboarding, kayaking, a round of golf or even a spot of Zumba! Those looking for a more sedate approach to sport can watch the experts at work at Kent County Cricket Club.

Crafts & Hobbies

For hands on skills, there’s Aylesford Pottery, a paper-making workshop with Crafted Naturally, and ceramic painting at This Art of Mine. Or bid for a trip to Hornby Hobbies Visitor Centre.

The Great Outdoors

Wander through the orchards of The Brogdale National Fruit Tree Collection, or laze on a river tour through Canterbury or Grove Ferry. Many free outdoor sites also have extra offers on for the big weekend, such as free parking to Samphire Hoe coastal country park, or a guided tour of the beautiful village of Chilham.


Brush up on your transport history with a visit to RAF Manston History Museum or the Dover Transport Museum, then bid to hop on board one of Kent’s many railway attractions – East Kent Railway, Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Light Railway, Spa Valley Railway, Sittingbourne Steam Railway are all waiting for your bid!

Adventures for little ones

Kids will love the Natural Pathways Bushcraft’s mini survival adventure, or clambering through Jungle Jims entertainment centre. You could also grab tickets to see the John Lawsons Circus, or head down to the Hop Farm Family park.

To register and to see the full list of destinations taking part, visit the Kent Big Weekend website,

Kent Big Weekend was set up to promote Kent’s incredible attractions and sights, and to encourage residents to discover how much there is to see and down in their home county. The event is also part of English Tourism Week (, which highlights the importance of tourism as one of the fastest growing sectors in the national economy.

For more information about Kent, please visit

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