Great places to visit and stay in Kent this summer
Where better to travel during summertime than south to the ‘Garden of England’? Kent is a world away from the busy city streets of London and Birmingham and makes for a truly restful holiday escape.
The south coast is dotted with breathtaking beaches and sky-high cliffs which may be what makes it such a sought-after holiday retreat during the summer months. Or its popularity may be derived from its wonderful nature reserves, calming rural atmosphere and fun family attractions.
At holidaycottages.co.uk we have a wide range of holiday homes, cottages and lodges throughout this scenic county for you to stay in on a summer break to Kent. We’ve picked out a few of our favourite Kent holiday cottages nearby these fantastic visitor’s attractions.
Read on to discover some great places to visit and stay in Kent this summer.
Visit | The beach
A breathtaking shingle and sand beach sits along Whitstable’s coast. Take a trip to this beautiful seaside spot for a beach holiday with your partner. Grab an ice cream to eat on the beach, splash through the waves and soak up the summer sun while relaxing on the shingle and sand.
Down the coast sits Seasalter Beach, a hidden gem that’s less frequented by holidaymakers as it’s not as close to the central Whitstable amenities – it’s a great place for water sports. Whitstable or ‘Oysteropolis’ as it has been referred to, has harvested and cultivated oysters since Roman Times and there are plenty of places you can try the local delicacy. Visit one of the beach cafes or coastal restaurants for a delicious evening meal beside the sea.
Stay | Beach 221
sleeps 2 | Whitstable
A stylish seafront cottage for two with access straight onto Seasalter Beach, away from the crowds yet within walking distance of Tankerton. The bright living area is the heart of the home and lit by the sunlight which flows through floor-to-ceiling windows. Sit on the terrace at the front of the property each morning to enjoy a coffee while you watch the waves lap the shore.
Visit | The White Cliffs
An iconic Kent landmark, if you haven’t visited these beautiful cliffs yet then take the opportunity to stop by on your next holiday to the south coast. The view out to sea and looking back at the white chalk cliff face is breathtaking.
Start at the National Trust visitor centre then walk along the marked footpath out to the viewing point. There’s plenty of wildlife to be spotted, in particular a wealth of wildflowers, birds and butterflies that make their home on the unusual chalk grassland. While walking along the trail, you’ll come across Fan Bay Deep Shelter, South Foreland Lighthouse and Mrs Knott’s tearoom.
Stay | Wren Cottage
sleeps 6 | Kent Downs
This thatched cottage nestled in the stunning Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty retains part of its original charm in its wooden beams that dominate the design of the interior. Cosy and welcoming, this cottage for six would be perfect for a family exploring this delightful country. Hit the road on a 15-mile drive for an outing to the White Cliffs of Dover.
Visit | Camber Sands
This stretch of coastline just over the border in Sussex is a popular destination for a variety of water sports. Head to Camber Sands for kitesurfing, windsurfing, sailing or SUP with Rye Watersports.
Nearby Action Watersports also offers a range of activities so you can get out on the water. Try something a bit different by having a go at flyboarding or wakeboarding, or even rent a jet ski and speed through the waves. They also have a range of fun rides and an aqua park for kids.
Then there’s The Kitesurf Centre, the sport which Camber Sands is known for. Make sure you try your hand at kitesurfing when you stay on Kent’s beautiful southern coast.
Stay | Cabin By The River
sleeps 2 | Rye | 1 dog welcome
Set in the historic town of Rye, 4 miles from Camber Sands, this quirky lodge is a fantastic holiday escape for a romantic getaway. Colourful artwork, printed fabrics and rustic décor set the mood of this awesome getaway for two. Grab your partner and head down to the southern coast for a weekend of water sports while staying in this stylish lodge. There is garden furniture and loungers outside so you can relax while overlooking the Royal Military Canal that drifts past.
Howletts Wild Animal Park
Visit | The safari park
Meet the multitude of animals that live at Howletts Wild Safari Park. This park is home to the largest herd of African elephants in the UK, while other popular animals at the park include their beautiful Amur tiger – the largest species of big cat in the world, the magnificent greater kudu with incredible horns that can grow to 2 metres, and a playful family of western lowland gorillas.
They are involved in important conservation work as part of The Aspinall Foundation, and do a great job of passing on information about the natural world to families while providing a fun and exciting experience. Let kids get up close to the remarkable animals found at this park and when the little ones are ready to blow off some steam, get them over to the Treetop Challenge where they can see the park from a monkey’s perspective!
Stay | Sunset Beach House
sleeps 4 | Whitstable
Another beautiful beachfront property – well, why would you stay anywhere else? Leading down to the peaceful Seasalter beach, this property has huge windows offering a panoramic view of the shingle beach and ocean beyond. There’s a stunning large living space that is the heart of the home and a decked area and garden where you can sit at the outdoor furniture, dine alfresco and take in the marvellous seaside view. Hit the road and travel 17 miles down to the fantastic Howletts Wild Safari Park for a fun day out before returning home to spend your evening on the beach.
The Hop Shop at Castle Farm
Visit | The lavender fields
Take a tour of this family-run lavender farm in Kent during the summer when the purple flowers are in full bloom and a delightful fragrance fills the air. This farm is the home of Kentish Lavender and is a beautiful spot and restful place to visit while on holiday. Hear about how and why the lavender is grown, what it’s used for and pick up some lavender oil to take home. You’ll also be shown to the distillery to hear about the beer made on this farm.
The Hop Shop sells a range of products from the family’s own farm including beef, apples, apple juice, Kentish hop garlands, dried flowers, pumpkins, Kentish lavender oils, food essences, lavender teas and honey – a great place to select a few mementoes for a gift basket!
Stay | Sandown
sleeps 2 | Rochester | 1 dog welcome
This peaceful cottage is set on a Country House Estate, close to walking trails and the Thames Barrier. It’s on the outskirts of the quiet village of Cliffe where there are lots of historic buildings to see and the nearby RSPB Cliffe Pools. Drive 23 miles down from Cliffe to visit the lavender farm and return to relax in this quiet country cabin. This is a wonderfully secluded place from which you can escape the hustle and bustle of nearby London and enter a tranquil country landscape.
Visit | The bay
A wonderful 2 to 3-mile walk will take you from the beautiful coastal town of Broadstairs to sandy Botany Bay, a fantastic hidden gem of a beach with magnificent chalk stacks. The walk itself passes four other beaches along the way – Joss Bay, Viking Bay, Stone Bay and Kingsgate Bay before arriving at Botany Bay.
For fresh sea air and breathtaking scenery, this is a fantastic walk. Stop at a beach café for a mid-morning snack before taking a few holiday snaps at the bottom of the great chalk stack on Botany Beach. It’s a perfect summertime activity allowing you to get out in the sunshine on a real seaside holiday.
Stay | Raglan Place Cottage
sleeps 6 | Broadstairs | 1 dog welcome
In a quiet country lane in Broadstairs, you’ll find this stylish coastal cottage. It’s moments from Viking Bay and other local attractions including the Dicken’s House Museum and Victorian seafront garden, and the popular seaside resort of Margate is just 4.5 miles away. This dog-friendly property has an enclosed courtyard where the pup can stretch their legs and any canine you bring along will have a great time joining you on the walk to Botany Bay.
Bayham Old Abbey
Visit | The abbey ruins
These magnificent ruins are set in the beautiful High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, already a perfect excuse to take a trip to this part of the UK. This centuries-old monastery was first founded in 1207 and was a centre for learning and religion until it was destroyed during Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century.
Wander around the ruins of the church, the chapter house, and the gatehouse all set in grounds that were designed by famous landscape gardener Humphry Repton. Dogs on leads are welcome. Bring a picnic along on a sunny day and enjoy an al fresco lunch on the grounds or head 3 miles into the stylish nearby village of Lamberhurst for a bite to eat.
Stay | Apartment 15
sleeps 2 | Royal Tunbridge Wells | 1 dog welcome
Take the opportunity to stay in the busy city of Royal Tunbridge Wells in this stylish contemporary apartment for two. There’s plenty of shopping and dining opportunities and even spas and parklands for a relaxing holiday break to the area. The apartment itself is neutrally decorated with splashes of colour and interesting furniture. Cosy up on the sumptuous sofa for evening TV or sit out on the balcony while you enjoy a glass of wine.
Visit | The nature reserve
A wild conservation area and nature reserve with a dramatic flat landscape, this strange land offers up a valuable environment for wildlife, particularly migratory birds. The reserve is managed by the RSPB who have a list of birds you might be able to spot during a birdwatching trip to this coast, including the bittern, little ringed plover and the smew.
The area is home to breathtaking shingle beaches, historic churches and Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Steam Railway. The landscape of Dungeness has become known for being a barren wilderness that inspires a sense of awe in those who visit. Dungeness Beach is dog-friendly year-round so go for a long walk across this intriguing area with the pup by your side and take in the fantastically stark scenery.
Stay | Stonihoe
sleeps 5 | Dungeness | 1 dog welcome
This quirky beachfront railway carriage sleeps four and welcomes one dog along too for the coastal adventure. Markedly different to the seaside resorts of Margate and Whitstable on Kent’s eastern coast, this shingle beach still makes a beautiful spot for a couple or family who enjoys time out in the wilderness. It’s bright and stylish with big windows letting in lots of natural light and you can step outside straight onto the dry landscape of Dungeness.
Visit | The vineyard
Enjoy a wine tasting and a tour beneath the summer sun of the beautiful vineyard at The Nest, Gusbourne. Hear a bit about the different grapes and the slow and measured process they use when making their wines before heading to a tutored tasting. Why not surprise your guests by booking a group visit for while you’re down in Kent?
If you would rather just pop by for a quick visit, you can stop by the tasting room which is open all year for a glass with your friends, and there’s also the option to go on a self-guided tour of The Nest. Enjoy a slow day out to this tranquil part of the Kent countryside.
Stay | The Hop Pickers Oast
Sleeps 16 | Appledore | 2 dogs welcome
Stay in this luxury refurbished Oast House that sleeps up to 16 people, ideal for a special celebration or group getaway. This Grade II-listed property has a magnificent exterior, with table and chairs beside a lake to the front of the property, and a stylish neutral interior for a relaxed stay. A games room with pool table, dart board and table football will provide endless entertainment for family and friends; vaulted ceilings, exposed beams and a wood burner make up part of the charming interior décor; and outside, there’s a charcoal BBQ and pizza oven for al fresco dining.
There’s so much to do and so many things to see in the beautiful ‘Garden of England’. Visit one of these fantastic attractions and natural spaces and make sure you stay somewhere equally special for a fantastic holiday.
Feeling inspired? Take a look through our Kent holiday cottages and begin planning your summer holiday to the south of the UK.