Kent’s Top 100 Arts & Culture Hotspots
Kent is brimming over with incredible arts and culture – we’d need an entire encyclopaedia to mention all of the imaginative genius we’re privy to across this inventive county of ours, so we’ve narrowed it all down to a top 100 bursting with galleries, museums, theatres and events, so that you can see just a snapshot of what it is that makes Kent such a creative place to explore.
- Gallery 17
20 High Street, Beckenham BR3 1AY
Gallery Seventeen has evolved into a comprehensive art centre near Beckenham Junction. Not only is there a wide range of local and international art, ceramics designed and made on the premises, and a picture framing workshop, you can also realise your artistic talents learning to paint, or to make ceramics in the teaching studio.
- Turner Contemporary
Rendezvous, Margate CT9 1HG
Turner Contemporary is one of the UK’s leading art galleries. Situated on Margate seafront, on the same site where Turner stayed when visiting the town, Turner Contemporary presents a rolling programme of temporary exhibitions, events and learning opportunities that make intriguing links between historic and contemporary art.
Photo credit: Jason Pay
- Lombard Street Gallery
2 Lombard Street, Margate CT9 1EJ
Located in Margate Old Town, Lombard Street Gallery represents a diverse and eclectic range of artists and makers. The gallery works with professional local, national and international artists to bring visitors the best in handmade and handcrafted products. It aims to support independent individuals and companies who produce fairtrade items that are made in the UK.
- The Broadstairs Gallery
10 Charlotte Street, Broadstairs CT10 1LR
The Broadstairs Gallery is situated just a stone’s throw from Thanet’s beautiful Viking Bay. This family run business established in Kent is backed by over 40 years’ experience in the art world. The collection showcases work from both locally and internationally renowned artists. As well as stocking original artwork, they have a large selection of limited edition prints, art prints and greetings cards.
- York Street Gallery
22 York Street, Ramsgate CT11 9DS
First opened in June 2012, York Street Gallery is operated by Ramsgate artist, Mike Samson. The gallery aims to provide low-cost exhibition space for Kent artists and groups, operating on a not-for-profit basis. In December 2012, the gallery was awarded with the Town Image Award for services to art in the town by the Ramsgate Society.
- The Little Art Gallery
1 Eldon Place, Broadstairs CT10 1NA
The Little Art Gallery has a huge selection of original work with over 300 paintings to see from local artists…the gallery may be small, but it fits a lot in! It also has limited edition prints, Shoeless Joe ornaments, handmade driftwood pieces, fused glass original one-off works and, new this year, silver jewellery. You can also sign up to art lessons or art holidays.
Owner, Vicki Noble says: “I am trying to help UK animal sanctuaries and groups that help our precious wildlife. I have painted and auctioned off several original paintings, and a local printer kindly donated 1,000 prints of 20 different animal paintings of mine to sell. Each painting takes around six to eight hours to complete. To date, I have raised about £2,000. It’s a far cry from the £30,000 I want to achieve eventually, but I am still hopeful. I have started giving each charity a week on my shop page, during which time they keep 100 per cent of what is sold.”
- Lovelys Gallery
248 Northdown Road, Margate CT9 2PX
Lovelys Gallery and art shop was established in 1891 by Mr Edward Lovely. It is still owned and run by the Lovely family. Today, Lovelys exhibits originals, limited editions and prints over two floors and offers a bespoke framing service in their own workshop. A picture cleaning and restoration service is also available.
- ArtSpring Gallery
167 High Street, Tonbridge TN9 1BX
ArtSpring is an artist-run gallery showcasing contemporary paintings, watercolour, printmaking, photography, ceramics, glass and jewellery by professional and emerging members and guest artists.
- Lilford Gallery
3 Palace Street, Canterbury CT1 2DY
Established in 2000, and now one of the leading galleries in the South East, Lilford Gallery exhibits work by established artists, as well as finding new and exciting talent.
- Fairfax Gallery
23 The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells TN2 5TD
The Fairfax Gallery offers a relaxed environment in which to view and purchase a high standard of original contemporary art. The gallery holds a large stock of contemporary paintings and sculpture, and offers a relaxed way to browse and buy contemporary art whether you are an avid collector or a first-time buyer.
- Fishlab Gallery
11 Oxford Street, Whitstable CT5 1DB
The Fishslab Gallery is a non-profit making organisation run by volunteers. The gallery is available to hire on a weekly basis and welcomes established artists as well as those new to exhibiting. The gallery is open to artists in all media and ‘art on walls’ is encouraged.
- Process Gallery
Sandway, Sandway Road, Lenham ME17 2LU
Process Gallery shows quality contemporary art in a striking setting. The beautiful and modern architect-designed space is home to quality artworks made by an engaging roster of artists.
- Sentient Gallery
56-58 The Old High Street, Folkestone CT20 1RN
Sentient is a physical and online artist-run gallery and design boutique (also including jewellery, furniture, books and homewares) located in the heart of Folkestone’s Creative Quarter. Run by artist Rebecca Mason (www.rebeccamasonart.com), who left the bright lights of London in 2016 for a more chilled existence by the Kent seaside, it showcases the work of around 40 artists and designers.
- Francis Iles Gallery
103 High Street, Rochester ME1 1LX
This fine art and framing business is set in the historic High Street of Rochester has been established for 57 years. Showing a wide variety of styles from contemporary masters, you can be sure to view an eclectic mix that is underpinned by quality. As well as showing paintings, sculpture and glass from well-established UK artists, the gallery is proud to represent the incredible talent of the Artists of Russia.
- Creek Creative Studios
1 Abbey Street, Faversham ME13 7BE
From modest beginnings with few resources and minimal funds, Creek Creative Studios is now established as one of Kent’s prime locations for local artists and artisan makers to create and display their work.
- Linden Hall Studio
32 St George’s Road, Deal CT14 6BA
Linden Hall Studio is a superb open space over two floors for artists to exhibit their work. The gallery is located in the heart of Deal, less than 500 yards from both its famous conservation area and renowned High Street.
- Chappell Contemporary
30 Oxford Street, Whitstable CT5 1DD
This gallery was established in 2015 by Paula Chappell. Paula studied sculpture at Wimbledon School of Art. Her love of creating art lead her down different paths, but one thing that has always intrigued her is the curation of artwork and of showcasing new and exciting talent.
- Gallery 88
3 Station Parade, Sevenoaks TN13 1DL
In Sevenoaks, Gallery 88 has the largest range of original oil paintings in the south of England; over 300 investment pieces are always in stock. Browse works by leading investment artists whose paintings can be found in collections around the globe including Raymond Campbell, Angela Lyons, Edward Hersey, Richard Firth, Stephen Hawkins, Stephen Park and Wayne Westwood. Up to 100 artists are represented.
- dunlin & diver
112 High Street, Deal CT14 6EE
dunlin & diver is based in the beautiful town of Deal on the East Kent coast. The gallery stocks carefully curated beautiful items from smaller designers and makers.
- New Kent Art Gallery
49a Albion Street, Broadstairs CT10 1NE
A new, intimate gallery space focusing on local artists with stunning work in a wide range of styles and prices to suit all alongside resident artists in a working studio. Paintings, sculptures, crafts, ceramics, gifts and one-off pieces to admire and buy, bringing an individual touch of Kent to your home.
- West End House Gallery
Water Lane, Smarden TN27 8QB
Spring has well and truly sprung in the gallery and they currently have a lovely collection of new work on show. This includes lots of small items that would make excellent presents.
- Stark Gallery
68 Castle Street, Canterbury CT1 2PY
Stark provides a carefully selected range of art including paintings, photography, lino prints, screen prints and etchings, as well as glass, ceramics, wood and jewellery. All the art and contemporary craft is designed and handmade in Britain. The informal layout of the gallery makes it possible to visualise artwork as it might look in your own home.
- The Hunt Gallery
33 Strand Street, Sandwich CT13 9DS
English figurative painter and etcher. Subject matter: topographical, landscapes and evocative interiors. Work permanently on view at The Hunt Gallery. A member of LAPADA, The Association of Art and Antiques Dealers.
- G&C Art Gallery
8 Camden Road, Tunbridge Wells TN1 2PT
The G&C Art Gallery is a truly unique new gallery in Tunbridge Wells. Invested and run by London G&C Jewellery Ltd, it started as a gallery only providing services for private clients. The gallery opened to the public in October 2017 and was soon recognised and supported by international artists.
- Bethlem Gallery
Bethlem Royal Hospital, Monks Orchard Road, Beckenham BR3 3BX
The Bethlem Gallery, established 1997, is situated on the grounds of The Bethlem Royal Hospital. Managed by a small, artist-led team the gallery provides a professional space for high-quality artwork and fosters a supportive artist-focused environment.
- Claremont Antiques and Modern Art
9a London Road, Sevenoaks TN13 1AH
Supplier to dealers, designers and private buyers of the finest provincial and painted furniture. Specialist in original paint finishes. Modern art gallery specialising in British, Russian and continental 20th- and 21st-century art.
- Whitewall Galleries
Unit U072 Bluewater Shopping Centre, Greenhithe DA9 9SR
Whitewall brings the finest artwork from around the world to a discerning audience of art lovers. Placing the emphasis on individuality and quality, Whitewall reflects the exhilarating character and infinite variety of the contemporary art scene.
- Will & Yates
104-106 High Street, Deal CT14 6EE
Will & Yates is a gallery and homestore that brings together art and interior styling – original paintings and prints, ceramics, vintage and new decorative pieces… Simply things that work well together.
- Sundridge Gallery
9 Church Road, Sundridge TN14 6DT
Sundridge Gallery is a family business opened over thirty years ago by antique and art collectors, Tim and Maggie Tyrer. The gallery stocks mainly 19th- and 20th-century quality watercolours and oil paintings, and a selection of high quality contemporary works.
- Alexander’s Studio
Barn Studio, Canterbury Road, Monkton CT12 4LH
Over the past few years, Matthew Alexander has opened Alexander’s Studio gallery close to his home in Monkton, Kent, where he exhibits his latest works alongside an increasing range of limited edition prints of his paintings. Matthew Alexander continues to develop an enviable reputation as one of this country’s finest landscape painters. His paintings are included in private, public and corporate collections throughout the world.
- Lashenden Air Warfare Museum
Headcorn Aerodrome, Headcorn TN27 9HX
The Lashenden Air Warfare Museum is one of the longest established aviation museums in the country, having been formed in 1970. The museum collection was started by members of the Maidstone branch of the Royal Air Forces Association in the late 1960s. The museum’s first aircraft arrived just before Easter 1970, this being the very rare Fieseler Fi 103R-4 Reichenberg piloted V1 flying bomb.
- The Micro Museum
Church Hill, Ramsgate CT11 8RA
The Micro Museum is the home to a unique collection of vintage personal computers, calculators, games and micro electronics.
- The Historic Dockyard Chatham
Chatham ME4 4TZ
A visit to The Historic Dockyard Chatham is an experience like no other. Explore 400 years of history, create your own adventure, set sail on a voyage of discovery and much more besides.
- Kent Battle of Britain Museum
Aerodrome Road, Hawkinge CT18 7AG
The world’s largest Battle of Britain collection of memorabilia, with artefacts from over 700 crashed aircraft on display.
- The Kent Museum of Freemasonry
66 St Peter’s Place, Canterbury CT1 2DA
The museum is a hidden treasure which boasts a rare collection of exhibits of national and international importance. The collection of Masonic material is probably the finest in the UK outside of London, with a vast collection of regalia and books covering all Masonic orders through the ages.
- Crampton Tower Museum
The Broadway, Broadstairs CT10 2AB
The Crampton Tower Museum is a fascinating small museum that’s partly housed in a flint tower adjacent to Broadstairs railway station. Here you can see the work of the locally born Victorian engineer, Thomas Crampton.
- The Huguenot Museum
95 High Street, Rochester ME1 1LX
The Huguenot Museum is the first and only museum of Huguenot history in Britain. It tells an important story of Britain’s first refugees; the crafts, trades and skills they brought with them and the impact their contribution has had on the development of our country.
- Canterbury Roman Museum
Longmarket, 11A Butchery Lane, Canterbury CT1 2JR
Canterbury Roman Museum is Kent’s only Roman museum, providing a fascinating and family friendly insight into life in Roman Britain. Visitors can explore Canterbury’s history, wander through the marketplace and discover hidden treasures as they step back – and down – to the streets of Roman Canterbury.
- The Guildhall Museum
Cattle Market, Sandwich CT13 9AH
Situated in the heart of Sandwich, this newly refurbished museum and archive is now open to the public.
- Powell-Cotton Museum
Quex Park, Park Lane, Birchington CT7 0BH
Quex Park is home to the Powell-Cotton Museum and the Powell-Cotton family’s extraordinary collection of natural history, ethnography and fine and decorative arts. Quex House, the Powell-Cotton family home, invites you into the lives of this remarkable family.
- Deal Maritime Museum
22 St George’s Road, Deal CT14 6BA
Deal Museum’s displays portray the changing history of Deal, Walmer and the surrounding area and it’s packed to the rafters with fascinating glimpses into the past.
- Deal Timeball Tower Museum
Victoria Parade, Deal CT14 7BP
A Victorian maritime Greenwich Mean Time signal located on the roof of a waterfront four-storey tower in the coastal town of Deal, featuring a number of interesting and interactive displays related to communication, semaphore and signalling.
- Rose Street Cottage of Curiosities
10 Rose Street, Sheerness ME12 1AJ
In 1989, the cottage first became Sheerness Heritage Centre, but in 2015 it was renamed Rose Street Cottage of Curiosities after coming under the umbrella of Sheppey’s Promenade charity. Promenade started in 2011 with a gathering of like-minded people who had a vision of local organisations working together to celebrate Island life through a festival of arts, history and culture.
- Kent Life
Lock Lane, Sandling ME14 3AU
Kent Life provides plenty of fun activities for children of all ages. Run wild in the outdoor play area, burn off steam on pedal tractors, leap on the bouncy castle, or take a ride on one of their adorable donkeys.
- Kent Firefighting Museum
Woodlands Garden Centre, Ash Lane, Ash, Sevenoaks TN15 7EG
A unique partnership that preserves Kent’s firefighting heritage within a family-run garden centre. Clubs, groups and societies are welcome to visit the museum by arrangement. Enquiries from people willing to support and help run the museum are welcome.
- Kent Police Museum
Church Road, Faversham ME13 8AL
The Kent Police Museum collects and cares for a large number of donated artefacts reflecting the rich history of Kent Police from 1857 until today. Its aim is to share this very important historical resource with the widest possible audience.
- The Toy Museum at Penshurst Place
Penshurst Place, Penshurst TN11 8DG
The Toy Museum was opened on 1st July 1970 by William Sidney, 1st Viscount De L’Isle. Since then, those who have visited have been delighted by the wonderful collection of toys on display from bygone eras. Many of the toys are from the collection of Yootha Rose, stage designer, artist and royal toymaker, as well as toys from generations of the Sidney family, including many new ones from the present day owners. Numerous others have been given or lent to Lord De L’Isle for the collection.
- Teapot Island
Hampstead Lane, Maidstone ME18 6HG
Teapot Island is a family run business that was established in Yalding in April 2003, housing the biggest collection of teapots in England. There are over 7,600 teapots on display in the exhibition that is open to the public for a small charge.
- The Canterbury Tales
St Margaret’s Street, Canterbury CT1 2TG
A visit to Canterbury is not complete without experiencing Chaucer’s famous tales at Canterbury’s charming visitor attraction. Meet the costumed guides, walk alongside Chaucer’s pilgrims and revel in the recreated medieval scenes as five colourful tales of love, infidelity, intrigue, courtship and death are brought vividly to life.
- Maidstone Museum
St Faith’s Street, Maidstone ME14 1LH
Established in 1858, and with more than 600,000 artefacts and specimens, Maidstone Museum represents one of the best and largest collections in the South East outside of London.
- Fleur de Lis Heritage Centre
12 Preston Street, Faversham ME13 8NS
The collections here have been accumulated by the Faversham Society over more than 50 years, mostly through donations from the public, but also through targeted acquisitions and occasional purchases. The collection has grown to around 40,000 objects and archival items and now represents the largest and most significant collection of material culture in the Borough of Swale.
- Dover Museum
Market Square, Dover CT16 1PH
Dover Museum is much more than just a local history and archaeology museum. Situated in the town centre of Dover, Britain’s historic port town, this modern museum tells the fascinating story of this rich and important area.
49 Tontine Street, Folkestone CT20 1JT
Quarterhouse is a performing arts venue at Folkestone’s cultural heart. It presents a regular programme of theatre, dance, music, film, comedy and family shows, as well as live screenings from National Theatre and the Royal Opera House. Working with the people of Folkestone and beyond, it runs festivals and workshops, hosts community events, helps artists develop new work and makes local initiatives happen.
- Churchill Theatre
High Street, Bromley BR1 1HA
Since 1977, the Churchill Theatre in Bromley has been one of the South East’s leading live entertainment venues, welcoming over 150,000 customers through its doors every year. The theatre’s comfortable auditorium seats up to 781, is fully air-conditioned and has many modern facilities including several bars, refreshment kiosks and spacious foyers.
- Leas Cliff Hall
The Leas, Folkestone CT20 2DZ
Leas Cliff Hall is Kent’s premier entertainment venue. It offers the very best in entertainment from live music to headlining comedians, international dance acts and shows for all the family.
- Assembly Hall Theatre
Crescent Road, Tunbridge Wells TN1 2LU
The Assembly Hall Theatre is a 1,000-seat, multi-purpose venue in the heart of Tunbridge Wells committed to bringing an exciting and eclectic variety of theatre, music, comedy, family and entertainment events from around the world to the South East.
- Margate Winter Gardens
Fort Crescent, Margate CT9 1HX
Margate Winter Gardens, Kent’s largest banqueting venue, offers a variety of function rooms to cater for everything from small dinner parties and family celebrations to full banqueting and conference facilities for up to 1,400 people.
- Orchard Theatre
Home Gardens, Dartford DA1 1ED
The Orchard Theatre is conveniently located in the heart of Dartford’s town centre and attracts the latest and most sought after touring productions in the UK, offering a range of entertainment from leading West End musicals, top comedians, bands, dramas, dance, classical music and opera.
- The Marlowe Theatre
The Friars, Canterbury CT1 2AS
The Marlowe re-opened in October 2011 after an extensive rebuild and has since become one of this country’s leading regional theatres and an influential creative voice throughout the region.
- Trinity Theatre
Church Road, Tunbridge Wells TN1 1JP
- Hazlitt Theatre
36 Earl Street, Maidstone ME14 1PP
The Hazlitt Theatre presents an eclectic mix of entertainment for all the family, from the music of Barbara Dickson in concert and The Bowie Experience to the fresh comedy of Reginald D Hunter and Angela Barnes. With two performances spaces and a varied full programme, the Hazlitt Theatre and Exchange Studio offers something for everyone.
- Theatre Royal Margate
Addington Street, Margate CT9 1PW
The theatre’s mission is to offer the communities and artists of East Kent the opportunity to experience, enjoy, take part in and develop high-quality artistic work both inside and outside the theatre building with the strong belief that such activity will nurture skills, build credible aspirations, lift hearts, challenge minds, improve society and produce great new work.
University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NB
Gulbenkian is the University of Kent’s arts centre offering innovative, engaging and high quality arts activity for the public, staff and students. It provides a key role in delivering the university’s commitment to public engagement and has a particular focus on the creative empowerment of children and young people.
- Tower Theatre
North Road, Folkestone CT20 3HL
The Tower Theatre has proved to be a community theatre for the whole community to visit or use for their own functions or meetings. FHODS are very proud of the 280-seat auditorium and the large function area available.
- The Mick Jagger Centre
Shepherds Lane, Dartford DA1 2JZ
The Mick Jagger Centre is a live performance facility that was opened in March 2000 by HRH the Duke of Kent and Mick Jagger. The centre has since continued to be a thriving arts centre supporting the local community. The venue is a multi-use facility holding a music venue, theatre, dance studio, meeting rooms and a bar/café, which are all available to hire on request.
- The Stag Theatre
London Road, Sevenoaks TN13 1ZZ
The Stag hosts an array of events and performances to appeal to audiences of all ages. Its management, staff, volunteers, the town and district councils, and the Sevenoaks community are all determined that The Stag remains at the heart of Sevenoaks; majestic in times past and majestic today.
- The Oast Theatre
London Road, Tonbridge TN10 3AN
This is a superb small theatre with supporting services and facilities that make it not just a viable business, but a pleasure to be associated with too and indeed the envy of many outsiders.
- Tom Thumb Theatre
2 Eastern Esplanade, Cliftonville, Margate CT9 2LB
The Tom Thumb Theatre is a family run arts venue in the heart of Cliftonville, Margate. Originally built as a coach house in Victorian times, the building was transformed into one of the smallest theatres in the world in 1984. The Tom Thumb is a striking mix of Japanese and Alpine architecture with a quirky, charming interior of velvet seats and flocked wallpaper.
- Central Theatre
170 High Street, Chatham ME4 4AS
This beautiful 965-seat venue is already home to a myriad of memories and it is waiting for you to come along and make more unforgettable ones of your own.
- Playhouse Theatre Whitstable
104 High Street, Whitstable CT5 1AZ
- Leeds Castle Classical Concert
Leeds Castle, Maidstone ME17 1RG
Now in its 41st year, the concert is a highlight of the summer season and is set against the stunning backdrop of Leeds Castle, reputed to be the loveliest castle in the world. The aim is to deliver unique and special experiences that become a feature of the event calendar and a favourite in the diaries of visitors too.
- Faversham Fringe
Faversham Fringe is a performing arts festival taking place in Faversham, Kent over the last week of August. Faversham Fringe hopes to give all kinds of people the chance to perform and showcase their talents, from old hands and experienced companies to wonderfully enthusiastic newcomers.
- Tenterden Folk Festival
Four days of folk song, music, dance, crafts and traditions.
- JAM On The Marsh
JAM on the Marsh will light up Romney Marsh with music, beach art, exhibitions, theatre, children’s events and two poetry recitals including the King’s Singers, London Mozart Players and Changeling Theatre.
- Sweeps Festival
Rochester’s annual Sweeps Festival recreates the joy and laughter enjoyed by chimney sweeps at their traditional holiday. Locally, they used to mark the occasion by staging a procession through the streets of Rochester.
- Black Deer Festival
Eridge Park Tunbridge Wells TN3 9HS
Black Deer is on a mission to bring real Americana and the country way of life to the UK – expressed through a unique music festival with a brilliant lineup.
- Chiddingstone Literary Festival
Chiddingstone Castle, TN8 7AD
Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival is for story lovers of all ages providing exciting talks and performances from famous authors, poets and theatrical groups, all set within the castle’s historic rooms and grounds.
- Camp Bestival
Dreamland, Marine Terrace, Margate CT9 1XJ
Camp Bestival is known as the UK’s ultimate family festival having won ‘Best Family Festival’ at the UK Festival Awards five times. The festival offers hundreds of things to see and do from music headliners Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Jess Glynne and Annie Mac, to family shows with Mr Tumble, Mister Maker and Shaun The Sheep, as well as comedy, spoken word, arts, science shows and circus workshops for all.
- Looping The Loop Festival
Looping the Loop is a festival of live arts in the three towns of Ramsgate, Margate and Broadstairs in Thanet on the East Kent coast.
- WWII Weekend at Dover Castle
Dover Castle, Castle Hill Road, Dover CT16 1HU
Take in the atmosphere at Dover Castle’s WWII Weekend, from the D-Day beaches to vintage home front nostalgia.
Image credit: Jim Holden
- Tonbridge Music Weekend
Tonbridge Castle, Castle Street, Tonbridge TN9 1BG
Welcome to a weekend of music, madness and festival fun set in the beautiful grounds of Tonbridge Castle in Kent. Bring your friends, bring your family, bring everyone!
- Brogdale Cider Festival
Brogdale Collections, Brogdale Farm, Faversham ME13 8XZ
The Brogdale Cider Festival showcases an amazing range of the best local ciders and music to groove along to! With music all weekend across three stages you can really relax. The cider trail returns to crown your favourite cider of the festival from a wide range of wonderful local ciders.
- Hops ‘n’ Harvest Beer Festival
Kent Life, Lock Lane, Sandling ME14 3AU
Enjoy the ‘festini’ atmosphere with a variety of live and local music. Visit the beer tent to sample up to 50 varieties of beer and cider. See the last coal-fired oast house in Britain and have a go at picking hops by hand. There will be plenty of live and local musical entertainment from established Kent acts alongside some bright upcoming stars too. Perfect for families, children’s favourite Basil Brush will be performing shows in the Big Top.
- Autumn Extravaganza and Fine Food Festival
Great Comp Garden, Comp Lane, Platt TN15 8QS
Relax and unwind in Great Comp Garden’s beautiful seven-acre garden in the heart of the garden of England for this unique event. The Autumn Extravaganza will incorporate the Fine Food Festival and feature artisan food producers and specialist nurseries.
- Canterbury Festival
Canterbury Festival is Kent’s International Arts Festival, the largest festival of arts and culture in the region and one of the most important cultural events in the South East. With over two hundred events over two weeks there is something to suit everyone from classical music to contemporary dance and comedy to world music with theatre, walks, talks, visual arts and much more.
- Oktoberfest Maidstone
Mote Park, Mote Avenue, Maidstone ME15 7RN
Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer and folk festival. It traditionally takes place in Munich, Bavaria from mid-September through to the beginning of October. The event is becoming increasingly popular and prevalent in other cities across the globe now and the UK is no exception…so, don your lederhosen and fend off the beginning of autumn with a warm and friendly atmosphere filled with fun, laughter…and beer!
- Jazz On The Pantiles
Jazz on The Pantiles is a hugely popular event that usually runs from May to September each year.
- Bedgebury Forest Live
Bedgebury National Pinetum, Bedgebury Road, Goudhurst TN17 2SJ
Held annually in seven beautiful forest locations across the country, Forest Live is a major live music series managed by Forestry England. With everything required for a great night out, these concerts are renowned for their informal and relaxed atmosphere set to a spectacular forest backdrop.
- Carnival of History
Leeds Castle, Maidstone ME17 1PL
Using large-scale costumes, reenactors will travel through nine centuries of Leeds Castle’s history across two days. Local communities will come together to bring this spectacular event to life. Witness extraordinary shows that will reimagine medieval battles, Henry VIII on his way to the Field of Cloth of Gold in 1520, the Battle of Maidstone in 1648, and many other historic events throughout the castle’s fascinating history.
- Hever Festival Theatre
Hever Castle, Hever TN8 7NG
Superb speakers, great comedians, stars from the West End and the worlds of classical and jazz music, family shows, films and musical entertainment. Hever Festival Theatre is always exciting.
- Canterbury Shakespeare Festival
The Canterbury Shakespeare Festival was a project designed to put on Shakespearean plays that are fun and exciting to the public. It began with just two shows – A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet – where members of the public joined together to create two shows to dazzle and entertain their audiences. Since then, through the perseverance of the original vision and out of a pure love of Shakespeare, the festival has grown, producing five to six plays per summer season in multiple, stunning locations all over Canterbury.
- Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival
Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival is a biennial event for the people of Tunbridge Wells and Kent. The programme showcases puppetry in all of its forms and is designed for the whole family to enjoy.
- Salute To The 40s
The Historic Dockyard, Chatham ME4 4TZ
Be transported back to the 1940s with one of Britain’s best vintage festivals at The Historic Dockyard Chatham.
- Dickens Festival
Charles Dickens visited Broadstairs in Kent regularly from 1837 until 1859 and immortalised the town as ‘Our English Watering Place’. In 1937, to commemorate the centenary of the author’s first visit, Gladys Waterer, the then resident of Dickens House conceived the idea of putting on a production of David Copperfield and of people wandering about the town in Victorian dress to publicise it.
- Neverworld by Leefest
John Darlings Farm, Wilderness Lane, Hever, Edenbridge TN8 7LP
So many people seem to stop growing because they grow old. The organisers of Neverworld believe that festivals can be life-changing experiences because of the sense of curiosity and wonder they inspire in anyone attending.
- Margate Soul Festival
Margate Soul Festival is the ultimate soulful festival experience.
- UNFEST Fringe Music Festival
UNFEST is an annual local music and arts fringe festival for Tunbridge Wells and the South East region.
- A New Day
Mount Ephraim Gardens, Hernhill, Faversham ME13 9TX
- Kent County Show
Kent Showground, Detling, Maidstone ME14 3JF
The Kent County Show is the region’s showcase event for farming, countryside and rural life. The three-day show brings together the very best of Kent with animals, food, fun and excitement giving a true feel of what The Garden of England has to offer for the whole family.
- Wealden Literary Festival
Boldshaves Garden, Woodchurch TN26 3RA
Running from 29-30th June this year, the Wealden Literary Festival features a lineup of award-winning nature writers, authors and conservationists.
The festival celebrates books, art, crafts and produce inspired by the natural world. Amongst the authors appearing are Raynor Winn, Horatio Clare, Isabella Tree and Mark Cocker.
Raynor Winn will talk about her bestselling book The Salt Path. It tells how, just days after discovering her husband Moth was terminally ill, the couple lost everything and impulsively embarked on an epic and life-affirming journey along the South West Coast Path.
Leading figures from the world of nature, conservation and agriculture will take part in a panel debate on the relationship between people and the land. Isabella Tree from Knepp Estate in West Sussex is one of the speakers. Her book Wilding tells the story of the pioneering rewilding project she and her husband undertook to banish intensive farming and let nature take over their land.
The children’s programme features authors including Lucy Strange, Chris Lloyd and Katherine McEwan.
Alongside literary events, festival-goers of all ages can learn rural skills such as fire-building and willow-weaving and take part in a nature safari. Artists and makers will be on hand to demonstrate their talents and showcase the best in local art, crafts and produce.
Wealden Literary Festival was founded by husband and wife team, Andrew and Laura Willan, as a way for people to escape the pace of modern life and embrace the simplicity of the natural world.
Andrew said: “The festival is about bringing together some of the things we love and creating a magical weekend where we can all pause and take time to appreciate what is around us.”