GR8LIST: Eight gems to uncover in Kent


By Kingfisher Visitor Guides

As one of the most verdant and green counties in England, Kent well deserves its reputation as ‘The Garden of England’. There’s lots to be discovered throughout this beautiful and exhilarating English coastal county, and we’ve selected eight great treasures to get you started.

Kent & East Sussex Railway

A locomotive steams along the Kent and East Sussex Railway Line

Tenterden Town Station, Station Road, Tenterden, Kent TN30 6HE

Whatever the weather – why not book a Family Freedom ticket on the 10½ miles of the Kent & East Sussex Railway. The journey time between Tenterden and Bodiam is around 50 minutes each way, so sit back in comfort to ride through unspoilt Wealden countryside.

The great value Freedom ticket also allows you to hop on and off any of the Heritage steam or diesel trains operating on the day of your visit. You can even pre-book a kid’s munch bag and treat yourself to a cream tea or a ploughman’s.

Website | Call | Email | Tripadvisor

Exterior of Chartwell, Kent

Mapleton Rd, Westerham TN16 1PS

Explore the life of one of Britain’s most iconic leaders at the family home where Sir Winston Churchill lived for 40 years.

Every room and object has a story to tell in this beautiful house where Sir Winston and wife Clementine brought up their young family.

There is lots to see at Chartwell – from Sir Winston’s study, where he composed his books and letters – to his art studio with the largest collection of his paintings for the nation to enjoy. Daily house highlight tours at 16:00 will also give you exclusive access to Winston’s bedroom.

The loving couple were deeply involved in designing the gardens, creating a traditional, formal English rose garden, adding a second lake and planting a new orchard just to name a few changes.

Don’t forget to visit the surrounding woodland to discover natural play areas including a treehouse, much like the one Churchill built for his children over 90 years ago.

What better chance to glimpse the life of the man behind the legend?

Website | Call

Leeds Castle

Banner for Leeds castle showing Lady Baillie, and falconry

Broomfield, Maidstone ME17 1PL

No matter if you are a history lover, seeker of tranquillity, nature enthusiast or a family with energy to excel, Leeds Castle will captivate you and your loved ones from the moment you arrive.

Step back in time to the glamorous 1930s, when the sophisticated yet enigmatic Lady Olive Baillie first transformed Leeds Castle into one of the most desirable – and decadent – country houses of the 20th century.

Discover the glamour and glitz that the American heiress ignited in the thousand-year-old castle, delight in the expansive grounds, gardens, yew tree maze, falconry arena, and grotto, or entertain your family at the adventure golf course and the Knights’ Stronghold and Squire’s Court playgrounds.

Website | Email | Call

Canterbury Cathedral

A couple walk past Canterbury Cathedral

Cathedral House, 11 The Precincts, Canterbury CT1 2EH

UNESCO World Heritage Site, seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and resting place of saints and royalty, Canterbury Cathedral’s thrilling history spans 1,400 years, telling the stories that have shaped England.

Whether admiring the medieval stained glass windows – including the oldest in Britain – marvelling at carved tombs, seeking out dragons and grotesques, or exploring the Cathedral’s stunning cloisters and green spaces, there’s plenty to do. You might even be lucky enough to spot the peregrine falcons that sometimes make the Cathedral their home.

Website | Call | Email

Houdini’s Magic Bar

158 High Street, Broadstairs CT10 1JB

6 St Peters Street, Canterbury CT1 2AT

Bored of the same old pubs and clubs? AbracadaBAR – add some magic to your night out at the South-East’s first award-winning magic bar! Enjoy a serving of live close-up magic with your drinks, courtesy of some of the UK’s finest magicians.

Houdini’s Magic Bar, which has locations in both Broadstairs and Canterbury, is not only the perfect spot for a magical night out, but also for children’s parties, and even offers cocktail and magic masterclasses!

Website | Call | Email

Canterbury Tourist Guides

Canterbury Tourist Guides in action in the Kent city

Christ Church Gate, The Precincts, Canterbury, CT1 2EE

Uncover hidden secrets and fascinating history on a 90-minute guided tour around one of England’s most storied and renowned cities.

Canterbury Guided Tours are the city’s only official tours with access to the Cathedral Precincts. All tours are led by fully-qualified Green Badge Guides.

With daily public tours at 11am and 2pm and exclusive private tours there’s something for anyone interested in learning more about Canterbury.

Foreign language or themed tours can also be accommodated by prior arrangement.

From medieval lanes and pilgrim inns to the majestic Cathedral’s Precincts, and the famous ‘crooked house’, Canterbury Tourist Guides offers the best way to explore this intriguing and often-surprising city.

Website | Call | Email

County Square Shopping Centre, Ashford

Exterior of County Square Shopping Centre, Ashford, Kent

108 Elwick Rd, Ashford TN23

With dozens of stores, services, and cafés, County Square Shopping Centre offers a fantastic shopping solution – whatever your needs – right in the heart of Ashford.

As a shopping centre at the hub of a vibrant local community, there’s always something going on at County Square. The centre hosts events and attractions throughout the year, and there’s even a free soft play area for under 5s.

Website | Email | Call

Fitzgerald Jewellers

The team at Fitzgerald Jewellers stand outside their shop in Canterbury, Kent

25 Burgate, Canterbury CT1 2HA

If you’re searching for that perfect piece of jewellery, Fitzgerald Jewellers might be just what you need.

As one of Canterbury’s foremost jewellery experts and specialists in bespoke jewellery, the team at Fitzgerald’s are exquisitely-placed to help you find the perfect piece – or design it especially for you.

All jewellery on display is lovingly designed and expertly hand-crafted in the on-site workshop, often using traditional goldsmithing methods.

The team’s dedication to quality and style, along with the shop’s unique interior and laid-back approach, truly sets Fitzgerald Jewellers apart.

Website | Email | Call | Pinterest

Share this...
Share on Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter

Image credits: ©David Fenwick/Leeds Castle Foundation

Related features