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Things to do in Kent – 48 Hours in Kent

By Kirsty Lavender – 7th May 2020
Things to do in Kent - 48hrs in Kent

 Things to do in Kent: A Weekend in Kent:

Believed to be named the ‘Garden of England’ by Henry VIII and the oldest county in the country, Kent is home to a host of historic buildings and landmarks including many world heritage sites.

Kent is easily reached from London by high speed and boasts beautiful countryside and stunning coasts and whether you are visiting with friends, with the kids in tow or are on a romantic getaway it has something for everyone. 48 hours will not be enough but here are some of my favourite things to do in Kent.

Things to do in Kent: Friday

Friday Lunchtime in Kent:

Begin in Margate, a thriving town in the midst of regeneration. Stay at the stunningly designed Sands Hotel overlooking the famous Margate Sands. If it’s a warm day enjoy afternoon tea on the balcony with views of the beach.

If eating and drinking is on your list of things to do in Kent then you won’t be disappointed. For lunch head to the arty Old Town for homemade sourdough pizza at Ralphs. The menu is small but the pizzas are delicious and they make a great cocktail!

If in search of vegan food, you MUST head to Seaside Kitchen and Cake Parlour, Kent’s first fully vegan café and cake shop. You will be amazed by the huge array of savory and sweet treats.

 

Friday Afternoon in Kent:

Looking for things to do in Kent with children in tow? Kick off the afternoon with a trip to Dreamland, a vintage amusement park. Ride the oldest roller coaster in the UK, the grade II listed Scenic Railway.

Time for some culture; check out the latest exhibitions at the Turner Contemporary, a free art gallery situated by the harbour and named after JMW Turner who famously painted Margate’s beautiful skies.

The Shell Grotto is one of my favourite things to do in Kent. Discovered in 1835 and decorated with 4.6million shells, no one knows who built this mysterious place or why.

If you’ve got any time left, have a wander around the Old Town, there are a whole host of vintage shops to explore.

Then mooch along the main sands and why not stop for a sauna, you’ll find a community bathing machine right on the beach that you can use for free! – https://haeckels.co.uk/journal/kickstarting-a-bathing-machine/

Friday Evening in Kent – Eating out in Kent

Another of my favourite things to do in Kent is to catch a gorgeous sunset. So if it’s summer, stay in Margate and head to ‘moveable restaurant’ Barletta, who are back serving from a rooftop bar overlooking the beach, serving Mediterranean delights.

If not, take the train over to Broadstairs. Book in advance for an amazing meal at STARK; the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Thanet, offering a seasonal 6-course tasting menu.

Try the Chapel bar and bookshop after for drinks. As the name suggests this low key bar is situated in a second-hand bookshop formerly St Mary’s Chapel, a grade II listed building. It has a huge range of beers and ales including many local offerings.

Things to do in Kent: Saturday

Saturday Morning in Kent:

Head over to the cathedral city of Canterbury, popular with tourists due to the stunning architecture and historical buildings. Try breakfast at Tiny Tims, a 1930s inspired tea room set in a supposedly haunted building. Be sure to check out the ghost room if you dare!

Top of my list of things to do in Kent is to take in some history. There are a great number of historical sites to visit including Canterbury Cathedral, one of the oldest and most famous Christian buildings in the UK and final resting place of Thomas Beckett.

 

Saturday Lunchtime in Kent:

For something special eat at The Ambrette, an award-winning restaurant serving up modern Indian cuisine.

If you love the great outdoors you won’t be stuck for things to do in Kent. Walk off your lunch by the river, following the Westgate Gardens River Walk, particularly beautiful when fully in bloom. You could also take a tour along the river in a handmade punt!

https://www.canterburypunting.co.uk/

 

Saturday Afternoon in Kent:

I imagine the seaside tops most people’s lists of things to do in Kent and Your visit would not be complete without heading to Whitstable to visit the pebble beaches complete with pretty coloured beach huts. Simply walk along the beach, browse the shops in the quaint high street and along the harbour, or stop for a drink in the Duke.

 

Of course, Whitstable is famous for its oysters and there are many places to sample them. Sit on the pebbles and take in the view with oysters from the Forge.

 

Saturday Evening in Kent:

Kent has a massive number of award winning restaurants and  and sampling these is definitely top of mine and my husband’s favourite things to do in Kent. Book ahead and enjoy a meal at Michelin-starred The Sportsman. The Sportsman may look like an unassuming pub from the outside but it has topped the Top 50 Gastropubs list for the last 5 years. Order from the A la Carte menu or for something truly special indulges in the tasting menu.

For a relaxed drink pop into the Twelve Taps – named after the twelve lines of cold craft beer on keg. There is also an extensive gin menu. The staff are friendly and extremely knowledgeable and are happy to offer up a recommendation. Take a seat and play one of the many board games on offer.

Things to do in Kent: Sunday

Sunday Morning in Kent:

It is last day so make the most of it with these great things to do in Kent –  take in some more history – Kent has many castles on offer but in my opinion, the best is Dover Castle and Leeds Castle. Leeds Castle hailed as ‘The Loveliest Castle in the World’ has much to offer with beautiful grounds and gardens and a maze to get lost in, as well as adventure golf and a playground for the children.

You can find Dover Castle perched on Dover’s iconic white cliffs and is one of the largest in the UK. You can visit the castle as well as secret wartime tunnels and an underground hospital.

Before you leave, take an exhilarating walk along the White Cliffs with unrivalled views across the English Channel. Another of my absolute favourite things to do in Kent.

If instead, you are looking for something a little wilder, visit either Howletts Wild Animal Park or Port Lympne Safari Park and Reserve for a fantastic day out with the children. You’ll find a huge array of rare and endangered animals including tigers, lions, elephants and gorillas and at Port Lympne, you can enjoy an authentic safari ride.

 

Things to do in Kent – 5 of my favourite places to stay in Kent:

1: Sands Hotel, Margate

2: The Rose, Deal

3: Port Lympe Reserve and Hotel (particularly the animals’ lodges and giraffe cottage) –

4: The Pig at Bridge Place

5: Elmley Nature Reserve –

I hope you have enjoyed my guide for great things to do in Kent and have been inspired to spend your next staycation here! If you are looking for any more ideas why not check out some more of my favourite walks.

 

Enjoy!

Love Kirsty x


Have you read about our recommendation – https://girlabout.co.uk/48-hours-in-the-peak-district and https://girlabout.co.uk/48hrs-in-hampshire-by-girl-about-hampshire/

Kirsty Boyd Kent
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