The county of Kent lies in the south-east of England. Many people travel through the county on their way to and from the Channel Tunnel and ferries to mainland Europe. It’s also a beautiful and historically significant part of England, so here are our travel tips for what to do in Kent.
The site was originally home to an Iron Age fort, but there was also a Roman lighthouse here before the castle was built in the 12th century. For modern day visitors, there’s an exhibition about the Secret Wartime Tunnels and a recreation of the Dunkirk evacuation.
Dover Castle by Karen Roe
The cathedral had to be extended in the 12th century due to the number of pilgrims that visited after Thomas Becket, a former Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered there by an agent of King Henry II in the 12th century. The Canterbury Tales written, in the 14th century by Chaucer, describes the journey of a group of pilgrims from an inn in Southwark in London to Becket’s shrine in Canterbury Cathedral.
Chapter House window in Canterbury Cathedral by Tobias van der Haar
The Canterbury Tales Visitor Attraction
This attraction recreates the 14th century, bringing to life various characters from tales such as the Knight, the Miller and the Pardoner. At present you can get 20% off tickets if you book online; full price adult tickets cost £8.
The Canterbury Tales by Ben Sutherland
Rochester Cathedral is the second oldest cathedral in England, dating back to the 7th century. I was happy to read that it’s free for individual visitors, as Canterbury Cathedral charges a whopping £9.50 for adult entry.
Rochester Cathedral by brianfuller 6385
The caves are man-made underground tunnels dug to excavate chalk (a type of limestone) which was burned to produce mortar and plaster for use in construction. They first opened to the public in 1900 and were then used as air raid shelters during WW2. You can’t just wander around on your own, you have to go on a guided tour.
Chislehurst Caves by Jon Bennett
It’s quite confusing, as you’d imagine that Leeds Castle would be in the Yorkshire city of Leeds, but no it’s in Kent. The castle had to be sold by its owners in the 1920s to pay death duties. It was purchased by an Anglo-American heiress as her country seat. Upon her death in the 1970s, the castle opened to the public.
Leeds Castle by Karen Roe
Charles Darwin’s Home
The famous evolutionist Charles Darwin lived in Down House. You can visit the study where Darwin wrote “The Origin of Species” and a recreation of his cabin on HMS Beagle, the ship on which Darwin undertook a five year survey expedition.
Down House by L2F1
Royal Engineers Museum of Military Engineering
It’s advisable to visit this museum on a dry day so that you can enjoy the outdoor exihibits which include Trojan and Titan armoured vehicles, a Centurion tank and even a piece of the Berlin Wall. Unfortunately this is not a free museum, adult admission is £7.80.
Bridge carrier at Royal Engineers Museum by Ben Sutherland
You can go back in time to the 19th century at this attraction at Chatham Dockyard based on the life and books of Charles Dickens. There’s a Great Expectation Boat Ride, a Victorian school room, a Haunted House, a theatre and a soft play area. Tickets cost a distinctly 21st century £12 for adults, but you can get £1 off if you book in advance online.
Dickens World by Shaun Dunwall
White Cliffs of Dover
How could we miss out the White Cliffs of Dover, which lie at the English end of the shortest crossing to France, immortalised in a Vera Lynn song. You may even spot the semi-wild Exmooor ponies as you walk along the coastal paths.
The White Cliffs of Dover by Karen Roe
Please leave your tips on what to do in Kent as a comment.