The top attractions to see when in Kent
Cultured and refined when you want it to be, and wild, rugged and rural when perhaps you don’t, Kent is a beautiful part of the country. From historic monuments to modern galleries and vast expanses of open countryside leading to striking coastal landscapes, this region really does have something for everyone. Whether you live in the west of the county in a place like Rochester or West Malling not far from London, over on the east coast or in the heart of the countryside, here are five of the top attractions in Kent.
The whole city of Canterbury is classed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. That should give you an idea of how charming it is, with the stunning Norman cathedral forming a majestic centrepiece as one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kent. One of the oldest cathedrals in England, it was founded back in 597 but was completely rebuilt in the 11th century. It has seen further additions and renovations over the years since, notably in the wake of a destructive fire in 1174.
Over in the Maidstone area, Leeds Castle describes itself as ‘the loveliest castle in the world’. Discover for yourself why this is, as you explore a site that’s been fortified since 1119. To give you a clue, the castle is surrounded by a picturesque moat, formed by the River Len that flows through the area. As well as learning more about its history and admiring the impressive appearance both inside and out, the castle also has a kids’ playground and adventure golf.
Stroll past Anthony Gormley’s Another Time statue along the Margate seafront on the way to Turner Contemporary, an excellent art gallery housed within a stirring building with equally emotive views out across the North Sea. The gallery has a wonderful rolling calendar of exhibitions and events, while also promoting the work of local artists in the on-site shop.
Now a National Trust property on the outskirts of Westerham, Chartwell was Sir Winston Churchill’s country house for more than 40 years. The estate has witnessed many things since it was established in the 14th century, much of which you can unearth on your visit. Cast your eye over antiques belonging to Churchill and priceless artworks painted by the former British Prime Minister, with tours of the building and its grounds a must for those who love their history.
A picturesque Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Kent Downs play a major role in the county’s reputation as the ‘Garden of England’. One the best natural attractions in Kent, the expansive area stretches from the borders with Surrey and London near Gravesend, all the way to the heritage coastline around the Dover and Folkestone area. From horse riding to mountain biking, hiking and other outdoor pursuits such as canoeing, there are countless walks you can do to spot local wildlife over more than 325 square miles.
With lots more great attractions in Kent to discover, including the iconic White Cliffs of Dover and the Maidstone Museum, this is a brilliant corner of the UK to call home. Make sure you browse our excellent developments across the county, including Dickens Gate in Tonbridge , Faversham’s Perry Court and Kingsnorth’s Barratt Homes at Chilmington.