From wine tasting in Kent’s idyllic vineyards and punting in Canterbury to taking the little ones on a classic steam train, you’ll find a huge variety of activities in Kent. To get you started, check out our list of top things to do with kids in Kent for loads of fun inspiration. And if you’re holidaying as a couple or with friends, we’ve included some of our top recommended things to do in Kent for adults too.
Top things to do with kids in Kent
Hop on and off a classic steam railway
Keep your train fanatics happy by spending a day on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway. After boarding this miniature steam train, you can stop off at pretty coastal towns to enjoy time on the beach and see attractions like the HO Model Railway Exhibition and Dungeness Lighthouse. Thanks to its space onboard for buggies and good choice of souvenir shops en route, it’s one of the most popular days out in Kent for families.
Explore the fairground thrills at Dreamland
If you enjoy gravity-defying thrills, plan a day out at Dreamland. Based in Margate, this amusement park has undergone several revamps since it first opened in the 1920s, but it still has that retro fairground feel. You’ll find quintessential British fair rides – like the waltzers, the dodgems and the big wheel – as well as more modern thrills and of course, plenty of candy floss.
See the elephants at Howletts Wild Animal Park
If you and your gang are interested in wildlife conservation, don’t miss out on a trip to Howletts Wild Animal Park, near Canterbury. It’s run by the Aspinall Foundation and more than 400 animals live here; from leopards and monkeys to gorillas and tigers, plus the largest herd of African elephants in the UK. Animal talks and the Treetop Challenge ropes course will also keep the kids entertained.
See Punch and Judy at Viking Bay
If you want to enjoy the beautiful Kent coastline on your family holiday, head to Viking Bay, arguably one of the best beaches in Kent for kids. The sand is clean and golden (perfect for sandcastles), the swimming conditions are great, and you’ll find a selection of facilities and entertainment here, from Punch and Judy shows and traditional beach games to plenty of places to grab a 99 ice-cream.
Enjoy the great outdoors at Mote Park
If your brood enjoy the great outdoors, we’ll let you in on a secret, Mote Park in Maidstone is great fun for families. Spreading over 450 acres, this green flag park plays home to a scenic lake, children’s play area, skate park and plenty of wildlife. The water-sports centre offers kayaking and canoeing along the River Medway and recent additions include an Adventure Zone – featuring high ropes and climbing walls – as well as Segway rides.
Things to do in Kent for adults
Go punting in Canterbury
Book yourself onto a chauffeured punt tour through the historic centre of Canterbury, one of the best days out in Kent for groups and couples. With the Canterbury Punting Co., you can choose between a romantic tour for two, a spooky ghost tour or a historic tour of Canterbury’s medieval past. Bring your camera and a picnic basket packed with a bottle of fizz because, why not? And find out more about Canterbury Cathedral and other historical Kent attractions here. [LINK to best places blog]
Go wine tasting
Time for a tipple? Treat your taste-buds and get to sample some of the finest English wine at the highly-acclaimed Chapel Down winery. Located in Tenterden, you can take free vineyard walks and then try out their luxurious cheese and wine tasting session, or dine in their vineyard restaurant, The Swan.
Visit the Turner Gallery in Margate
Visiting Margate is a must when you’re on holiday in Kent. Not only has this once run-down seaside town experienced quite a renaissance, it’s also home to the Turner Contemporary, a modern arts venue which commemorates the eponymous landscape painter who went to school here. Expect works by the likes of Margate-raised Tracey Emin, Grayson Perry, as well as temporary installations by Turner Prize-winning artists.
Enjoy a train dining experience
If you enjoy matching your cuisine with equally delicious scenery, book yourself onto a train dining experience with Spa Valley Railway. Departing from Tunbridge Wells, you’ll travel on the ‘High Weald Belle’ – a 1960s locomotive – through Kent’s rolling High Weald countryside while you feast on canapés, a four-course meal and plenty of English sparkling wine.
Enjoy oysters and champagne in Whitstable
Head to the Kent coast and dine on the famed royal Whitstable native oyster. The farming of this seafood delicacy goes back as far as the 1400s in Kent and you’ll find myriad places to enjoy them as you should – with a fine glass of sparkling wine (or perhaps a Bloody Mary). Try The Whitstable Oyster Company, or Wheelers Oyster Bar – the oldest restaurant in town.