Best Places to Visit in Kent
You could say there are two Kents in South East England. Gentle rural Kent with luxury towns, National Trust homes and quaint villages, followed by the coastal City, fortified by the entry of England, but also adapted for 19th century seaside entertainment.
In the urban countryside, the county has earned the nickname ‘Garden of England’ due to its lush hop farms and orchards and idyllic villages with duck ponds, pubs, prairie greens and Norman churches. Nowhere else in the urban countryside will you see conical-roofed ‘barns’, barns and hops farmhouses covered with white vents used to ventilate and dry the hops to be stored on the upper floors.
Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Kent and make your trip enjoyable.
10 Best Places to Visit in Kent
Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Kent:
Canterbury is a historic university and is as important as it is beautiful. It was the seat of the first congregation in the British Isles, founded in the 6th century. The Archbishop of Canterbury remains one of England’s most influential public figures.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the magnificent Norman and the Gothic cathedral is the scene of one of the most important moments in English medieval history: King Charles II in 1170. Murder of Archbishop Thomas Beckett at the altar by Henry’s supporters. Whether it’s the Roman mosaics, the ruins of castles and abbeys, the city walls or the Westgate, England’s largest medieval gate, there’s a lot to be enchanted about Canterbury.
The town has always been the gateway from mainland Europe to the British Isles and an important ferry port for transit from France and Belgium. The first thing that catches your eye as you approach the water is those lofty chalk cliffs. On land, take an unforgettable hike up the grassy cliff tops that will take you 8 miles to Kingston.
The town, which was the closest port to France, needed fortification and Dover Castle took its current form in the 12th century. During Henry’s reign. There’s tons of history here, from a Roman lighthouse (one of Britain’s oldest structures) to an 18th-century battery and a secret WWII tunnel.
Like six other beaches within a short drive, Ramsgate Sands is a Blue Flag beach surrounded by promenades and cliffs. In good weather, it is filled with all the nostalgia of an English seaside resort and is a refreshing walk in winter and autumn.
Ramsgate is the only royal harbor and this is best seen from the long pier that protects it from the high seas and gives it an almost Mediterranean character during the hottest days of summer. It is also necessary to descend into the Ramsgate Tunnel, a deep bomb shelter dug for World War II and now available for tours.
With the advent of steam power and railways in the 19th century, Londoners were able to reach Broadstairs in a matter of hours and came here to enjoy the sea air and seven magnificent golden beaches. Charles Dickens chose Broadstairs for his vacation and wrote David Copperfield in his solitary home on the cliffs above Viking Bay, with views of the chalk promontory of North Foreland.
On a sunny day, Broadstairs remains Thanet’s top choice for a day by the sea, thanks to its historic main street and independent shops, as well as old-fashioned beach huts, bandstands, and ’50s-style ice cream parlors with the retro charm of a resort.
Like Dover, Sandwich is one of the Cinque Terre, a federation of five medieval towns on the coasts of Kent and Sussex that cooperated in trade and defense. Today, there are many clues about the history of sandwiches around town, including the gates of the Old Town walls, two stunning almshouses, and a handful of bars that have served customers for hundreds of years.
The White Mill is a fully restored windmill built in the 1700s, which explains the rural way of life in the past. A few minutes outside of town is Ridgeborough Castle, a dilapidated but stunning Roman and Saxon fort and a controversial landing point for the Claudian invasion of 43 AD.
If you’re familiar with the early chapters of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, you’ll feel like you’ve read Muddy River Medway, even though the author never mentions the book by name. Dickens grew up near Chatham and later moved back to Ged Hill, a mansion outside of Rochester, where he later died.
But Rochester has more work to do. The castle has a 12th-century castle whose walls and towers are almost intact despite their age. It is a breathtaking sight on par with the Norman and Gothic Rochester Cathedral, built in the 11th century, but is the centerpiece of a church that dates back to 604 and is the second largest church in England after the Canterbury old church.
7. Royal Tunbridge Wells
On the High Weald, a rugged sandstone ridge, Royal Tunbridge Wells is a wealthy town that has welcomed wealthy guests and residents since the 1600s, when they first came to the Healing waters. The bizarre rock formations, the Wellington Rocks on Tunbridge Common, and the sandstone geology at the craggy High Rocks outside the city are obvious.
Gardens at famous sites like the homeless Dunorland Park, Calverley Square, and Scotney Castle are as majestic as you might hope, and the gardens can sit idle. All hop farms, duck ponds, prairie greens, bar gardens and bakeries, are all in the local landscape picture book.
8. Seven Oaks
Sevenoaks, just off the M25, was Kent’s first tourist destination for people from London, and in turn, there were many residents working in London. Just in the North Downs, the local countryside is full of beautiful villages like Otford and Shoreham, and the rich woodlands offer many hiking options.
But the main landmark is Knole House, a National Trust property and one of England’s most respected mansions. This is a magnificent 15th and 16th century gabled building set in a 4 square kilometer open park with forest and deer grazing. Given the age of the house, it is a large house with over 300 rooms and seven courtyards.
There’s a lot to love about Deal’s wharf, with its rows of whitewashed cottages and grand 17th- and 18th-century apartments. You can line the side streets with old gas lamps and find shops selling British beach products like potato chips and hard candy. The town also has a military history, and at Dill Castle, a 16th-century Tudor artillery fort with 66 firing positions, the low profile keeps it out of sight.
Further south, Walmer Castle has a similar outline and was built during the same period of Henry VIII’s reign. The pebble beach stretches for miles and stretches out in front of the neighboring towns of Walmer and Kingsdown, with heath and wild fennel growing alongside the coastal road behind it.
Whitstable is a characterful seaside town whose fishing creates an authentic feel. The local specialty is oysters that have been in local waters for 2,000 years. The event received a few hits in the postwar years, but bounced back and is honored each July at the Whitstable Oyster Festival.
Any visit should be a stroll through the working fishing ports and markets and a table at one of the city’s best fish restaurants. Pebble beaches are also on either side of the harbour, and that rare thing on old Neptune: a bar right on the beach.
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Kent. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Kent, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.