Kent, the garden of England, the gateway to the Continent and a county that seems designed for full on family fun, is a delight to live in and a treasure to visit.
<br />Here, in England's oldest county you can choose from the traditional, the modern,
<br />the historical and the unusual.
<br />Horrible Histories fans will revel in Sandwich, the town with the most Medieval
<br />buildings in the UK, or in Dover where Bronze Age boats can be found. Avid book
<br />readers will find a wealth of family friendly literary connections in places like the charming
<br />18th century walled garden at Great Maytham Hall, Rolvenden, the model for
<br />Frances Hodgson Burnett's children's classic The Secret Garden.
<br />Animal lovers will adore destinations such as Port Lympne and Howletts Wild Animal Parks, where lions and elephants roam in relative freedom, while train buffs can take in an array of
<br />lovely steam journeys. Those who love a good fairy tale can enjoy palaces,
<br />castles and the Enchanted Forest at Groombridge, where they'll find
<br />serpents, dinosaurs and moonstones.
<br />For music lovers you can't go wrong with the array of annual festivals at Hop
<br />Farm in Paddock Wood, famed for its amazing child friendly annual events as well as
<br />its educational and entertaining offerings for all the family. Just outside Rochester, is
<br />Diggerland, where budding JCB drivers can practise their craft, or closer to London
<br />visit the Belvedere Splash Park, the biggest free access wet play park in
<br />the UK. Among some of Kent's more esoteric museums is Dickens World at the
<br />Chatham Maritime and Finchcocks Museum of Music, Goudhurst.
<br />Wherever you are in Kent, you're within easy reach of either the glorious British
<br />seaside. Beach destinations such as Broadstairs, Hastings, Margate, Rye, Sandwich and Whitstable all offer tasty seafood treats, traditional English seaside fun and very clean waters where you can dip in a toe. Meanwhile, other beaches offer striking almost desolate scenery – with Dungeness being one of the UK's most eerie seaside locations despite being home to a third of all UK plant species.
<br />The glorious Wealden countryside and the stunning Kent Downs, both designated
<br />areas of outstanding natural beauty, offer up more than 80 country parks, picnic
<br />sites and nature reserves, including Chiddingstone Castle, Penshurst Place, with
<br />its super-sized adventure playground, Marle Place Gardens and the incredible
<br />Bedgebury Pinetum. Meanwhile you can enjoy bountiful walks in the rolling hills,
<br />deep forests and nature reserves.
<br />Please see our Local listings for further details and many more suggestions.