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ATTRACTIONS IN KENT

Autumn/Winter 2016 Edition

mmm


J

ust where to start? That’s the only dilemma facing those seeking an experience to remember while staying in this fabulous county. Because Kent is far more than simply the Garden of England or the Gateway to Europe; its bounty overflowing for those seeking a fun-packed day out, a fascinating delve into history, some of the finest beaches in the country or simply glorious landscapes. What’s more, you can expect a warm welcome from attractions which will live long in the heart and forever in your memories. Where else can you visit castles which have stood on the nation’s front line for centuries, build castles on miles of unspoilt sandy beaches and then enjoy the fruits of both the same land and sea which surrounds them in the space of a few hours? There are thrilling theme parks, wonderful wildlife reserves, magnificent manicured gardens and perfect pubs for you to catch your breath in and enjoy locally produced beer and sparkling wine. In fact, it’s easy for even those lucky enough to live in the county to sometimes overlook the vast wealth of things to do and see. You can tour vineyards, ride rollercoasters, go on ghost tours, stroll around World Heritage Sites, enjoy Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, walk through protected nature reserves, punt down rivers, see seals, and walk in the footsteps of some of the most famous people ever to emerge from Great Britain; the likes of Winston Churchill, Henry VIII, Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens and plenty more besides. Inside this guide we give you a taste of what this fine, historic county has to offer. From family trips to romantic retreats. We aim to give the perfect starting point for making the very best use of your time here. But don’t take our word for it – turn inside and start planning your perfect day out. It is produced by the team behind the successful mmm Magazine – the monthly, glossy title which celebrates the county and those that live and visit it; so you can put your trust in us. And if you’re an attraction which wants to feature in our next issue of the Best Attractions in Kent, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d love to hear from you. Enjoy this wonderful county; we believe you’d struggle not to. Issue 54, July 2016 Complimentary

ATTRACTIONS IN KENT

To read ‘Best Attractions in Kent’ online visit at

www.mmm-media.com

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mmm Media Ltd E N T 7 BEST Ai nttraK ctions

E N T 14 BEST Ai nttraK ctions

Command of the Oceans

T h e H is toric D ock y a rd Ch a th a m

new in May 2016

Superb interactive galleries take you on a voyage back to the ‘age of sail’ - a time when the people of Chatham Dockyard built ships like HMS Victory for the Royal Navy, helping to establish worldwide command of the oceans. Using the latest exhibition design and technology, powerful stories are unearthed, revealing the incredibly important role Chatham Dockyard, its defences and its people played during this important period of British Maritime History. Two internationally significant maritime archaeological discoveries: The timbers of Namur (1756) intriguingly laid to rest ‘beneath the floor’ of the Wheelwrights’ shop and the Invincible (1758) collection of objects recovered from the sea bed, will be central to the Dockyard’s previously untold astonishing story.

A visit to The Historic Dockyard Chatham is quite an adventure… it’s the BIG day out that lasts all year! Steeped in history, this award winning maritime heritage attraction is the world’s most complete dockyard from the age of sail and is home to a remarkable range of museum galleries, iconic buildings and historic warships; together with an excellent programme of family activities, outstanding exhibitions and events throughout the year.

Opening Times

Open 7 days a week 13th February until 27th November 2016

Relive and rediscover

Imagine what life was like as a Victorian rope maker; and make your own piece of rope on the authentic Victorian Ropery Tour. In the exciting ‘Hearts of Oak’ digital theatre, join retired Master Shipwright John North as he revisits the Dockyard of his youth and encourages his young grandson to follow in his footsteps. You will be gripped by stories of life aboard the Three Historic Warships: Step aboard Victorian Sloop HMS Gannet (1878); swing through the hatches of Cold War HM Submarine Ocelot (1962); and sit in the Captain’s chair of Royal Navy Second World War Destroyer HMS Cavalier (1944).

Become inspired by the innovation of those who worked at Chatham Dockyard during the 19th and 20th centuries in the powerful Steam Steel and Submarines gallery. A collection of really BIG ‘things’ in 3 Slip The BIG Space is unearthed and you will marvel at the incredible wooden roof structure. Heroic stories are told in the RNLI Historic Lifeboat Collection, and for those who would like a little peace and quiet, a visit to the tranquil Commissioner’s garden is a must! The children can let off steam in the Railway Workshop Refuel and Play indoor soft play or the outdoor adventure play areas.

Take a journey

A visit would not be complete without a journey through No. 1 Smithery - an all-round treasure house for the whole family. It has brilliant galleries displaying world class maritime treasures from both the National Maritime Museum and Imperial War Museums. www.facebook.com/ historic.chatham @DockyardChatham

01634 823800 info@chdt.org.uk www.thedockyard.co.uk

L eed s Ca s tle “The Loveliest Castle in the World” Visitors never forget their first breathtaking vision of the 900 year old Leeds Castle, rising majestically from the moat. With 500 acres of beautiful parkland and formal gardens, daily activities, falconry demonstrations, special events and year round attractions, Leeds Castle provides one of the best days out in Kent, and you will want to come back time and again! This autumn and winter, experience a rich variety of events for the whole family from glorious food to beautiful floral creations, a spectacular fireworks display and an enchanting Christmas season celebrating 150 years of Beatrix Potter.

Leeds Castle Food Festival 9th to 11th September

Enjoy delicious food and drink from quality local producers, tempting tastings and live music for the whole family to enjoy. Children can experience themed workshops, garden games and small rides.

Festival of Flowers: ‘A Queen’s Castle’ 24th to 28th September

The popular Festival of Flowers themed ‘A Queen’s Castle’, returns from 24th to 28th September and will be officially opened by garden designer and television personality Joe Swift on Saturday 24th September.

Christmas at Leeds Castle 3rd – 23rd December

Relive the classic Beatrix Potter tales with themed Christmas tree decorations, seasonal flowers and imaginative displays in each room of the Castle. Visit the Christmas Market on the Cedar Lawn (on selected dates) to discover an array of seasonal gift ideas, decorations and seasonal food and drink. www.facebook.com/ leedscastle @leedscastleuk

01622 765400 enquiries@leeds-castle.co.uk www.leeds-castle.com

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Autumn/Winter 2016 Edition

Kent’s Leading Lifestyle magazine

ART IN YOUR

GARDEN

Autumn/Winter Collection 2015/16

Topiary

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OYSTER FESTIVAL

HOT TUBS &

Swimming POOLS

WI

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An AFTERNOON TEA for two with a glass of

Prosecco

EXERCISE ON

THE BEACH

Fitness

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K A TE

&

W

I N SL ET

TH E EP I TO M E O F G L I TZ A N D G L A M O U R

Kent EVENTS

TRAVEL GADGETS RECIPES

AND MUCH, MUCH MORE

Spring/Summer Collection 2016

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mmm EXCLUSIVE Gravesend

ME2

DA12

DA3

16 36

34

Longfield

ME13

24 Maidstone

ME19

21

West Malling

TN16

ME14

ME16

ME17

ME18

TN13 TN15

17

32 TN2

8

TN23

TN12

10 Ashford 31

6

Sittingbourne

12

13 Sevenoaks

28

35

22

26

ME10

18

ME4

8

TN27

20

9

Tenterden TN30

Let the bike take the strain TN12 8DP

Bringing you the best of everything CT1 2AS

10

Home to over 50 cats TN27 8PJ

12

“Can you escape these movie like scenarios in under an hour” ME4 4SL and ME4 4UB

TN24

A relaxed and friendly atmosphere CT12 5FF

13

Glamorous camping for everyone ME20 7ER

16

14

One of Kent’s top tourust attractions TN29 0

Over 35 years experience of providing high quality outdoor education ME2 4XB

14


e

ATTRACTIONS GUIDE 9

ME12

31

Margate CT9 CT10

CT5

CT6

CT12

32

24

Faversham

Live life adventurously at Go Ape in Kent ME17 1PL & TN17 2SJ

CT13 Kent’s rural heritage experience ME14 3AU

6

CT15

30 CT1 TN24

CT16

Canterbury CT4

38 CT18

25

TN25 CT21

CT17

25

26

20

The loveliest Castle in the World ME17 1PL

Packed with all new live music, family entertainment TN34 1JX

Friendly, expert advise, great choice and value for money TN15 7BU

35

Dover

Everyone is always welcome, family fun environment ME10 2DZ

The ultimate experience TN16 3BN

21

A visit to The Historic Dockyard is quite an adventure ME4 4TY

17

34

A charming place with a view to remember CT20 2DZ

Folkestone 18

Perfect for any occasion TN12 6PZ

36

28

River Medway boat trips ME15 6XG

22

Central Park Stadium

30

Medway’s leading jetboat operator ME4 4HF

Go Karting at Bayford Meadows in Sittingbourne ME10 3RY

Sittingbourne Greyhounds Kent King’s Speedway ME10 3SB

38

Everyone has a tale to tell CT1 2TG

A great day out, for the whole family CT15 7PD


in KENT 6 BEST Attractions

The Marlowe Theatre Bringing you the best of everything The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury re-opened in October 2011 after an extensive rebuild and has since become one of this country’s leading regional theatres with a wide and varied programme that includes: The National Theatre, the RSC, Glyndebourne Touring Opera, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, the Philharmonia Orchestra and top West End musicals. Situated in the heart of historic Canterbury, The Marlowe Theatre is a fantastic place for everyone to visit and enjoy.


The Marlowe Studio At the heart of the building, there is also The Marlowe Studio, a space dedicated to new writing and creative activity that reflects the spirit of Christopher Marlowe, Canterbury’s most famous son. Located on the first floor, The Marlowe Studio plays hosts to a wide range of performances, gigs, workshops and other events.

The Green Room Facing the River Stour with picturesque views of Canterbury Cathedral is The Marlowe Theatre’s own Green Room restaurant. Whether you’re looking for a light lunch or the full pre-show dining experience, they offer an informal and friendly atmosphere with great food, made from the best locally sourced ingredients.

Information Opening Times - The Box Office is open for bookings in person Monday - Saturday 9am to 6pm. When there is a show it remains open until 30mins after the performance begins.

www.facebook.com/ themarlowetheatre @marlowetheatre

01227 787787 info@marlowetheatre.com www.marlowetheatre.com


in KENT 8 BEST Attractions

Electric Bike Hire and Tours Let the bike take the strain

Whether it’s one of the scheduled tours or a self-guided electric bike hire that you require, you’ll be guaranteed the most unique experience of the Kent countryside. Based at Bloomsbury Biddenden in the centre of Kent, there are a number of marked routes that pass many of Kent’s great attractions including historic castles, vineyards, a brewery, famous gardens, beautiful villages and lots more. One of the most popular trips is around the Weald visiting local vineyards, touring and then tasting award winning wines. If self-guided, there is a 27 mile marked route mapped out, alternatively maps and advice can be provided. There is even the opportunity to put your bike aboard a steam train and enjoy a cream tea! Groups have the option of a number of guided tours, also a bespoke tour can be created including attractions which work in partnership with the UK Electric Bike Centre. Mountain bikes and children’s seats and trailers are also available.

Why you should try an ebike

If you’ve never tried an ebike before, it is essentially the same as a pedal bike; however, the difference is that as you pedal, the motor kicks in to help you. There are various motor settings, so it is possible to cycle without making any effort at all! Alternatively, you can switch the motor off and ride your bike conventionally. www.facebook.com/ UKElectricBikeCentre uk.linkedin.com/in/ marcus-van-der-gaag396a341b

01580 892 259 marcus@ukelectricbike.co.uk www.ukelectricbiketours.co.uk


in KENT 9 BEST Attractions

Polar Helicopters See the stunning Kent countryside and coast from the air Located in beautiful East Kent, Polar Helicopters operates from Manston, near Ramsgate.

The magic of flight

They offer helicopter flights to view Kent from the air. Select where you want to go - why not get a birds-eye view of Canterbury Cathedral or fly along the White Cliffs of Dover and take in the breathtaking views of the Kent countryside and coastline. Each flight is tailored individually - there are so many spectacular places to see in Kent - why not take in the best views and fly wherever you wish. For the more adventurous, there will be the option to take the controls of the helicopter and have a go at flying whilst enjoying the views.

Polar Helicopters operate a fleet of helicopters including two, four and five seat options. Open seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, operating from a purpose-built hangar offering ample parking, teas and coffees as well as inside and outside seating areas. Friends and family are more than welcome.

And if you want more….

Polar Helicopters offer helicopter flight training from single flights to Private and Commercial licences. With prices starting from £139 for 20 minutes, a flight will be the perfect highlight of your visit or an ideal gift for any occasion. www.facebook.com/ polarhelicopter @Polarhelicopter

01843 823067 info@polarhelicopters.co.uk www.polarhelicopters.co.uk

Flight Vouchers available for that perfect gift


in KENT 10 BEST Attractions

The Big Cat Sanctuary Protection is their passion About the cause The Wildlife Heritage Foundation, Big Cat Sanctuary is an animal conservation charity, hidden in the heart of the Kent countryside, and home to over 50 cats across 16 different species from the biggest - to the smallest – and the most endangered in the world. The centre’s primary objective is breeding, as well as offering sanctuary for cats who need homes and retirement. It provides a peaceful, secure and stress-free environment for all cats resident on site.


About the programme

Many of the cats are active within the coordinated international breeding programmes which regulate the captive breeding of endangered cats to maintain a healthy captive population. The ultimate aim being safe reintroduction to join their cousins in their natural habitat. The Big Cat Sanctuary strives to provide them with the best possible life in captivity but just as importantly they are ambassadors, not only for their species in the wild, but also for the wider conservation issues that our natural world faces. Breeding success to date includes the Amur leopard, Sumatran tiger, Pallas cat and Amur tiger.

Day time experiences

The Big Cat Sanctuary operates by way of personal big cat experiences including big cat tours, individual and group photography days and adoptions. All of which need to be pre-booked in advance of a visit, either using the website whf.org.uk or by calling on 01233 771915. The centre takes pride in delivering fully immersive, personal and amazing experiences that will leave any big cat lover with memories to treasure forever.

Overnight big cat safari

Come and stay in one of the luxury lodges, get up close and personal with the amazing cat collection, enjoying afternoon tea, a sumptuous 3 course meal and overnight stay listening to African lions roaring before continuing the day by meeting more of the cats and even handfeeding a big cat. This is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience. www.facebook.com/ WHFTheBigCatSanctuary @BigCatWHF

01233 771915 enquiries@whf.org.uk www.whf.org.uk


in KENT 12 BEST Attractions

Escape Plan LIVE “Can you escape these exciting movie-like scenarios in under an hour?” About Escape Plan LIVE

What’s on

For more information on events, visit the website for the prices and how to book

It’s only a game... but that’s easy to forget at Escape Plan LIVE, where thinking your way out of the exciting movie-like scenarios in under an hour is proving hugely popular with families, friends, couples and companies. It’s a chance to test your nerves at this popular attraction where you and your group can frantically search for clues to solve the mystery and overcome the challenges that stand in the way of you escaping the situation in which you’re trapped! Think fast, the clock is ticking...

Who’s it for, and which game to play?

The exciting and immersive games were created with everyone in mind and are ideal for both the public and corporate team building days - whether you’re looking for a hidden cure to a deadly virus, navigating creepy corridors to rescue a hostage, uncovering a conspiracy, breaking into a bank vault, or discovering a gruesome murder before the killer returns - you have only one hour to do so, and the question always remains the same… can you escape in time?

Where can I play?

Due to its huge success, Escape Plan LIVE now features eight games taking place in two venues, each with its own unique character. The historic Gate House at Fort Amherst is centuries old and was originally built to defend against Napoleonic invasion. Now said to be haunted, its long and fascinating history serves to add realism and atmosphere to games designed with the building’s genuine and imagined history in mind. The escape games at the Riverside One location are permanent however, and so are ambitious in their design featuring truly immersive environments which may feature secret rooms! www.facebook.com/ EscapePlanLive @EscapePlanLIVE

(+44) 0333 666 3366 Enquiries@EscapePlanLive.com www.EscapePlanLive.com


i n K E N T 13 BEST Attractions

Kits Coty Glamping

Glamorous camping for everyone Kits Coty Glamping is a small multi award winning family run site on the outskirts of Aylesford nestled in an area of outstanding natural beauty. The Vintage Shepherds Hut, African and Moroccan themed bell tents and Festival Tent are perfect for short family breaks, romantic getaways, or longer holidays in the Kent countryside. So, whether you are an experienced camper or have never camped before, come and experience all the fun of camping and the outdoors while enjoying luxury creature comforts and outstanding customer service.

Glamping Glamping (or glamourous camping) has become very popular in recent years, with participants escaping towns and cities to enjoy the countryside in high-end camping type accommodation but with all their home comforts included. Whether you stay in the quirky themed Shepherd’s Hut or decide to get closer to nature in the tented facilities, you will be assured of a warm welcome, a cosy bed and experience a truly unforgettable and extremely special night under the stars. If you have ever dreamed of waking up in a Shepherds Hut or Bell Tent in an area of outstanding natural beauty, tucked away in the Kent Countryside with woodland around you and just birdsong and the rustling of leaves to listen to, then this place is for you. www.facebook.com/ kitscotyglampingaylesford @kitscotyglamp

01634 685862 info@kitscotyglamping.co.uk wwwkitscotyglamping.co.uk

Promo Code

BESTATTRACTIONS Quoting this on booking will entitle you to a 10% discount on any booking for stays in April, May or June next year.


in KENT 14 BEST Attractions

Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway One of Kent’s top tourist attractions For the past 88 years the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway has been an integral part of the landscape of the Romney Marsh. “Mainline in Miniature”, a world-famous one-third full size steam and diesel locomotives have powered their way along the 13½ miles of track from the Cinque Port town of Hythe, terminating in Dungeness; a National Nature Reserve and one of the largest shingle landscapes in the world.


Hythe Light Railway Tea Room Step into the vintage-styled tea room for a real slice of nostalgia – plus homemade cake! Accessible from the adjacent Royal Military Canal Towpath and from Platform 1 of Hythe Station, the tea room serves an array of hot and cold food and beverages, cakes and pastries made on the premises and a good range of wines, ciders and beers.

End of the Line Restaurant Brand new for 2016! A contemporary light and airy space, serving speciality fish dishes using local fish, together with meat and vegetarian dishes and a varied selection of wines and beers to complement dishes. The venue for “Supper Nights” at the End of the Line Restaurant is available to hire for private functions, including weddings with seating for at least 80 people. A warm welcome awaits you at the “End of the Line”. www.facebook.com/ RHandDR @RHDR

01797 362353 info@rhdr.org.uk www.rhdr.org.uk


in KENT 16 BEST Attractions

Arethusa Venture Centre

Over 35 years experience of providing high quality outdoor education Opening Times

Monday to Thursday 9am - 5pm Friday 9am - 4pm

The Arethusa has over 35 years experience of providing high quality outdoor education to over 6,000 visitors each year. With three accommodation blocks housing just over 100 students and up to 18 staff. Open all year round with activities to suit all weathers, their aim is to develop life skills through the adventure learning programmes, encouraging visitors to reach their full potential in a safe and caring environment, not forgetting the importance of having fun and adventure. The activities are delivered by fully trained staff to instruct and lead you and your group through exciting challenges.

About them

They are a British Canoe Union Approved Centre and RYA Training Centre, licensed by the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority, which all adds up to the very best in safe supervision and training and plenty of fun for everyone involved.

Activities include

Sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing, stand up paddleboarding, powerboating, climbing, high ropes, initiative games, team building, raft building, beach walks, archery, and swimming. With the highly experienced instructors and extensive equipment, absolutely no experience is necessary for any of these activities. Schools, youth groups and the disabled are all welcome to take part in the activities and receive expert instruction, whether it’s just for fun or to work towards RYA or BCU qualifications. www.facebook.com/ Arethusa-Venture-Centre -266392613524005

@ArethusaVC

01634 719933 info@arethusa.org.uk www.arethusa.org.uk


i n K E N T 17 BEST Attractions

Leeds Castle “The Loveliest Castle in the World” Visitors never forget their first breathtaking vision of the 900 year old Leeds Castle, rising majestically from the moat. With 500 acres of beautiful parkland and formal gardens, daily activities, falconry demonstrations, special events and year round attractions, Leeds Castle provides one of the best days out in Kent, and you will want to come back time and again! This autumn and winter, experience a rich variety of events for the whole family from glorious food to beautiful floral creations, a spectacular fireworks display and an enchanting Christmas season celebrating 150 years of Beatrix Potter.

Leeds Castle Food Festival 9th to 11th September

Enjoy delicious food and drink from quality local producers, tempting tastings and live music for the whole family to enjoy. Children can experience themed workshops, garden games and small rides.

Festival of Flowers: ‘A Queen’s Castle’ 24th to 28th September

The popular Festival of Flowers themed ‘A Queen’s Castle’, returns from 24th to 28th September and will be officially opened by garden designer and television personality Joe Swift on Saturday 24th September.

Christmas at Leeds Castle 3rd – 23rd December

Relive the classic Beatrix Potter tales with themed Christmas tree decorations, seasonal flowers and imaginative displays in each room of the Castle. Visit the Christmas Market on the Cedar Lawn (on selected dates) to discover an array of seasonal gift ideas, decorations and seasonal food and drink. www.facebook.com/ leedscastle @leedscastleuk

01622 765400 enquiries@leeds-castle.co.uk www.leeds-castle.com


in KENT 18 BEST Attractions

The Historic Dockyard Chatham A visit to The Historic Dockyard Chatham is quite an adventure… it’s the BIG day out that lasts all year! Steeped in history, this award winning maritime heritage attraction is the world’s most complete dockyard from the age of sail and is home to a remarkable range of museum galleries, iconic buildings and historic warships; together with an excellent programme of family activities, outstanding exhibitions and events throughout the year.

Opening Times

Open 7 days a week 13th February until 27th November 2016


Command of the Oceans new in May 2016

Superb interactive galleries take you on a voyage back to the ‘age of sail’ - a time when the people of Chatham Dockyard built ships like HMS Victory for the Royal Navy, helping to establish worldwide command of the oceans. Using the latest exhibition design and technology, powerful stories are unearthed, revealing the incredibly important role Chatham Dockyard, its defences and its people played during this important period of British Maritime History. Two internationally significant maritime archaeological discoveries: The timbers of Namur (1756) intriguingly laid to rest ‘beneath the floor’ of the Wheelwrights’ shop and the Invincible (1758) collection of objects recovered from the sea bed, will be central to the Dockyard’s previously untold astonishing story.

Relive and rediscover

Imagine what life was like as a Victorian rope maker; and make your own piece of rope on the authentic Victorian Ropery Tour. In the exciting ‘Hearts of Oak’ digital theatre, join retired Master Shipwright John North as he revisits the Dockyard of his youth and encourages his young grandson to follow in his footsteps. You will be gripped by stories of life aboard the Three Historic Warships: Step aboard Victorian Sloop HMS Gannet (1878); swing through the hatches of Cold War HM Submarine Ocelot (1962); and sit in the Captain’s chair of Royal Navy Second World War Destroyer HMS Cavalier (1944).

Become inspired by the innovation of those who worked at Chatham Dockyard during the 19th and 20th centuries in the powerful Steam Steel and Submarines gallery. A collection of really BIG ‘things’ in 3 Slip The BIG Space is unearthed and you will marvel at the incredible wooden roof structure. Heroic stories are told in the RNLI Historic Lifeboat Collection, and for those who would like a little peace and quiet, a visit to the tranquil Commissioner’s garden is a must! The children can let off steam in the Railway Workshop Refuel and Play indoor soft play, or the outdoor adventure play areas.

Take a journey

A visit would not be complete without a journey through No. 1 Smithery - an all-round treasure house for the whole family. It has brilliant galleries displaying world class maritime treasures from both the National Maritime Museum and Imperial War Museums. www.facebook.com/ historic.chatham @DockyardChatham

01634 823800 info@chdt.org.uk www.thedockyard.co.uk


in KENT 20 BEST Attractions

White Rock Theatre Presents live music and entertainment Situated in a commanding position on the Hastings shoreline the White Rock Theatre is the perfect concert and theatre venue, with a recently-refurbished, sea-view Café Bar.

Opening Times

Monday to Saturday 10am - 4.30pm regular late nights

The Theatre’s programme is varied and includes concerts, musicals, drama, comedy and an annual pantomime. The ideal venue for meetings, rehearsals, workshops, conferences, parties, celebrations and more, the White Rock Theatre offers a range of spaces that can be adapted to suit your requirements, from one-to-one meetings to large seminars, and birthday celebrations to community events.

Peter Pan pantomime!

It has been announced that boyband sensation Jaymi Hensley, will take on the high-flying title role in East Sussex’s must-see pirate adventure Peter Pan when it flies into the White Rock Theatre this Christmas. Peter Pan is produced by One From the Heart in association with HQ Theatres, the partnership behind the recent White Rock Theatre pantomime successes including Cinderella starring Jessie Wallace and Aladdin starring Louie Spence. Peter Pan runs from Friday 16th to Saturday 31st December 2016. For tickets and more information visit the website whiterocktheatre.org.uk or call the box office on 01424 462288. www.facebook.com/ WhiteRockTheatre @The_White_Rock

01424 462 280 enquiries@whiterocktheatre.org.uk www.whiterocktheatre.org.uk


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i n K E N T 21 BEST Attractions

Kentish Lady Hire Cruisers River Medway boat trips Take in the sights and splendour of the Maidstone stretch of the River Medway from the comfort of your own seat aboard the Kentish Lady River Boat. Cruising between Allington and Teston the Kentish Lady with its fully licensed bar is also a unique venue for a wedding reception or private party.

One hour trips

The Kentish Lady runs one-hour return trips at weekends and school holidays (one way available) from Maidstone Town Centre to Allington Lock between Easter and October. Maidstone is perfect for an afternoon shopping trip at The Mall or Fremlin Walk, or for just meeting friends. Whilst at Allington Lock, you can stop for lunch at the Malta Inn restaurant or spend time at the Kent Life Attraction. Along the route, you can also request to stop at Whatman Park. The informative commentary tells you all about the sights on route including Corpus Christi Hall and Maidstone’s oldest pub dating back to 1636. You will also pass Allington Castle where Henry VIII used to meet Anne Boleyn.

Three hour cruises

Three-hour weekday cruises (Tuesday – Friday) to Teston via Farleigh Lock include picnic box or fish and chips, plus fresh fruit, tea, coffee or water, all at only £23 per person.

Private hire

The Kentish Lady is available for private functions including: wedding receptions, birthdays or social gatherings with a champagne reception. A licensed bar, DJ and buffet are available at an additional cost. www.facebook.com/ Kentish-Lady-Hire-CruisersLtd-16557883188

@nsk3nn3dy

01622 753740 boattrips@kentishlady.co.uk www.kentishlady.co.uk

The Timetable

Trips/Cruises re-commencing from Easter 2016 Please see website for details


in KENT 22 BEST Attractions

Jetstream Tours Medway’s leading jetboat operator Rochester’s unique sightseeing experience Running through the heart of Kent is the River Medway, soul of Rochester. Many people cross the river on a daily basis to get to work, do their shopping or even visit relatives, they often forget it is even there. This year discover more of the River Medway and its history aboard a luxury River Cruiser or a 530hp Jetboat. All tours are fully commentated in English.

Medway Raid and Explorer Tours Use the code

Best10 10%

For a discount!

The 90 minute and 3 hour Jetboat experiences operate at weekends (April - October) from Sun Pier, Chatham. These tours let you experience the thrill of 530hp aboard Kent’s ultimate Jetboat ride. For the more adventurous thrill seeker, why not try the Medway Explorer tour which blasts you out to the eerie Red Sand Towers in the Thames Estuary. As numbers are limited to a maximum of ten per tour, it enables you to interact with the knowledgeable crew and maximizes your experience.


Cruise the Medway Looking for something a little more sedate than a Jetboat? Then why not try the new Jetstream Tours River Cruiser. Ideal for the whole family, this fantastic riverboat offers one hour guided tours from Rochester Castle. The tour passes under the historic Rochester bridge and heads towards Chatham historic dockyard and Upnor Castle. Come rain or shine you’ll enjoy the flexibility of this boat. Large panoramic windows allow for some great sightseeing and with a fully stocked bar selling a variety of refreshments, it will allow you to make the most of your time in Rochester. The river is a great place to grab some photos or take a selfie and with two outside decks you can get some great vantage points. The boat is wheelchair accessible and ideal for groups of up to 100 people.

Departures The hour tours depart every weekend throughout the year, with special cruises such as afternoon teas and supper trips which are scheduled to start mid-week soon. Rochester Circular (1 hour) Leaves Rochester pier 10:30am, 12:30pm, 2:30pm and 4:30pm. Prices: £10 Adults, £7 Children, £30 Family (2+2), Under 5s Free. Medway Raid Leaves Sun Pier, Chatham 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm Prices: £33 Adults, £23 Children, £100 Family (2+2). Medway Explorer (See website for more details) (always check departure times before travelling)

Private Hire Jeststream Tours offer a bespoke private hire service, whether it’s a private sightseeing tour for 10, buffet lunch or a Christmas party, Jetstream Tours can provide you with a unique way to get you and your guests afloat this year. Call now to discuss your requirement. www.facebook.com/ Jetstreamtours @Jetstreamtours

01634 525202 bookings@jetstreamtours.com www.jetstreamtours.com


in KENT 24 BEST Attractions

Kent Life Heritage Farm Park Kent’s rural heritage experience About Kent Life

Discover Kent Life Heritage Farm Park, where history and family fun sit side by side. A real working farm, Kent Life showcases and breeds traditional animals, and the hands-on cuddle corner is always popular with visitors. Located in the Garden of England, explore the historic buildings; including Britain’s last working coal-fired oast house. Children will enjoy an array of family fun, including indoor and outdoor play areas, donkey rides, a bouncy castle, tractor rides, paint-apot studio and more!

Value family ticket

New for 2016 is the introduction of a great value family ticket for just £29.95 allowing a family of four to visit for under £30! The popular annual membership pass is still available, offering year round admission for less than 10p per day. Other great benefits include discounts in the gift shop, paint-a-pot studio and catering outlets.

What’s on Forthcoming events include the Hops ‘n’ Harvest Beer Festival, a Chas & Dave tribute band, Halloween Fright Nights, Christmas on the Home Front, and visits to Santa throughout December. There will also be a fabulous range of live entertainment in the indoor Big Top throughout the school holidays - all at no extra charge!

More than just a day out Kent Life is much more than just a day visit. Along with the extensive special events programme, Kent Life is also an ideal venue for school and group visits, children’s parties, conferences, private hire and weddings. For current opening times, prices and online booking, further information and the full events list, please visit www.kentlife.org.uk www.facebook.com/ KentLifeFamilyFun @Kent_Life

01622 763936 enquiries@kentlife.org.uk www.kentlife.org.uk


i n K E N T 25 BEST Attractions

Leas Cliff Hall A charming place with a view to remember Leas Cliff Hall is Kent’s premier entertainment venue. It offers the very best in entertainment, from live music to headlining comedians, and international dance acts to shows for all the family.

Some great acts

The Leas Cliff Hall has played host to some of the best music acts around such as: Ozzy Osbourne, Kings of Leon, Status Quo, UB40, Stereophonics, The Darkness, McFly, Paloma Faith, The Vaccines, Seasick Steve and many more.

The Café Bar

The Café Bar is the perfect spot to stop and relax to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Leas Promenade and the magnificent sea-view. There is a wide selection of hot and cold drinks on offer, along with delicious light snacks including freshly made sandwiches, rolls, paninis and jacket potatoes with a variety of fillings. There are also homemade cakes, a selection of scones, doughnuts, cupcakes and ice creams too! Open daily 10am - 5pm.

The new brochure

The new season for the autumn and winter of 2016 provides great comedy, opera, ballet, live music and some of the UK’s top touring theatre productions, which take to the largest stage on the South Kent coast. Keep an eye open for a copy of the new brochure when you are out and about. Booking now for Vienna Festival Ballet: The Nutcracker and Ellen Kent’s award winning Verdi Aida. www.facebook.com/ LeasCliffHallFolkestone

0844 871 3015

@leascliffhall

agttickets.com/folkestone

lchfunctions@leascliffhall.co.uk


in KENT 26 BEST Attractions

Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar The ultimate experience The Hangar also conducts tours and sit in a Spitfire days. Call for more details

The Heritage Hangar

The Hangar houses an amazing collection of airworthy Spitfires, probably the greatest concentration of Spitfire activity in the world, plus several others undergoing restoration by the Spitfire Company (Biggin Hill) Ltd. In addition the collection also includes an airworthy Hawker Hurricane Mk I, Europe’s oldest flying Harvard and a 1944 ex-USAAF Piper L4 Grasshopper.


The SpitďŹ re Company (Biggin Hill) Since its creation, The Spitfire Company has restored Spitfire Mark I X4650, Mark XVI RW382, MKIX TD314 with MKIX LZ842, MKIX BR601 and MK V EE602 currently undergoing restoration. Airframe Assemblies supply the rebuilt fuselages complete with tailplane and wings. With any restoration of a previously scrapped or crashed Spitfire, as much material as possible from the original airframe is incorporated in the rebuild thus making the aircraft as authentic as it can be. Having possibly the world’s largest collection of original Spitfire parts, some of which are still in their unopened original boxes, helps greatly. Project Manager Paul Ager is justly proud of the work carried out on the restorations by his team of engineers. The Heritage Hangar also offer the chance to fly in a two seat Spitfire. This is the ultimate thrill to experience flying this iconic aircraft.

www.facebook.com/BigginHillHeritageHangar

01959 576767 www.bigginhillheritagehangar.co.uk www.flyaspitfire.co.uk


in KENT 28 BEST Attractions

Central Park Stadium Sittingbourne Greyhounds Built in 1995 at a cost of ÂŁ6m, Central Park Stadium occupies a 24 acre site in the Eurolink business development. It has its own car park which caters for up to 1000 cars and is easy to reach from the M20 and less than 10 minutes from the M2 and A249. Sittingbourne town centre and its railway station are just a short taxi ride away from the Sittingbourne Dog Track.

Opening Times Doors open: Saturdays 5.30pm 1st race - 6.28pm Sundays 5pm 1st race - 6pm

www.facebook.com/

Sittingbourne-Greyhounds

@SittGreyhounds

01795 475547 greyhoundenquiries@gmail.com www.sittingbournegreyhounds.co.uk


Kent King’s Speedway Speedway is the most exciting team sport in the UK and the most unique and thrilling motorsport in the world. It’s a stadium-based sport and there’s no finer venue staging this dirt track motorcycle racing extravaganza of speed, than Central Park in Sittingbourne - the home of the Kent SLYDE Kings. Speedway racing is a spectacle like no other - with four riders out on the track, mounted on the powerful 500cc motor bikes with no brakes.

Opening Times Doors open: Mondays 5pm 1st race - 6.30pm

www.facebook.com/kentspeedway

01795 475547

@kent_kings

www.kentkings.co


in KENT 30 BEST Attractions

The Canterbury Tales Everyone has a tale to tell

Canterbury’s much-loved visitor attraction A visit to Canterbury is not complete without experiencing Chaucer’s famous tales. Join a journey of discovery as you explore the sights, sounds and smells of 14th century England in this fabulous, immersive recreation of medieval life; a unique introduction to Canterbury and its famous literary connection.

Make your own pilgrimage

Your adventure begins at the famous Tabard Inn, Southwark. Here you will meet the first of your costumed guides who’ll prepare you for your pilgrimage to Canterbury. As you leave your guide to walk alongside Chaucer’s pilgrims, you will find yourself in the midst of a story-telling contest. Five of Chaucer’s colourful and entertaining tales of love, infidelity, intrigue, courtship and death are brought vividly to life as you make your journey through the recreated medieval scenes and listen to the audio guide. When you reach Canterbury, you will be met by a second costumed guide who will take you to your ultimate destination- the shrine of St Thomas Becket. This pilgrimage appeals to visitors and groups of all ages.

Discover more with special events

New for 2016: daily in August, experience our Knight’s School, Alchemy Lessons, Storytelling and more in our medieval garden. At Halloween, brace yourself for Contagious! or bring the whole family along to Family-Friendly Trick or Treat. Celebrate Christmas with our Magical Medieval Christmas and unique Artisan Gift Fair. www.facebook.com/ TheCanterburyTales VisitorAttraction

@CanterburyTales

01227 479227 info@canterburytales.org.uk www.canterburytales.org.uk


i n K E N T 31 BEST Attractions

Go Ape Live life adventurously at Go Ape in Kent

Go Ape is the UK’s number one forest adventure located right on your doorstep. Go Ape has two leafy hangouts in Kent, set in some of the most breathtaking landscapes; Leeds Castle near Maidstone and Bedgebury Pinetum near Royal Tunbridge Wells. Release your inner ape as you enjoy 2-3 hours of tree top fun, tackling wobbly crossings, rope ladders, Tarzan swings, and windin-your-face zip wires. It’s a day out like no other.

Make sure to bring the family

Adventure is always better when it’s shared, so bring the whole tribe to experience some tree top fun. There is Tree Top Junior for the mini-Tarzans who want to explore the canopy. It’s all the fun of the classic Tree Top Adventure on a course designed especially for children over 1m tall.

Prices Tree Top Adventure 16+ years - £33, Tree Top Adventure 10-15 years - £25, Tree Top Junior - £18. *Offer valid until 30-11-16, excludes Saturdays, bank holidays and purchase of gift vouchers. Discount code must be entered at time of booking. Only valid at Leeds Castle and Bedgebury. Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge. Participation and supervision ratios apply - please see goape.co.uk for more details. www.facebook.com/ GoApeTribe @GoApeTribe

0845 643 1748 questions@goape.co.uk www.goape.co.uk

10% off

Quote BAK10 to receive 10% off your adventure at Leeds Castle or Bedgebury*


in KENT 32 BEST Attractions

Hovercraft Adventures Perfect for any occasion About Hovercraft Adventures

With over ten years experience in the motorised experience industry, Hovercraft Adventures is an independent business providing hovercraft and quad bike experiences in the picturesque heart of Kent’s beautiful countryside. The quad bike experiences are designed to cater for families - larger groups can also be accommodated. For health and safety reasons, only four quad bikes are permitted on track at any one time.


Five mile experience H.A. Quads offers a five mile quad bike experience. You can expect to be at the venue for up to an hour. Starting with a safety briefing, you are then led off by one of the fully trained instructors to start your five mile experience. The course starts on flat ground before you are then taken onto a purpose-built woodland course. There is no speed involved in your experience, it’s more about skill and ability to negotiate the twists and turns, with a few obstacles to watch out for. For safety and enjoyment, there are only four customer quads on track at any one time which are led by instructors. PLEASE NOTE. In winter months due to track and weather conditions this might be scaled down to two per instructor as per terms and conditions.

Pay and play The pay and play hovercraft sessions offer everyone the chance to shine in a non-competitive flying experience. These sessions include training and then 5, 10 or 15 exhilarating laps over land and water track! Each session can last up to a maximum of 90 minutes and can accommodate up to 8 people (5 laps), 6 people (10 laps) and 4 people (15 laps) aged 12 and upwards.

Competitive experience This is the ultimate hovercrafting experience! In these sessions, a group of up to 12 people will compete to find out who is the fastest pilot in a combination of pursuits and relays. The fastest pilot from each session will be invited back in the spring for a Top Gun event to find the fastest pilot of the year. Each session lasts up to 2 hours and can accommodate up to 12 people aged 12 and upwards. www.facebook.com/ HovercraftAdventures1 @HovercraftAdven

0844 358 4505 info@hovercraftadventures.co.uk www.hovercraftadventures.co.uk


in KENT 34 BEST Attractions

Kent Canoes Friendly, expert advice, great choice and value for money The shop

It is one of the largest independent canoe and kayak retailers in the UK. On display at the showroom in Wrotham is a fantastic range of canoes and kayaks including sit on tops, sea kayaks, touring kayaks, general purpose kayaks and white water kayaks. There is also available a great range of open canoes and stand up paddle boards plus all the accessories you need to enjoy this sport.

The Canoe/Kayak School

Every year from March to October BCU courses are run covering the BCU Star Award syllabus from 1 Star to 3 Star. These are ideal for anyone interested in just trying out the sport or developing their skills. The school is headed by Grant Scamell who is a BCU Level 5 Coach.

The Guided River Trips

On offer are guided river trips on the upper Medway from Tonbridge to Yalding in both open canoes and kayaks. This is a really beautiful section of the river which meanders through the Garden of England. It’s a very popular trip, and now has six canoe passes on it around the locks to add a little excitement. www.facebook.com/ kent.canoes @KentCanoes

01732 886688 info@kentcanoes.co.uk www.kentcanoes.co.uk


i n K E N T 35 BEST Attractions

Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway Everyone is always welcome, family fun environment This unique line was built in 1905 for the transportation of the raw materials required for the manufacture of paper and, of course, the finished product. The line which is built to a gauge of 2’ 6”, continues to use the steam engines and rolling stock that were supplied to operate the railway in its working life prior to preservation in 1969. Trains depart from Sittingbourne Viaduct station which is within Sittingbourne Retail Park and has free parking (sat nav users should use ME10 2XD). The journey takes 15 minutes from end-to-end so a round trip can be completed in less than an hour, however, it is recommended to allow at least two hours for your visit. There is a special event every month - July (first weekend) is Steam and Beer, August (Bank Holiday weekend) is Ivor the Engine Weekend and September (last weekend) is Gala Weekend. Trains usually depart Sittingbourne Viaduct hourly 1pm to 4pm on Sundays but during the school summer holidays they depart on Wednesdays 1pm to 4pm and Sundays 11am to 4pm. Additional trains operate on event days. www.facebook.com/ groups/SandKLR @SandKLR

01795 424899 info@sklr.net www.sklr.net

Return fares £7 Adult £5 Senior Citizen £3 Child (3-13) Under 3s free £19 family (2A+4C)


in KENT 36 BEST Attractions

Bayford Meadows Sittingbourne Go Karting at Bayford Meadows Bayford Meadows Kart Circuit in Sittingbourne, Kent, is one of the country’s premier outdoor floodlit karting circuits. Offering a year-round outdoor activity featuring an 1100m MSA licensed circuit, they are happy where possible to tailor events for a circle of friends, a multi-national company or a group of children. Enjoy the excitement of karting for both young and old at one of the UK’s top kart circuits, including evenings and weekends.


School Holiday Thursdays

Thursdays are reserved during standard school holiday periods from 10am – 5pm as a Special ‘Arrive ‘n’ Drive’ day for children and adults alike to enjoy karting on the divided main circuit. All ages, from 9+ years are welcome throughout the day, whether as individuals or groups of friends and family, with the same great prices for all.

Allow plenty of time for your visit As with all karting sessions, the experience includes full safety wear, briefing and driving instruction so please allow at least 1 hour for your visit. Allow plenty of extra time should you choose to have more than one session or relax and take refreshments in the on-site diner overlooking the circuit.

Arrive ‘n’ Drive Costs £20 per person for 15 minute driving session. £30 per person for 2 x 15 minute driving sessions. (Junior and Pro200 karts available).

Other hire karting opportunities include:

Junior birthdays or academy sessions, exclusive team events, stag and hen parties, open competitive races. www.facebook.com/Official-Bayford-Meadows-Kart-Circuit

@BayfordMeadows

01795 410707 info@bayfordmeadows.co.uk www.bayfordmeadows.co.uk


in KENT 38 BEST Attractions

The Kent & East Sussex Railway

A great day out, for the whole family The Kent and East Sussex Railway is one of the country’s finest examples of a preserved rural light railway. From Tenterden Town station, historic steam and diesel trains gently wind their way along 10 ½ miles of track travelling through unrivalled Wealden countryside and the beautiful Rother Valley. The route terminates in the Sussex village of Bodiam in the shadow of the magnificent National Trust castle.

The history

Today, the railway retains much of its historic beauty and visitors enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and service of a bygone age. Nostalgia is just everywhere and although there are five stations on the line passengers are encouraged to board the trains at one of three main stations, Tenterden, Northiam or Bodiam.

The Railway offers a range of special discount tickets for groups, families and pensioners throughout the year. Their great value all day family rover ticket allows unlimited travel for 2 adults and up to 3 children or 1 adult and up to 4 children for £38. This is ideal for passengers wishing to hop off the train and explore the many delights each destination has to offer and whether you are interested in heritage, shopping, nature, food or drink, there is something for all ages to enjoy. www.facebook.com/The KentandEastSussexRailway

@KandESRailway

01580 765155 enquiries@kesr.org.uk

www.kesr.org.uk


Best Attractions in Kent - Autumn/Winter 16  
Best Attractions in Kent - Autumn/Winter 16  
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