Summer days out in the garden of england

As a Kent based broker with the name Invicta it would be amiss of us not to continue our seasonal guide of the best places to visit in The Garden of England.

Kent is a haven of breathtaking English landscapes and places to visit. From mysterious marshlands to the dramatic white cliffs of Dover, sleepy villages and bustling seaside resorts, historic castles and towering cathedral. There’s no shortage of things to do in Kent.

Visitors regularly take short breaks in Kent to wander through the historic streets of famous towns like Canterbury and Rochester and to explore the green rolling hills, wooded valleys and far-reaching landscapes. The glorious sunny seaside towns of Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs regularly boast the most blue flag beaches in the UK.

With so many options for a wonderful day out during the summer we have selected our Top Ten:

1. Port Lympne Animal Reserve, Ashford.

Port Lympne Reserve, one of Kent’s most popular and award winning visitor attractions, is celebrating its 41st birthday throughout 2017. The Reserve, near Ashford is home to over 700 rare and endangered species and is now Europe’s first animal focused holiday destination, offering visitors a variety of short break accommodations.

Set over 600 acres, Port Lympne is home to the UK’s most authentic safari experience, The African Experience – 100 acres alive with African animals.

Visitors to Port Lympne throughout the year are promised a super, natural and epic day out as they explore wooded pathways to discover where the wild things are and see the UK’s largest herd of black rhino, big cats, small cats, primates, western lowland gorillas and more.

Other activities include bespoke safaris, guided tours, team building activities, keeper experiences and many more. Restaurants and kiosks are located around the park providing a variety of hot and cold snacks.

The Reserve, is the only visitor attraction in the UK offering a variety of short break accommodations, including fun and family friendly camping at Pinewood pods to luxury glamping at multi award winning Livingstone Lodge.

For further information:

2. Hever Castle & Gardens, Edenbridge

The Childhood home of Anne Boleyn.

Be inspired to come and visit this thirteenth century romantic castle which was once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn.

Set in magnificent gardens from the majestic formal Italian Garden and topiary, to the informal meanderings of the lakeside and Sunday Walk. The Water Maze on Sixteen Acre Island and the Yew Maze challenges both adults and children alike!

The warm and welcoming atmosphere of Hever Castle and Gardens will give you a day to remember. Summer events being held all season!

For further information:

3. Dreamland Theme Park, Margate

Enter Dreamland Margate and you step into an old fashioned yet oh-so fashionable world of fun, food, thrills and good times.

Visitors to Dreamland amusement park can now enter free of charge and either choose to pay per ride or ride unlimited with a choice of wristbands. This is great for both the thrill seekers in the family and for those of you just looking to take in the atmosphere, check out the vintage ride collection, laugh at the on-park entertainments team or enjoy the performances on the bandstand.

Fun and retro nostalgia to keep all the family entertained!

For further information:

4. Leeds Castle, Maidstone

12th Century Leeds Castle is one of the best preserved historic castles in South East England, as well as one of the most iconic.

The castle is set in over 500 acres of lush green parkland and is ideal for long relaxing strolls and picnics.

You’ll find medieval gatehouses and Norman foundations, Tudor towers as well as 19th century additions. All of this was lovingly restored during the mid 20th Century by Lady Baillie, the last private owner of Leeds Castle.

There are also plenty of attractions to keep the kids and everyone else entertained for an entire day. There are castle-themed playgrounds, falconry displays, a maze and underground grotto, and a whole host of different events and activities throughout the year.

There is also a scenic pay-and-play golf course nearby, as well as Segway Tours and a Go Ape high wire adventure course across this lovely stretch of Kent countryside.

5. Spa Valley Railway, Royal Tunbridge Wells

“A Destination at Every Station”: The Spa Valley Railway is a fun packed day out with steam, heritage diesel, exploration, excitement & enjoyment!

You can ride the trains and explore Eridge, Groombridge, High Rocks or Royal Tunbridge Wells throughout your visit and make a day of it, with plenty of local attractions easily accessible by train you will find something for all the family!

We also have many experiences for you to enjoy on the railway itself, from Driver Experience, Afternoon Tea, Fish & Chip Suppers, High Weald Belle Dining for the adults to Days out with Thomas the Tank Engine and friend! There is something for everyone at the Spa Valley Railway.

For further information:

6. Betteshanger Park, Deal

Betteshanger Park, near Deal in East Kent is an outstanding 250-acre Park and ideal for lovers of nature the outdoors.

Located on the site of the former Betteshanger Colliery, the Park offers miles of traffic free cycling, muddy mountain bike trails, a sensational events programme, awesome play area, woodland, grassland, marshland and wide-ranging, hands-on activities including archery, fossil hunting and den building.

A new £30 million investment scheme will include a new state-of-the-art Visitor Centre with conference facilities, café/restaurant, Green Energy Centre, Cycle Centre, outdoor play equipment and Kent Mining Museum.

For further information:

7. Chislehurst Caves, Chislehurst

Grab a lantern and get ready for an amazing adventure at the Chislehurst Caves. Miles of dark mysterious passageways hewn by hand from chalk, forming a maze covering more than 6 hectares, 30 metres below the woodlands and houses of Chislehurst.

Your whole family can travel back in time, as a guide takes you on a 45-minute lamp-lit tour and tells stories of Druids, Romans and Saxons, You’ll see tunnels that were famous as a shelter during WWII, the Caves Church, Druid Altar, Haunted Pool and much more.

The caves should hold the imagination of even the most easily bored child and if nothing else, there are 20 miles of tunnels to wear them out!

The caves are run as a family business where the atmosphere is relaxed and the staff are helpful and friendly.

For further information:

8. Turner Contemporary, Margate

Turner Contemporary is a visual arts organisation, based in Margate that celebrates JMW Turner’s association with the town and promotes the understanding and enjoyment of historical and contemporary art. The vibrant, world-class gallery showcases contemporary and historical art in new and dynamic ways throughout the year.

Britain’s best known painter, JMW Turner (1775-1851), was a regular visitor to Margate throughout his life. He was drawn to Margate by the unique quality of the light, leading him to remark that “..the skies over Thanet are the loveliest in all Europe.”

For further information:

9. Walking & Sightseeing at the White Cliffs of Dover, Dover

As a magnificent coastal site overlooking the English Channel, there can be no doubt that the White Cliffs of Dover are one of this country’s most spectacular natural features. They are an official Icon of Britain and have been a sign of hope and freedom for centuries.

You can appreciate their beauty and enjoy their special appeal throughout the summer by taking one of the dramatic cliff-top walks offering unrivalled views of the busy English Channel and the French coast.

While you’re here, learn more about the fascinating military and penal history of the White Cliffs and savour the rare flora and fauna that can only be found across this chalk grassland.

For further information:

10. Hush Heath Winery, Tonbridge

Hidden away near Staplehurst, in the beautiful Kent countryside, the estate produces one of England’s most iconic and exclusive sparkling wines using traditional Champagne methods.

Hush Heath Estate and the winery shop are open every day from 11am to 5pm. Tastings and self-guided tours are free and available without booking 7 days a week from 11am -5pm. They also offer guided tours and tastings led by winery experts. A lovely, relaxing way to spend a lazy summer afternoon.

Just 10 minutes drive from the winery The Hush Heath pub, restaurant and boutique hotel serves lunch and dinner seven days a week.

For further information:

Invicta House, Amherst Hill, Riverhead, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2EL
Tel: 01732 471950 Email:
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