Top 14 things to do in Kent

Days out, Family

Posted by Kate W on 12th March 2021

Top 14 things to do in Kent

From fun family attractions to 900-year-old castles, discover a wide range of activities and fun things to do in Kent on your next exciting getaway. 

There’s something for every age; whether you’re travelling with tiny tots or adult mates, take a look through our suggestions and begin planning an unforgettable break.

Read through our favourite family days out in Kent and you could find yourself boating on the South East’s largest stretch of open water, playing skittles while handling a digger, or meeting friendly alpacas. Toddlers can stimulate their senses with soft play or be thrilled with a day splashing through waves at the beach.

If you are hoping to enjoy an adults-only holiday or escape the kids on an evening out, there are plenty of places to visit to impress your grown-up friends too. Savour the famed Whitstable oysters, challenge yourself at an army camp, or listen to live jazz during a warm summer evening.

We all know wet weather days can catch us by surprise during a UK holiday, so if you are keen to plan ahead, take a look through our blog full of ideas for things to do in Kent when it's raining. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for budget-friendly activities, we’ve put together our pick of free things to do in Kent.

Get inspired by browsing through our Kent cottages or keep reading to uncover our pick of the best things to do in Kent.

Kent cottages

Jump to section:


Top things to do with kids in Kent

Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle

Surrounded by a huge moat, this 10th-century castle and grounds will delight children of all ages and has to be one of the best days out in Kent. There are lots of events put on throughout the year at Leeds Castle while many visitors just turn up to tour the castle – dog-loving children will love the Dog Collar Museum, showcasing doggie neckwear from over the last 500 years.

Attempt the maze and, when you get to the middle, head back to the outside world through the underworld grotto full of mythical beasts made of shells, minerals and wood. Play at the Squires’ Court Playground, perfect for little ones of 6 years and under, while The Knights’ Realm Playground is better for children aged 7 and older – it’s a massive wooden adventure playground with secret tunnels and castle turrets.

Location: Leeds, Maidstone ME17 1PL

Opening times: October to March 10am - 5pm, April to September 10am - 6pm

Price: Adults £28, children (aged 4-15) £19.50

Stay nearby: Weald View, Maidstone | sleeps 4


Bewl Water

Bewl Water

Make your way to the largest stretch of open water in the South East. Bewl Water is a stunning lake surrounded by 800 acres of fields and woodland and is a brilliant family day out with outdoor activities from boating to cycling on offer.

There is a restaurant and café on the shoreline or you could take a picnic. Children can take part in the Bewl Water Laser Challenge or, for a day away from mum and dad, kids can be dropped off at the Day Camp where they can make lots of friends and have oodles of fun.

Location: Lamberhurst, Wadhurst, TN3 8JH

Opening times: The Bewl is open all year, although many activities are restricted to summertime, so as always, check before you go. March to October, gates open at 8am and close 30 mins before dusk.

Price: £5 entry for cars (prices differ for other vehicles) - then you’re free to explore the woods and adventure playground. You can pay for extra things such as bike hire (with trailers and child seats), rowing boats, water pedalos or you can even take a trip across the lake on the Bewl Belle ferry.

Stay nearby: Little Bewl Bridge Stable, Lamberhurst | sleeps 4


Diggerland

Diggerland

At this family attraction in Strood, children and adults can have a ride on a real digger! Try your hand at manoeuvring JCBs and Komatsu excavators with the Stack Attack challenge or attempt to knock down skittles with a digger. There’s the exhilarating Sky Shuttle ride, go-karts and mini Land Rovers for kids to drive.

It’s certainly one of the best things to do in Kent with kids so don’t miss out. Enjoy a Land Rover Safari, ride the Dig-a-Round, or dig for buried treasure at Diggerland before grabbing a bite to eat at one of the on-site cafes.

Location: Strood, ME2 2NU

Opening times: 10am - 4pm during peak weeks (see website for details)

Price: Adults to age 65 and children 90cm or over £22.80, age 65+ (ID required) £11.40, children under 90cm free!

Stay nearby: Weald View, Maidstone | sleeps 4


Hop Farm Family Park

Hop Farm Family Park

This family-friendly farm park is a delightful place to take toddlers in Kent for a fun day out. They can meet animals on-site, including mini cows, ponies, alpacas, guinea pigs and rabbits, and enjoy fun and games throughout the year at Hop Farm Family Park.

Hopper's Diner and Soft Play is just right for kids aged 3 and up, while the Outdoor Adventure Play Area is great for all ages.

Location: Tonbridge, TN12 6PY

Opening times: 10am to 4.30pm (last entry at 3pm) 

Price: £3 per person plus extra fees for rides and other attractions

Stay nearby: The Queens Arms, Edenbridge | sleeps 6 and 2 dogs


Top things to do with a toddler in Kent

Adventure Kidz, Aylesford

Adventure Kidz, Aylesford

Adventure Kidz is a soft play centre just outside Maidstone with a delightful baby and toddler area with sensory activities so your little one will be stimulated during a family day out.

If you have a big brother or sister to entertain as well, there are plenty of other fun activities on-site including an indoor high ropes course, quad bikes, laser guns, and a play area with slides making it a perfect rainy day activity for family days out in Kent.

Location: Aylesford, ME20 7UB

Opening times: 9.30am to 5pm

Price: Adult £3.95, under 1 £2.95, 1-3 yrs £6.95, 4-12 yrs £8.95

Stay nearby: Toll Farm Cottage, Ashford | sleeps 4


The Strand Leisure Park

The Strand Leisure Park

For toddlers who are still getting a feel for the world around them, a day splashing about in the pool at The Strand Leisure Park is a wonderful holiday activity!

It’s an outdoor leisure pool with a 300-metre lazy river, children’s slides and a children’s paddling pool, perfect for cooling off on a warm summer’s day in Kent. There are also six lanes for adult swimmers to tackle, inflatables available to buy on-site, and a delightful poolside café.

Location: Gillingham, ME7 1TT

Opening times: Open over the summer, sessions and times vary, see website for details.

Price: Adults are £6 per session, under 16s and over 60s are £4 per session

Stay nearby: Anchor Light Cottage, Faversham | sleeps 6 and 3 dogs


Botany Bay

Botany Bay

If your little one has yet to visit the seaside, Botany Bay is a great place for their first day at the beach. Digging in the sand, building their first sandcastle and splashing through the waves are all wonderful sensory experiences for toddlers to try out.

Botany Bay has a Blue Flag award with golden sands, chalk cliffs and rock pools too, so you and your toddler can see what’s hiding in the depths, from tiny crabs and silvery fish to slimy seaweed on a wonderful Kent day out to the coast.

Location: Broadstairs, CT10 3LG

Opening times: Open all day, every day - just remember to check tide times before you go. 

Price: Free!

Stay nearby: 3 Beach Mews, Broadstairs | sleeps 8 and 2 dogs


The best places for animals and wildlife in Kent

Port Lympne Wild Animal Park

Port Lympne Wild Animal Park

A conservation charity dedicated to protecting wildlife and a popular Kent attraction, Port Lympne Wild Animal Park works alongside the Aspinall Foundation and aims to introduce animals back to the wild.

With over 600 acres of wildlife to discover, there are over 700 animals across 80 species, including the amazing painted dogs, the eastern black rhino, the western lowland gorilla and Rothschild’s giraffe. Your visit also includes a free safari and entry to Dinosaur Forest, where huge ‘dinosaurs’ come to life with a virtual reality app. Scary but don’t worry, the kids will help you through it!

Location: Lympne, Hythe CT21 4PD

Opening times: 9.30am - 5.30pm

Price: Adult walking route only £22.00, adult walking route and safari £29.50, child (3–15 years) walking route only £20.00, child (3–15 years) walking route and safari £26.00

Stay nearby at: Kings Cottage – Sandgate, Folkestone | sleeps 6 and 1 dog


Knole Park

Knole Park

This magnificent National Trust property overlooks Kent’s last medieval deer park on the edge of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Knole House is a magnificent sight and it’s well worth stepping inside during your visit to see the impressive art, tapestries and furniture that line the halls.

Stroll the grounds and look out for Knole Park’s herd of wild deer who roam here. It’s dog friendly as long as your faithful friend is kept on a lead to protect both your dog and the deer, and there are many winding pathways to explore.

Location: Sevenoaks, TN15 0RP

Opening times: Knole Park is open from dawn until dusk.

Price: Adult £10.00, children £5.00

Stay nearby at: Boho Oast, Ide Hill | sleeps 7


Elmley Marsh National Nature Reserve

Elmley Marsh National Nature Reserve

Enter the Elmley Marsh National Nature Reserve along a 2-mile track from which you can look out for the animals and birdlife who make their home here. Cattle roam the grazing marsh, waterways wind through the landscape, and hares dash through the long grass.  

Freshwater habitat sits alongside the salt marsh and mudflats of the Swale channel. If you’re a keen birdwatcher, this reserve is the place to go with marsh harrier, egrets, lapwings, redshank, and many more waders and wildfowl who visit throughout the year. There are four hides offering different views, walking routes and a café, and you can book in for a wildlife tour.

Location: Minster, Swale, ME12 3RW

Opening times: 9am to 5pm on set days (see website for details)

Price: From £6.00

Stay nearby at: Oyster Beds – Whitstable, Whitstable | sleeps 5 and 1 dog


Top things to do in Kent for adults

Whitstable Oyster Company

Whitstable Oyster Company

Any foodies out there will be pleased to hear Whitstable has long been known for its delicious oysters caught right on its own coastline. Whitstable oysters have been collected and eaten for centuries – the Romans loved them! – so trying Whitstable’s famed seafood is a must-do activity during your visit.

There are lots of excellent pubs and restaurants serving oysters in Whitstable. One of the top places to go in Kent for this delicacy has to be Whitstable Oyster Company. See if you can get a table at this long-standing eatery during your visit, or you could even try and time your holiday to Kent to coincide with the Whitstable Oyster Festival in July.

Location: Whitstable, CT5 1BU

Opening times: It varies, however, the restaurant is often open from 12 noon with last bookings around 9pm. 

Price: Upwards of £18 for your main. 

Stay nearby at: Samphire Cottage – Whitstable, Whitstable | sleeps 6 and 1 dog 


Betteshanger Country Park, Deal

Betteshanger Country Park, Deal

Get the adrenalin pumping at Betteshanger Country Park by tackling their army-style fitness course based on tried and tested military training techniques. Be prepared to be truly put through your paces by Her Majesty’s Armed Forces trained instructors on this all-weather course. If you’re feeling tough, book in for interval training and body resistance or plan to take part in a full-battle physical training session.

Of course, this scenic park has many other wonderful activities on offer if you fancy a more tranquil holiday break, including walking routes, cycle hire and cinema events too for relaxing days out in Kent.

Location: Deal, CT14 0BF

Opening times: 8am to 5pm  

Price: It’s free if you enter on foot or bike, but there’s an admission charge of £3.50 per vehicle. Get in touch to get prices for an army-style session for a group or party.

Stay nearby at: Gore Cottage, Sandwich | sleeps 5 and 4 dogs


Canterbury History River Tours

Canterbury History River Tours

Famously the subject of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, this city has a long and fascinating history that you can uncover during a boating trip along the Great Stour. On one of the Canterbury History River Tours, you’ll be taken on a rowing boat through the centre of this historic city with your guide providing stories and insights into the buildings and structures you pass along the way.

Besides a classic History Tour, this company also offers evening tours during the summer, and the Chilling Tales tour – a perfect boat ride to enjoy around Halloween!

Location: Canterbury, CT1 2AT

Opening times: 10am to 5pm for the History Tour, with Evening Tours running until 8pm.

Price: Prices vary but begin at £40 for two regular tickets.

Stay nearby at: Oast House Cottage – Petham, Petham | sleeps 4


Jazz on the Pantiles

Jazz on the Pantiles

This annual music experience takes place every summer and offers an unforgettable evening out during your holiday.

The perfect way to celebrate a special occasion or enjoy a romantic evening with your partner, book in for dinner at The Tunbridge Wells Hotel, Kirthon, or La Casa Vecchia before attending the exciting Jazz on the Pantiles gigs that welcome renowned jazz artists from the UK and abroad to perform.

Location: Tunbridge Wells, TN2 5TN

Opening times: Thursdays throughout the summer

Price: £5.00 per ticket – please note, you must book a table at The Tunbridge Wells Hotel, Kirthon, or La Casa Vecchia to join the event.

Stay nearby at: Hopbine Cottage, Matfield | sleeps 4 and 2 dogs


Map of the best things to do in Kent 

Plan your route across the county and line up great activities and attractions for your next holiday in Kent. 


Holidays in Kent

Still wondering what to do in Kent? For a full rundown of this fantastic county, head over to our full guide: Discover Kent.

You can snuggle up in a sea view cottage by the Kent coast, pick out a hot tub retreat for a relaxing getaway, or choose to stay in a dog-friendly holiday let; we have a wonderful choice of cottages in Kent for you to discover.

With family-friendly cottages, couples’ retreats and large properties for big group holidays, you’ll soon find the ideal escape to suit you in our collection.

Kent cottages

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.