The County of Kent - The Garden of England

The Attractions of Kent – How does this whet your interest?

Why live in Kent?   Variety – you’re spoilt for choice in the beautiful county of Kent, the Garden of England.  Kent has it all and something for all ages: Cathedral cities, modern Shopping Malls, coastal seaside towns, empty beaches, woodland walks, Castles, fortresses, gardens, windmills, oast houses, country pubs, theatres, museums the list is endless. Whatever your interests, hobbies and past-times Kent can fulfil your needs.

LEISURE – The Gillingham Gills are a rising football club; the Medway and Swale rivers have a selection of boat/yacht clubs/marinas to suit any purse; windsurfing off Whitstable; fishing off the Kent coast or in its rivers and reservoirs; pleasure harbours of Dover and Ramsgate; family beaches in Thanet and off the Romney Marsh; more golf clubs than you can count.  Every major town has a Leisure Centre with all amenities.  Fitness Clubs have mushroomed up all around the county. There are facilities to go ice skating, learn to ski or go rock climbing!

PLEASURE – All the coastal towns have family entertainment, amusements, piers and pantos: Margate, Broadstairs, Deal, Hythe, Dymchurch, to name but a few. Ride the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch light railway or full-sized steam train from Tunbridge Wells or from Tenterden to Bodiam where you can visit an ancient castle complete with moat.  There are multi-plex modern cinemas throughout the county.  The selection of eating-places is bewildering, from ancient listed public houses with ‘home-cooked’ menus, fresh fish by the sea, expensive select restaurants and family-friendly chains, Kent has everything- except a Kosher restaurant!

NATURE – snowdrops on village greens in January, bluebell woods in May, hopgardens and flowering orchards – all are to hand around the county. Kent has many woods which are available to the walker or you can ramble over the North Downs, amble along the clifftops overlooking the Channel or follow the Pilgrims’ Way to Canterbury. There are nature reserves for watching wildlife or sheep to admire on the windswept Romney Marsh.

CULTURE – Rochester and Canterbury are notable cathedral cities which also host a selection of cultural events. Greenwich University has a huge campus in the Medway towns and the University of Kent is based in Canterbury.  There are various colleges- Christchurch College, Canterbury; KIAD (Kent Institute of Art and Design) with campuses in Medway and Maidstone; and general Colleges in Ashford, Maidstone, Canterbury, Folkestone, Dover, Rochester, Tonbridge. The Kent Adult Education Service is the largest adult education service in the UK with a huge range of subjects offered day and evening county-wide.  There are professional theatres which host national and international stars in Tunbridge Wells and Canterbury as well as several smaller theatres including amateur groups in other towns.  There are many National Trust properties in Kent as well as Leeds Castle, Dover Castle and other smaller historic buildings which are open to the public. Visit Chatham Historic Dockyard, a World Heritage Site. The Turner Arts Centre is being formed in Margate – a national initiative.

SHOPPING – Outlet Shopping: go to Ashford, Dover or Chatham; gigantic modern mall go to Bluewater; quaint individual shops go to The Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells. County-wide there is something to suit every taste and every budget. French wine and coffee?  Hop on a ferry or go through the Tunnel and either way enjoy a day out in the Pas de Calais.  There are lots of cheap day-return offers which allow you time for sightseeing, shopping and dining and back home to your own bed.

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Jewish Kent - Website last updated 18 March 2014