Keeping it local – Things To Do in East Kent

My name is Vicky and I blog at and I am mum to Tilly who is 8 years old and I have been blogging for 5 years now. I live in a small corner of East Kent and love living there. You can also find us on Instagram and Twitter

The Beaches

Thebeaches in East Kent are not all great and they are quite pebbly but you do find the occasional sandy beach. A couple of the beaches are in Broadstairs and Margate. Both of these towns are your traditional seaside towns where everyone used to go before holidays abroad became popular. Further along the coast in the direction of Folkestone is the little town of Dymchurch. This is our favourite sandy beach. It goes for miles and miles and the town also has a miniature steam train that goes along the coast down to Dungeness, although there isn’t much to do in Dungeness except more sandy beach and a friendly family pub. Dymchurch has all of your traditional seaside things like a pay as you go fair, Fish and chips, penny arcades and a few little rock shops.

CastlesWe are lucky with the castles that we have in such a small space. There is a castle in Deal, Walmer and Dover. Although Dover Castle is a full day out because it has so much history from King Henry II to World War II and the secret war tunnels. So there really is a lot of different historical things to see and do. Walmer Castle is where the Lord Warden stays, it has the most beautiful gardens and you can take a picnic and some games and spend a whole summer day there for the cost of £10.70. The house itself is full of old historical furniture and when you explore the gardens, you can even walk around the old moat. Deal Castle is really just a shell but it appeals to kids because it is somewhere for them to run around and it is a castle of storybooks and films. The castle overlooks the sea and you can go right down into the cellars. These castles all belong to English Heritage, so if you’re a member, then you get into all of these for free

Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway.

There is a little steam railway that will take you down the coast going through the little seaside towns all the way to Dungeness. The railway is over 90 years old and it runs in 13 miles of track, even going through a holiday park in Romney so you can join it from your holiday. Keep an eye on their programme because they have some really good events throughout the year. Christmas sees it run as the Santa train and a steam and diesel gala on the weekend of 12/13 May 2018. You can celebrate your wedding with the railway or you can even have the opportunity to drive the trains. You can travel all day for £18 for an adult price or £9 for a child. You can buy tickets between stops but the all-day rover ticket works out to be better value.

Day Trip To CalaisNot quite an activity in East Kent but it is easily do-able in a day trip from Kent. The ferries from Dover run so often (about one an hour and it takes about 75 minutes to get to Calais) You can get tickets as a foot passenger as cheap as £9, but if you’re lucky to get a newspaper promo, you can travel to France for as little as £3. It’s easy to walk to the port from Dover town centre and again to walk from the port in Calais to Calais town centre. If you don’t want to get off the ferry, you can also do a turnaround and just stay on the ferry to come straight back home.

Animal ParksWe are lucky because we have Wingham Wildlife Park as well as well as Howletts Zoo. Wingham Wildlife Park is more popular with the local people because it is more accessible and it has the new dinosaur section of the park which is hugely popular with the kids. Wingham Wildlife Park offers a really good value family yearly pass too and that makes a huge difference if you’re going to visit a few times a year. Wingham Wildlife Park is found in the village of Wingham on the main road from Sandwich to Canterbury. Howletts Zoo is found in Bekesbourne, Kent, just three miles south of Canterbury. Easy to find by car but more difficult by public transport. You can get a train to Bekesbourne and they may be able to run a courtesy minibus to the zoo. This can be sorted out before you arrive there.

CanterburyThis is one of the best places in Kent to go shopping. It is a busy city with 2 different universities and it is always full of people from different parts of the country, together to learn. In the city centre, you have the big branded shops mixed with boutiques shops and independent hotels and bars. There is Canterbury cathedral that is the centrepiece of the city and its free to enter if you attend a church service. Otherwise, you have to pay to enter it. You have the Canterbury Tales, that tells the story of Jeffrey Chaucer and you follow his trip to Canterbury. You have a park that is surrounded by the old city walls and it is somewhere for the kids to play, whilst you sit back and relax. The park is also the main place for events like Canterbury Pride, which takes place in the summer .

DreamlandDreamland claims to be England’s oldest theme park, it is full of retro rides that we all used to ride when we were younger and its fun to ride them now with your kids or even just watch them ride them alone now. The rides are pay as you go or you can buy a wristband and ride all day. The wristband is great because you can spend time in Dreamland and then pop over to the beach for a few hours before coming back for an afternoon of more rides. Dreamland is also the place to go for some activities in the Easter holiday for the kids like Peter Rabbit. You can attend a kid rave with Big Fish Little Fish on 31st March. There is an old ballroom that you can hire out for special occasions and an ice rink to get your skating on. Don’t worry if you get hungry because there are many food concessions inside Dreamland.