9 Reasons to Avoid Kent in 2019
Sand sandwiches are SO 1980s. And quiet country lanes are rubbish for playing car games that require spotting other cars. But without further ado, allow us to expand on our reasons to avoid Kent this year, or next for that matter…
1. Temptation for a tipple
Put simply, Kent is heaving with vineyards and award winning wine.
When the holiday browsing and booking season runs concurrently with Dry January, you’d be wise to look away. We’re really rather generously putting your liver first. Who knows, you might decide to go teetotal come February 1st.
Take Chapel Down Vineyard and Restaurant, for example. You wouldn’t want to visit the vineyard or enjoy tastings there. Even eating a meal in their restaurant would be dangerous territory for the temptation of recommended wines to accompany your dish. As for the lure of the gift shop and their products to take away. Step away now.
2. Thick stone walls do nothing for mobile signal
There are literally hundreds of castles in England but Kent definitely has more than its fair share.
Sturdy fortresses, ruined remains and palatial family homes make up some of Kent’s castles. It’s not like once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. They’re all really rather different, which means more than one is likely to make it onto your list of Kent days out. While they might occupy the kids, they’re a nightmare for holding that conference call your boss really wants to you to be on (despite you being on annual leave).
Were you to find yourselves at Sissinghurst Castle Garden you could be in there a while. The castle is also only half of the story. The gardens, famously designed by Vita Sackville-West, lure you deep into the estate acreage past lakes, through woodland and apple orchards. You’d lose your kids, or the dog, if you kept checking for signal. We couldn’t be responsible for that.
3. Diets are broken here
Let’s be honest, there’s no going back once you’ve licked a cone brimful of artisan ice cream.
With some 207 miles of coastline, there are many beaches, promenades and… ice cream parlours. Only we’re not talking a scoop of Walls in a flimsy cone. Kent ice cream parlours largely make their own sweet stuff. Using milk from Kent dairy farms and seasonally fresh, local fruit, ice cream flavours are far from bog standard and generally call for a return visit.
Ice cream aficionados (and the well travelled) may well have savoured a Morelli’s sundae somewhere around the world. But Morelli’s was born right here - it’s a Broadstairs baby - and it would be rude not to visit the original while you’re here. The scales or your Spanx would frown upon us.
4. Adrenalin addiction likely
These beaches we mention also cause people to frolic with recklessness and try exciting sports.
Kent and our neighbour Sussex have some epic stretches of long (seriously long) sandy beaches. And these vast expanses are awesome for building sandcastles, walking the dog and occasional urges to add a run to your exercise regime. The real hiccough is kite surfing.
Whether you find yourself in Whitstable or Sussex’s Camber Sands near Rye, the magnetic nature of kite surfing will suck you in. Don’t go near the kite surf school; you’ll leave hours later with a big grin on your face.
5. You might discover art
Leave your stickman sketches in your kid’s scrapbook and clear your credit card.
This is Turner country and today’s rural landscape does a pretty grand job of reinforcing that. Kent is also the birthplace of contemporary art’s headliner, Tracey Emin. So don’t be surprised by the generous smattering of art galleries in our towns or your urge to freely hand over your credit card.
This year alone Margate’s Turner Contemporary museum will aptly host the 2019 Turner Prize. And a skip across into Sussex will steer you to the Jerwood Gallery Coastal Cultural Trail. With cycling, walking and kids versions of the trail, you’ll be occupied with all that art ogling but you might also find yourself going home with an extra parcel in the car. Sucker.
6. Seafood sucks you in
Shucks (no pun apologies here). Once you’ve learned to love oysters, there’s no way back.
Move over ice cream, there’s a better aphrodisiac in town. Whitstable is famous for its oysters and if you come to Kent, you couldn’t possibly leave without coming here and trying some. “Eww… I don’t like oysters!”, we hear you cry. Well have you actually had a Whitstable oyster? Has anyone actually ever taught you how to eat them and what with?
Before you know it, you’ll be back in time for the annual Whitstable Oyster Festival. Then you’ll be booking dinner at The Sportsman months ahead of your visit to secure a table for a special occasion. And that, my friend, is that. Shucks available in a gift shop. Somewhere. Probably.
7. Kent air works up an appetite
You’re hungry and you want fresh local produce, cooked beautifully and served with a smile. Quite a lot of that around here, sorry.
We have pubs with Michelin stars, so this isn’t going to be easy on your wallet or your waistline. The bar is set high for places to eat in Kent and you’d simply be spoilt for choice.
Even a country walk around the footpaths of Goudhurst, for example, would get you in a food and drink pickle. The village’s historic pub, The Vine, has a back bar oozing locally distilled Kent gins including Anno, Bathtub and Dockyard. But once you’ve decided which order you’re going to try them in, you’ve then got to choose from a salivating food menu too. What an ordeal.
8. Step-o-meters report exhaustion
The Garden of England is somewhat generous with its walking options. Be prepared.
Will you be wanting to walk amongst wetlands, marshlands or moorland? Are you looking for dog-friendly walks, wildlife walks or marathon training trails? You see, between the North Downs and Kent Wildlife Trust we’ve got them all.
Turners Field near Tenterden will leave you reaching for your paints. The dogs will love a walk around the lake at Collingwood. Twitchers will be silenced by the prospect of a white admiral appearing in ancient Stone Wood, while cyclists make the most of surrounding bridleways. Better bring a charger.
9. Facts so fascinating you’ll want to join a pub quiz team
The good, the bad and the ugly have all been to or occurred in Kent. Let the lesson begin.
Kent’s most historic towns and cities are magnets for days out, brunches, and completing those school holiday projects you daren’t forget about. Cultural highs combine ancient history, art heritage and sporting prowess. Sounds like some perfectly unglamorous options for a specialist subject round.
The historic pantiles of Royal Tunbridge Wells shine a light on how the Tudor gentry holidayed. If 18-holes at Royal Sandwich doesn’t challenge you, the town’s place in defence history as one of the Cinque Ports will certain add to your general knowledge. And where better to cram up on some interwoven religious and national history than at the home of England’s first Archbishop, Canterbury Cathedral. We’ll complete your Mastermind application upon departure.
There’s really nothing to see here. But if we’ve failed in our mission to put you off Kent holidays, you can browse our Kent holiday cottages instead.