Published: Friday 17th Jan 2020

Written by: Vanessa Moore

Kent is the place to be in 2020, so much so that Visit Kent have renamed it #KentyTwenty!  This is because some of the most exciting events and huge historical anniversaries are taking place this year in Kent.  Over fifteen significant events include the 150th anniversary of Charles Dickens to the 149th Open Championship taking place in Royal St George’s Sandwich.  Add to this traditional, fun annual fairs, food and music festivals and you can see just how much there is to see and do in the area throughout the year.  All you need do now is book a break in your ideal holiday home to tie in with a visit to an event which catches your eye!

Key anniversaries in Kent in 2020:

Becket 2020 – Canterbury throughout the year

2020 marks an important dual anniversary for the extraordinary figure of Thomas Becket. It will be 850 years since his dramatic murder on the 29th December 1170 in Canterbury Cathedral, and 800 years since his body was moved on the 7th July 1220 from a tomb in the crypt of the cathedral into a glittering shrine.

150th Anniversary of the death of Charles Dickens – Medway, Broadstairs and throughout the year

2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the death of Charles Dickens, who loved and lived in Kent. Celebrate the life of Charles dickens in Kent with festivals, events and much more.

Open 2020 – Royal St George’s, Sandwich, 16 – 19 July

The 149th Open Championship will return to Royal St George’s for the first time since 2011, showcasing the world's best golfers competing for the Claret Jug.

See here for properties available to book for the golf.

80th Anniversary of Dunkirk Rescue – Dover Castle throughout the year

The year 2020 will mark the 80th anniversary of the evacuation of more than 300,000 Allied soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk, France during World War II. The rescue operation was designed in the Secret Wartime Tunnels at Dover Castle.

Local fairs and festivals have real colour, character and a great atmosphere.  Just a few of our favourites are the Hanami Festival at Brogdale Collections, Faversham (on throughout April). Hanami is the Japanese festival dedicated to cherry blossom. See over 350 flowering cherry varieties well as all the other blossoming fruit trees.  The Rochester Sweeps Festival, 1 – 3 May, the Broadstairs Dickens Festival 19 – 21 June and Canterbury Festival – Kent’s International Arts Festival on throughout October.

There are also wonderful and unique events on throughout the year in Sussex too, where you can soak up the atmosphere, culture, history and heritage of this stunning county.  Here is just a taste of what is on offer:

Hastings Fat Tuesday 21 – 25 February – the UK’s biggest Mardi Gras celebration

Jack in the Green Festival 1 – 3 May, Hastings – ribbons, leaves and green face paint abound in this festival of Morris and other traditional dance with singing and street entertainment too

Rye Bay Scallop Week 22 February – 1 March and Rye International Jazz Festival in August, with a packed programme of headline concerts, free outdoor music stage and fringe events

Vanessa Moore
Vanessa Moore


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