Earlier last week, the government announced further changes to the lockdown measures that would take effect from July 4th - independence day anyone? 😉 The good news is that a number of restrictions will be lifted, new rules will kick in and the things we can or can't do will change.
Whilst the easing of the lockdown doesn't mean we should forget everything we learnt about social distancing, we can at least look forward to the summer holidays with increased optimism. As we all begin to plan our summer vacation, rather than plan a trip abroad and further expose yourself to risks outside your control, why not consider a stay-cation instead and contribute towards boosting the UK economy.
In this blog we continue our list of places to visit if you do decide to spend part of your holiday in Kent this summer. In case you missed it, check out the first part of our list.
One of the most visited places in Kent, with history dating back over 1,000 years, Leeds Castle is situated about 5 miles away from Maidstone and houses a treasure trove of things to do and attractions to see.
Visitors can enjoy a tour of the castle and its state rooms, which sits on 500 acres of gardens and parkland or lose themselves in the impressive yew tree maze. With an abundance of wildlife to see throughout the estate, visitors can either take in the falconry displays at the Bird of Prey Centre or simply watch the various wildlife in their natural habitats.
For the young visitors, children can climb the turrets in the Squires’ Court Playground, try their hand at miniature golf in the Leeds Castle Adventure Golf, play in the Knights’ Stronghold Playground, play in the sandpits, take a ride on Elsie the Castle Train – the possibilities are endless. Don’t just take our word for it – see for yourselves – buy tickets here.
With a rich history dating back over 400 years and over 400 warships built, the Historic Dockyard in Chatham was pivotal to Royal Navy's dominance of the seas. Learn how to make rope, like the Victorians did back in the day, from the master ropemakers who've been making ropes for Britain's ships for over 400 years. Explore the insides of a replica submarine and steer the warship, the National destroyer, the HMS Cavalier. Visit the science lab, where you can experiment with lights, balls and balloons, and squirt colours from syringes onto the paint wall. Saunter through the “Command of the Ocean” gallery, taking in in all that is Maritime heritage. There's even the Railway Workshop, or the outdoor play area for more kids entertainment.
The dockyard also offers plenty of group-friendly activities and experiences for all ages. The great thing is that tickets to the dockyard are valid for a year, giving you 12 whole months to explore and enjoy all that's on offer.
Standing on the east bank of the River Medway in Rochester, Kent is the beautiful Rochester Castle. This iconic castle which dates back to the late 11th century was strategically important and key to protecting England's south-east coast from invasion in the late medieval period. Its most prominent feature is the Norman stone tower or keep which was built in the 12th century and is easily one of the best preserved keeps in England or France.
Despite its complex history of destruction and rebuilding, today the castle stands as a proud reminder of the history of Rochester, along with the cathedral and cobbled streets. The castle is definitely a must see if you're ever planning to spend the summer holidays in Kent.
Something for the adults - located in the picturesque town of Tenterden in the Kent countryside, the Chapel Down vineyards offer guided tours, self tour walks and wine tastings. The winery store stocks the full range of Chapel Down wines, including some exclusives which can be sampled in store. Along with the variety of wines, the store also has a stock of beers and ciders from the Curious Brewery.
Chapel Down offers a variety of visitor experiences and can cater to the family or even larger groups - providing the perfect day out.
Sitting on a stunning 100-acre site and home to 390 animals across 52 species, Howletts is Kent's original wild animal park. Animals at the zoo include: the only herd of African elephants in Kent, western lowland gorillas, honey badgers, giant anteaters, tigers, lions, leopards and so much more. In fact, Howletts has more gorillas, tigers, leopards and monkeys than any other zoo in the country.
Visitors can take in the really awesome outdoor Animals of The Ice Age exhibition and marvel at the life-sized prehistoric animals scattered around the park - all at no extra costs. Visitors can even view the animals at feeding times or enjoy educational talks on offer. If you're feeling brave,you can also get a monkey’s perspective on the park by having a go at the treetop challenge.
Kent is home to a number of awesome outdoor paintball centres which are great for fun activities during the summer. Whether you're organising a birthday party, a stag or hen do, corporate event, school trip, a fun day out or just looking for an excuse to goof around with friends, paint-balling is one activity that ticks all the boxes.
From Delta Force Paintball in Sittingbourne to Force 10 in Longfield or even UK Paintball in Canterbury, most of the centres in Kent can cater to various age groups, from school kids to youth to adults - you can even organise a scout party - and they all offer a variety of activities and game play scenarios that are guaranteed to be fun. They all plan to open during the summer holiday, so it's definitely a good idea to consider booking your next adventure today.
So that’s our list, hope you found it useful and if you are looking for some Fabulous Family Serviced Accommodation in Kent, Click Here for more information. Remember, not all the venues on both our lists are open at the moment and there's no guarantee that they'll be open for the summer holidays. While no one knows when the lockdown will fully come to an end and all restrictions lifted, but end it will, of that we are certain. When it does, remember to stay safe, play responsibly, follow the social distancing rules and most importantly be adventurous.
While you're here, why not checkout our list of top places to eat in Maidstone.