Known as ‘the garden of England’, Kent is renowned for its hop farms and gorgeous countryside. With many historic villages and towns there is so much to see. From the outstanding natural beauty of the south downs to the eponymous town of Sandwich there are so many unique place to explore.
The name ‘Kent’ is considered to come from ‘Cantii’ the name of a Celtic tribe that inhabited the area before the Roman invasion of Britain. Supposedly, once William the Conqueror had taken over as King of England, the men of Kent refused to accede unless he allowed them to keep many traditional practices.
Salomons Estate in situated in Tunbridge Wells in the heart of Kent. Our hotel has friendly and professional staff that will be happy to advise you about any local treasures and sight-seeing opportunities that our guests might enjoy. To find out more about Salomon’s Estate, please contact us here.
With so many areas of natural beauty for you to explore, whether you want a walk through the countryside or to explore one of Kent’s gorgeous towns or cities, there are hundreds of wonderful trails. Well-trodden paths such as Bedgebury National Pinetum are fantastic areas to walk for those who would like to go on a hiking trip, but have young children with them. The Park is home to a children’s playground and café for weary ramblers to rest and have a coffee.
Less well-known routes, such as the trail going around the Shoreham lavender fields or to the South Foreland lighthouse are also worth having a look at. If you ask at the reception desk at Salomons Estate for any available maps for you to use, our lovely staff can help find some interesting trails for your break in Kent.
Canterbury is a truly historic area; with over 1,400 years of history the city has some incredible spaces to explore. The city is home to three UNESCO world heritage sites, Canterbury cathedral, the Church of St Martin (the oldest church in the English speaking world) and the Ruins of Augustine’s Abbey which was used as the burial place of Saxon Kings. The medieval history of the town is echoed in the incredibly beautiful architecture of the medieval buildings around the town.
Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales are a fantastic view of life as it was in the Middle Ages. From the wife of Bath to the Knights tale, this fantastic piece of literature does so much to inform readers of the lives of the ordinary people of Medieval England.
As well as historical sites for visitors, the Canterbury festival draws thousands of visitors each year. This festival celebrates the music and art of Kent and is one of the largest festivals in the South of England.
Sharing a name with the famous food, Sandwich is a lovely town with many historical sites and eateries for visitors to enjoy. While the town itself is incredible, with markets and guided tours, it is in fact a lot quieter than Canterbury and will provide a more relaxing pace for any holiday makers that would rather not brave the crowds.
Sandwich is also home to the Richbrough Roman Amphitheatre and Museum, one of the most historically and symbolically significant Roman ruins in Britain. Hundreds of Roman artefacts and ruins are spread out over the area, including thousands of coins, beads and pottery pieces which have been collected in the museum.
Rochester is at the site of an ancient crossing of the River Medway and has survived the ravages of time in excellent condition. The Rochester castle was raised in the 1120’s and is remarkably well preserved. The west front of Rochester dates back almost 900 years and the ancient buildings ensure visitors feel as though they have walked into the set of a historic movie.
The high street includes many locally owned small shops and eateries for visitors to enjoy. For those interested in literature, Rochester is close to Chatham which was home to Charles Dickens during his childhood. There are many Dickens focused tours and events that are available to tourists visiting the area. Many buildings from Rochester high street appear in Dicken’s novels. He included the city of Rochester and many of the more prominent houses in the area in his books, including the Six Poor Travellers House and Eastgate House.
The iconic white cliffs of Dover make for an incredible place to visit. The iconic cliffs have a nature reserve named Sandfire Hoe at their feet, with many species of wildflower and birds. The nature reserve stands on a piece of land created by the Eurotunnel and its creation has won many awards for local efforts to create green spaces. On top of the cliffs, Dover Castle is an 11th century fortress nicknamed the key to England due to the sites defensive significance through history, from the Roman invasion through to the second world war.
The castle isn’t the only place in Dover to visit to learn about local history! The Dover Museum is also a fantastic place to visit, with a 3,500-year-old bronze age boat in their exhibition hall. The pre-historic find was considered a landmark discovery of international significance and efforts to preserve the boat, including keeping it damp in order to preserve the timber frame have been exhaustively made. The find is considered the oldest known seafaring boat in the world and is a symbol of Dover’s maritime history.
The Biddenden vineyard recently celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019, as such the vineyard is often described as Kent’s original vineyard. They produce some incredible wines, ciders and juices on the estate. The vineyard itself spans 23 acres and contains 11 different grape varieties, producing around 80,000 bottles of wine each year. They have an on-site shop for visitors to browse, so they can bring any favourites from their tasting back home with them.
The vineyard provides guided tours and tastings, as well as a vineyard walk that will be a perfect holiday surprise for any foodies in the family. There are also some incredible local breweries in Kent, as well as many working hop farms that are an iconic part of Kent’s agricultural roots.
Bewl Water is a reservoir on the border between Kent and Sussex. As well as providing water for the local area, the reservoir is a conservation area which many water birds and wild animals. With popular walking and cycling tracks crisscrossing around Bewl, there is no shortage of beautiful trails to explore.
Bewl Water also offers opportunities for activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, open water swimming and wind surfing for visitors to enjoy. Bewl is also home to an incredible aqua park and offers a laser challenge that must be booked ahead of time.
The views from the dam across the reservoir are second to none, with many fish and bird species in the area for you to spot. The Bewl Water visitors centre offers a café and tourist information for guests to browse. Near the centre are picnic tables with play areas and open spaces for children to enjoy. Fun for all the family!
Royal Tunbridge Wells is a fantastic town to visit, with the Victoria’s Place shopping centre and the Pantiles offering some incredible shopping opportunities for visitors. The Pantiles has a farmers’ market on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month, while another market is held in Market Square on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month. With wonderful foodie and artisanal offerings from local farms and businesses, these markets are well worth a visit.
If you are looking for a short escape from the hustle and bustle of Tunbridge Wells, then Dunloran ark offers a calm and quiet escape for any visitors. The Park acts as a green oasis in the centre of town.
From Sankey’s The Old Fish Market in the Pantiles, to brand new restaurant STEAK, there are some incredible dining options in the town for lunches and dinners. With new foodie escapes popping up over lockdown, Tunbridge Wells is well worth a visit if you are looking for some fine dining options that won’t break the bank.
If you are planning a staycation holiday in Kent, then we would be delighted to welcome you at Salomons Estate. If you are thinking about booking with us, please contact us here. Our staff would love to hear from you so we can discuss your visit.