Cathedrals and castles, history and heritage

Kids can see Chaucer’s stories brought to life at The Canterbury Tales, tour the spooky streets on a Ghost Tour or see wolves and wild boar at Wildwood. For grown-ups, on-site offers cookery and cocktails, and horse or helicopter rides. Off site, it’s cathedrals and castles, gastronomy and gardens, history and heritage.

Country kids

See Chaucer’s stories of love, romance and jealousy vividly brought to life at The Canterbury Tales. Then discover Canterbury’s history from millions of years ago to the present in interactive displays at Canterbury Heritage Museum. Stay in town for the Ghost Tour, a sinister stroll through the spookier streets.

Keep your eyes out for clues on the Canterbury Self-Guided Spy Mission as you see the main sights and discover hidden gems. At Howlett’s Wild Animal Park, you can see playful primates hang from the trees, walk with lemurs, or watch gorillas, tigers and leopards.

Enjoy more animal adventures at Herne Bay’s Wildwood, home to 200 species including wolves and wild boar, badgers and beavers, and even a family of Kormisosh bears. And you can see big cats, otters, wolves, lemurs, monkeys, crocodiles and penguins at Wingham Wildlife Park.

Peene Quarry’s the place for a picnic, a wild and isolated spot where only herbs and orchids keep you company. Relive the golden age of rail at Elham Valley Railway Museum, swim indoors or out at Faversham Pools, or ski, snowboard or toboggan whatever the weather at Folkestone Ski Centre.

For the grown ups

Plenty can be arranged on site: cookery and cocktails, horse or helicopter rides, wine-tasting, or sampling the good life with spa and massage treatments. A dozen bikes sit ready to ride the lanes of rural Kent. Use our lawns to sharpen up your batting skills, clunk the ball with the croquet mallet or fire arrows through the air.

Out there in the Garden of England, choose gastronomy and gardens, culture and countryside, and history and heritage. Castles abound, from romantic Leeds to the towering history of Dover to Hever for its glorious gardens, and Canterbury Cathedral, too, with its gothic grandeur.

Soak up the mesmerising views from the White Cliffs of Dover, or take a blustery walk on Broadstairs beach, Viking Bay or Stone Bay. Stop off for coffee and a croissant in the cosmopolitan cafes that line the Royal Harbour at Ramsgate, just 25 miles from France. Or climb aboard the boats at the Historic Dockyard Chatham.

For retail that means business, it has to be The Bluewater, with 60 places to eat and even more to shop. Ashford Designer Outlet has big labels at small prices. At night, head to the coast for quirky micropubs, or see the lights and sights of London, with West End shows or cheery East End bars and bites.