family day out kent

The Best Places To Go On A Day Out With Kids In Kent

Do you want to plan some fun days out with the kids this weekend?

We’ve rounded up the best day out with the kids in Kent ideas when you want a change of scene from London.

Have fun with animals in the Kent countryside

Rare Breeds Centre, Woodchurch

With trailer rides, butterfly tunnels, farm animals, Creepy Crawly World, birds of prey and lots more, the Rare Breeds Centre is a fun-packed attraction for kids in Kent.

There is an indoor soft play barn, as well as plenty of outdoor areas where the kids can run around and burn off energy in the beautiful Kent countryside.

A local community group grows flowers, plants, vegetables and fruit which are available for the public to buy. What a great souvenir from your day out in Kent!

Closest station: Ashford International.

Wingham Wildlife Park

Nestled in the East Kent countryside, 15 miles from Canterbury, Wingham Wildlife Park is a fun-packed day out for kids and adults alike.

A 3-level indoor soft play area and a museum solve any rainy day problems. For an unforgettable special treat, book the ‘Keeper for a Day’ experience, where you can work alongside a park ranger to care for the animals.

Closest train stations: Sandwich and Canterbury.

The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood

The Hop Farm Family Park has got it all for a fun-filled day out in Kent. The kids will enjoy the outdoor play area and the chance to meet reptiles, mini-cows, llamas, alpacas and much more.

For rainy days, head to the oast houses where a new Hop Museum guides you through the recent history of hop picking in this part of Kent.

Other attractions for kids include Giant Jumping Pillows, Driving School, Magic Castle, Children’s Rides and live shows and discos in the Big Red Barn!

Closest train station: Paddock Wood.

Learn about historical Kent

The Historic Dockyard, Chatham

Do your kids love history? Travel just 35 miles from Central London and learn about this fascinating 400-year old dockyard in Chatham. This is one of the most fun and educational places to take kids.

Chatham Historic Dockyard

The 80-acre site has over 40 scheduled listed monuments and buildings, interactive exhibitions and attractions for all ages, including a Call The Midwife Location Tour from March to October 2020.

Closest train station: Chatham

Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway

The kids will love this fascinating steam railway. The original locomotive trains take passengers from Hythe to Dymchurch, towards the railway’s headquarters at New Romney and finally reach the National Nature Reserve of Dungeness.

The trains are suitable for wheelchair users and you can even take your dog. Passengers can alight at most stations and explore the Kent countryside.

If you have time, breathe in some of the freshest Kent air at the beautiful Romney Marshes, before heading back to London.

Closest train station: Hythe

Days out in Kent for the whole family

Leeds Castle, Maidstone

Described as the ‘loveliest castle in the world’ by some visitors, Leeds Castle on the edge of Maidstone is one of the UK’s most well-loved attractions.

Kids can enjoy falconry displays, an open-air cinema, theatre shows, story writing challenges and lots of special school holiday events.

Lorraine, a grandma and owner of Lenham boutique No.3 says, “We love visiting Leeds Castle. The tickets are great value because they last all year round. We make good use of them in the summer holidays.”

Closest train station: Bearsted.

Knole, Sevenoaks

Take the family to this magnificent 600-year old National Trust property and deer park in Sevenoaks. Knole was originally an Archbishop’s palace and is now home to the Sackville family.

Join the storytime fun in Knole’s Bookshop where toddlers can enjoy short stories and nursery rhymes.

The Conservation Studio is the only one that the National Trust has opened to the public and is great fun for all ages.

Closest train station: Sevenoaks.

Free activities for kids in Kent

Turner Contemporary Art Gallery, Margate

Turner Contemporary is one of the UK’s leading art galleries. Founded to celebrate JMW Turner’s connection to Margate, the gallery opened in 2011 and is part of Margate’s vibrant art scene.

Entry to the gallery and exhibitions is free. Make sure you allow enough time for a quick dip in the sea at one of the gorgeous local beaches.

(c) Benedict Johnson

Whilst you are in Margate, head to the mysterious Shell Grotto, too! Kent-born artist Amy Judd takes her daughter Mia: “I remember going as a girl and it’s been in my dreams all my life!”

With those saved pennies head to Dreamland, Margate’s wonderful theme park.

If you can plan ahead, make time to visit the Haekels Bathing Machine. The sauna is free to use and you can make donations on the Haekels community Facebook page. 

Closest station: Margate.

Cycle tracks in Tunbridge Wells

Cycling is hugely popular in Kent. The roads can be very flat, making it ideal for cyclists of all levels. Take the whole family for a free, active day out.

Royal Tunbridge Wells has some of the most picturesque countryside and quaint villages to explore, making it a wholesome choice for a children’s day out. The town has even played host to the Tour De France!

If you have time, meander through the historic streets of Tunbridge Wells and look at some of the most interesting architecture of this spa town.

Take your bikes, a delicious picnic and don’t forget plasters for any unwelcome blisters.

Closest station: Tunbridge Wells

The best way to plan your trip to Kent

South Eastern Railway runs fast ‘Javelin’ trains from London St Pancras International or Stratford International to Ebbsfleet International and Ashford International. These link to many stations across Kent – including Canterbury, Margate, Ramsgate, Dover, Whitstable and Folkestone.

The National Express run regular coaches from Victoria Bus Station to many locations across Kent. This could be an affordable way to enjoy your day out.

Find vouchers for cheap family days out in Kent at Visit Kent Offers.

If you decide to drive to Kent, check ahead for local park and ride schemes which reduce the cost of parking.

Check out the Kent Attractions map to plan your trip and click on What’s On In Kent to see attractions for this weekend.

Where’s your favourite place to go on a day out in Kent with the kids?


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