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    13 Glorious Places You Simply Must Visit In Kent

    Well, it's not called the Garden of England for nothing.

    1. If the sea is calling you, head to Whitstable.

    Flickr: abidavis

    Where to stay: For something quirky, stay in a converted fisherman's hut on the beach front.

    What to do: Take a walk along the picturesque beach and nose at the seafront homes and beach huts. Meander along the harbour and choose from one of the restaurants on offer. You can't go wrong with The Whitstable Oyster Company for seafood and a lovely view of the beach.

    2. If picturesque is your thing, head to Chilham, Chartham and Wye.

    Flickr: bods Creative Commons
    Flickr: bods

    Where to stay: There are plenty of places to choose from, but try The Wife of Bath in Wye, sitting on the edge of a pretty medieval village.

    What to do: Pop in to Chilham Castle, then wander through the pretty streets and take in a pub lunch.

    3. If you're a history lover, get lost in the delights of Hever, Chartwell and Chiddingstone.

    Flickr: beglen

    Where to stay: Try The Star Inn in Edenbridge, a short drive from Hever Castle.

    What to do: An absolute must is Hever Castle, where you can get lost for hours in Anne Boleyn's former home. While for more history, Chartwell homes Winston Churchill's old house, which is now a museum.

    4. If you want to feel your toes on the sand, Broadstairs is a must.

    Flickr: scubagirl66

    Where to stay: The Royal Albion Hotel for a special treat, the best view in town and a beer garden awaiting you.

    What to do: On a sunny day that's simple – enjoy the beautiful sandy beach. Also find time to pop into Bleak House and Dickens House for their Charles Dickens roots, or walk around the coast to its coastal neighbour, Ramsgate where you'll find a lovely harbour. For food, you can't beat Posillipo for Italian, and Beaches cafe for breakfast and the surfy vibe.

    5. If you like to wander slowly taking it all in, Deal, Dover and Sandwich is for you.

    Where to stay: For some luxury in Sandwich try The Salutation, while you can add a spa break at Wallett's Court in Dover.

    What to do: Walk around the White Cliffs on a nice day, then head to Dover Castle for the day. Sandwich is a short drive away and is perfect for looking in antique shops, having a stroll and unwinding in a cute pub. Or unwind in nearby Kearsney Abbey and take a picnic.

    6. Like a bit of everything? Head to Tunbridge Wells.

    REX USA/Barry Phillips / Evening Standard
    Flickr: westher

    Where to stay: There are so many options to choose from. For friendly decadence there's the Hotel Du Vin in Tunbridge Wells.

    What to do: Go shopping in Tunbridge Wells, walk around the various attractions, such as castles, stately homes and churches. You can even take in a vineyard nearby or enjoy a spa.

    7. If you enjoy castles, then Leeds Castle has to be high on your list.

    Where to stay: The Black Horse Inn in Maidstone is a very pleasant stay.

    What to do: Literally spend hours marvelling at the splendour of Leeds Castle. If you're lucky come for a fireworks night at the venue or enjoy open air theatre throughout the summer months. Then enjoy a night out in nearby Maidstone.

    8. If atmosphere and good ale is your bag, try Faversham.

    Flickr: gareth1953

    Where to stay: Why not stay in a charming 14th century pub? You can at The Sun Inn.

    What to do: As it's home to the oldest brewery in the UK, it would be rude not to pop into the Shepherd Neame brewery tour. There's also the Faversham Hop Festival in August for a great vibe and atmosphere.

    9. If you like to tick the sights off your list, Canterbury is all yours to explore.

    Where to stay: The House of Agnes for its beauty.

    What to do: What not to do? Shop til you drop, visit the iconic cathedral, take in a show at the Marlowe Theatre or enjoy a boat ride down the river. It's not only Cambridge where you can punt, you know.

    10. If you like a drive then head to the Canterbury surrounding areas - Stodmarsh/Ickham/Wickhambreaux/Preston/Ash.

    Flickr: bentavener / Creative Commons

    What to do: This requires a drive but there are so many beautiful countryside spots to enjoy a scenic route through. Or better still stop off and unwind with a long lunch in a pretty beer garden and enjoy the serenity.

    We recommend The Rose Inn in Wickhambreaux and The Red Lion at Stodmarsh. Just perfect.

    11. If you're an animal lover, you've got Lyminge, Elham and Port Lympne.

    Where to stay: Be at one with the animals and stay inside Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in the Mansion Hotel with its beautiful views across Romney Marsh.

    What to do: Drive through Elham Valley, visit Lympne Castle then unwind with a visit to Port Lympne Wild Animal Park.

    12. If you like visiting the sites, Sissinghurst and Paddock Wood is a good combo.

    English Heritage/Heritage Images / Getty Images

    Where to stay: Try Warrington Lodge.

    What to do: Visit The Hop Farm for the day and if music's your thing there is The Hop Farm Festival in July. If you have time head to Sissinghurst Castle and its gardens.

    13. If you like to see up and coming places, revisit Margate's Old Town.

    Flickr: stawarz /Creative Commons
    Flickr: yellowbookltd / Creative Commons

    Where to stay: Only one option you need – The Reading Rooms, a Georgian house full of antiques.

    What to do: Think Margate is old hat and only had Dreamland to offer? Think again. The Old Town has been transformed. Look around the boutiques, enjoy a spot of lunch and if you like your art head to the Turner Contemporary as a must. Broadstairs and Ramsgate are also close by for plenty more exploring.

    And if that's not enough for you, try these:

    - Historical Chatham.

    - Knole in Sevenoaks for some deer spotting.

    - Ramsgate harbour.

    - Wingham for the wild life park.

    - Rochester and its castle.

    - St Margaret's Bay - where you can see France on a clear day and walk across the cliffs to Dover.

    - Folkestone.

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