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Four must-go places to visit in Kent over the May Bank Holidays 2024

Half Term is nearly here, plus two May Bank Holiday weekends – Monday, May 6, and Monday, May 27; but do not despair, there are hundreds if not thousands of things to do and places to go in and around Canterbury and Kent. 

Kent is known as the ‘Garden of England,’ a phrase coined by King Henry VIII while sampling cherries in Flanders, France, for a cherry orchard in Kent, or so the story goes. With its fruit orchards, hops, oast-houses, and rolling countryside, Kent has a wealth of heritage sites to visit; castles, palaces, stately homes, and national parks, to hop farms such as the enchanting Little Scotney farm at Scotney Castle, one of the few remaining hop farms left in Kent, to Leeds Castle which is set on two islands surrounded by a moat, with over 900 years of history; called the “Loveliest Castle in England.” Mentioned in the Domesday Book, it was home to six medieval queens. 

For the adventurous family, there is a wealth of adventure activities from zip wiring through the treetops, to climbing, exploring caves and mines, to safari and wildlife parks.

Sports enthusiasts will love laser tag and paint-balling; sailing and kayaking; country walks and trails, tours, and river cruises.


Leeds Castle – The Queens Joust

Promises to be an exciting weekend of combat and action; medieval living and feasting, where you can cheer on your favourite knights and listen to the clash of lances as England and France battle for the cup, and the honour and attention of the queen. However, in English jousting history, no matter if you win the joust, if the queen doesn’t deem you a worthy winner, she could still choose someone else. A knight’s armour and demeanour may just win them her hand… it’s not all based on skill and combat. 

For the first time at Leeds Castle, they are thrilled to share two opportunities each day to experience the main event… the joust!

At 1 pm and 3:30 pm each day.

This event is included with your Leeds Castle admission ticket, if you book online ahead you’ll receive the best price!

Dates: 25th to 27th May 2024

Video: Leeds Castle

Go Ape at Leeds Castle

Go Ape Leeds Castle is home to three high rope courses, a great fun outdoor activity for the family or your tribe in Kent; promising an exhilarating adventure you will not forget, with some of the best zip-wiring in Kent, and treetop challenges, in areas of outstanding beauty.

The May half-term and Bank Holidays have some good offers with one Adult going free on Nets Adventure and a 10% student discount.

Details: Go Ape Leeds Castle


Images: Go Ape


Bluewater Food and Drink Festival

Launching Saturday 25 to Monday 27 May, Bluewater will be hosting its first-ever, food extravaganza, around the Marquee outside the Centre’s village over the May Bank holiday weekend, in partnership with Scrumptious Food Festivals. 

Promising a dizzy array from delicious street food to artisan stalls; celebrity chef demonstrations on a central stage, with recipe book signings, catering to every taste over the May Bank Holiday.


Scotney Castle

Scotney Castle is a medieval ruin set in rolling countryside, within an ancient woodland, promising drama and a little fairytale magic for the May Bank Holiday. Based in Lamberhurst it is a real get-away for the whole family, with estate walks and an old mansion house and tea room. Under 5s go free. Check prices and opening times here

Little Scotney Hop Farm

Little Scotney Hop Farm is part of the Scotney Castle estate, one of the few remaining hop farms left in Kent, held under the National Trust, and well worth a visit alongside Scotney Castle although unfortunately in 2024 it will be closed for maintenance, but keep it in your diary.