This itinerary covers some of the finest food and drink and garden experiences Kent has to offer, making your way from castles to coast, farm shops to vineyards.

Charmingly known as 'The Garden of England' Kent is an idyllic destination for a choice of delightfully English experiences all-year-round. Renowned for its rural beauty, notable history and endless coastline, the county owes its famous title to a bountiful landscape filled with towering hops, local produce and of course, beautifully English flower gardens. For a chance to discover Kent in all its glory, start your adventure with our five day itinerary.

Itinerary Summary

Kent
5 Days
Premium
Day 1

1 All day

Leeds Castle

You’re on holiday, so take the morning to relax and make your way to the historic Leeds Castle in Maidstone for an unforgettable day out. We highly recommend packing a picnic and taking in the spectacular scenery of the castle grounds. You can laze on the lush lawns, meet the resident birds of prey or take a relaxing boat trip around the castle moat for truly breathtaking views. Falconry displays last 30 to 40 minutes and take place at 2pm daily. Walk off your lunch with an exploration of the castle and its grounds. Leeds Castle has a fascinating history and was once used as a palace by Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. With beautiful parkland spanning across 500 acres, take your time wandering alongside the River Len amongst the quintessentially English country gardens, bursting with a variety of exquisite flowers and perfectly trimmed hedge borders. With the change of seasons, an explosion of the sweetest scents and most glorious colours against the canvas of the grounds await you all year long.

Leeds Castle
Historic

Leeds Castle

1 Evening

Chilston Park Hotel

From Leeds Castle, take a leisurely 10-15 minute drive alongside the North Downs to spend the night at the Chilston Park Hotel, a Grade I listed manor house nestled in 22 acres of parkland. The North Downs is one of two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Kent, stretching from Dover to the west Kent border. On your journey, you could make a small pit stop for a drink at one of the typical old-fashioned country pubs that dot the landscape. It’s the perfect opportunity to stretch your legs, take in the beautiful views and breathe that wonderful fresh air. At the hotel, we suggest ending your day by dining al fresco with the very best locally sourced produce in the summer, before retreating to one of the hotel’s beautiful feature rooms for a good night’s rest

Chilston Park Hotel
Hotel

Chilston Park Hotel

Day 2

2 Morning

Copper Rivet Distillery

First, start the day with a good breakfast. Then head to historic Chatham, where some 400 years ago, the Victorian dockyard that makes the town so famous, was at the heart of Britain’s naval industry. Nowadays, Pump House No.5 is home to the Copper Rivet Distillery. Take a guided tour and meet the team who will proudly tell you about their exceptional Kentish gin, whisky and vodka, plus how they’re the only distillery in Kent who complete the entire grain to glass process themselves. Try your hand at flavour profiling and sampling some of the spirits – a great excuse for a gin and tonic!

Copper Rivet Distillery
Experience

Copper Rivet Distillery

2 Afternoon

Shepherd Neame Brewery

Next, make your way down to the oldest market town in Kent, Faversham, which is home to the Shepherd Neame Brewery. On this award-winning, 80-minute guided tour you will learn the art of brewing at Britain’s oldest brewer, whilst sampling the Kentish ales and speciality lagers with a tutored tasting. Immerse yourself in the historic brewing processes, surrounded by the unique smell of musky hops, oak barrels, and a steady hum of the impressive machinery, busily filling and packing clinking bottles. Where better to taste good beer than at the source!

Shepherd Neame Brewery
Experience

Shepherd Neame Brewery

2 Lunch

Macknade Fine Foods

After a quick stop in the brewery gift shop, take a 5-10 minute drive around the corner to Macknade Fine Foods. This local farm shop is brimming with some of the finest food and drink Kent has to offer. We definitely recommend stopping for a bite in the cafe and maybe stocking up on some treats and fresh produce for the rest of your journey.

Macknade Fine Foods
Restaurant

Macknade Fine Foods

2 Evening

The Sun Inn

End the day at the Sun Inn in Faversham, located in the town’s charming conservation area and also a Shepherd Neame venue. As one of the town’s oldest pubs, it’s steeped in nearly 700 years of history. Expect exposed beams, inglenook fireplaces and friendly locals in this stunning inn. There are 12 stylish bedrooms to stay in, which is exactly what we think you should do to round off your day. But before resting your head for the night, be sure to enjoy one of the long summer evenings in the courtyard... or if the weather is being typically English, there’s also an open fireplace to get cosy in front of.

The Sun Inn
Hotel

The Sun Inn

Day 3

3 All day

Foraging on Herne Bay Beach

Start the day off early with a hearty, full English breakfast... though we won’t mind if you opt for continental. Take a short drive through quaint villages along the Kentish coast and meet Fergus the Forager for a food course with a difference. Starting at 9am, you will spend the day foraging for wild plants across a variety of different habitats, learning how to harvest and prepare what you have collected to later eat and enjoy. Get your feet wet and your hands stuck in as you rummage for silky seaweed in the sea, and edible plants amongst wild grasses. Once you have filled your basket with wild and wonderful things, Fergus will then show you how to cook up something really special! Please note, a foraging course is typically 10 - 13 hours long but is well worth it! You can’t find fresher ingredients in more beautiful surroundings. The course takes place near Canterbury and the coastal town of Herne Bay, and it also includes two foraged three-course meals, a homemade drink and a jar of pickle to take home with you, in addition to wild food tastings throughout the day.

Fergus the Forager
Experience

Fergus the Forager

3 Evening

Eastwell Manor, Champneys Hotel & Spa

What better way to end the day after being at one with nature than finding your inner-self at the luxurious Eastwell Manor, Champneys Hotel & Spa? This wonderful retreat nestled in the Kent countryside is exactly what you need after a busy day. Take stock, unwind and reconnect with yourself in style. Make use of the glorious heated pools and jacuzzi, book a designer treatment for the morning, or simply revel in the extensive grounds of the quintessentially English country manor house. This spa offers a variety of accommodation, including the quirky and quaint Shepherd’s Huts, the family-friendly Deluxe Suites and the sophisticated Mews Suites, all of which promise a relaxed and high-end stay that your friends will be jealous of back home.

Coming Soon
Experience

Coming Soon

Day 4

4 Morning

Hush Heath Estate

The county of Kent has rich chalky soil which is perfect for growing a variety of grapes and making award-winning wine that even experts say rivals Champagne in taste! So of course, a trip to an English vineyard, like Hush Heath Winery, should be on even the strictest of itineraries. Nestled on the outskirts of the picturesque village of Staplehurst, this gorgeous Kentish vineyard is overlooked by Hush Heath Manor, a stunning, Tudor-framed building, home to the Balfour-Lynn family. Hush Heath Winery proudly produces the award-winning sparkling wine, Balfour Brut Rosé, which incidentally is among many of the estate’s award-winning tipples, so be sure to stock up for enjoying at home.

Hush Heath Estate
Experience

Hush Heath Estate

4 Afternoon

Hever Castle & Gardens

Once the childhood home to Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII and mother of Elizabeth I, Hever Castle is every bit the idyllic, fairytale castle you dreamt of as a child. It’s also next on your Kent itinerary. For a romantic English afternoon of exploring mazes, both the hedge and water variety, the magnificent Hever Castle is an absolute must. It has everything from the immaculate grounds, perfectly preened English country gardens to lake views and even a moat and drawbridge! Arriving during the early autumn months and seeing the change of season is a particular treat. While the scent of spring and summer flowers is wonderful, nothing beats the red-golden palette of the trees as they approach winter; wrap up warm, put on your wellies and kick the crunchy brown leaves at your leisure.

Hever Castle & Gardens
Gardens

Hever Castle & Gardens

Day 5

5 Morning

Tonbridge & Sevenoaks

From Hever, head to Penshurst Place and Gardens near Tonbridge to start the last day of your Kent itinerary. Incidentally, Penshurst Place played host to King Henry VIII while he was secretly courting Anne Boleyn at Hever Castle some 500 years ago. Today, Penshurst Place is a fantastic day out for the kids! There’s an old-fashioned toy museum, an adventure playground and the Maize Maze during the summer. New for 2018, the woodland trail has a brand new route which allows visitors to experience the glory of nature in a managed environment. Amble along winding paths, wander through the trees and let your little bush- crafters loose to build dens in the designated den-building area. There’s bike hire if you fancy some cardio with the family or if you need something a little more relaxed, then head to The Old Coach House for free art and craft activities for the children.

Penshurst Place & Gardens
Gardens

Penshurst Place & Gardens

5 Afternoon

Riverhill Himalayan Gardens

Finally, as your five day Kent itinerary draws to a close, we’re sending you somewhere that this English county is best known for... one of its many beautiful gardens. Riverhill Himalayan Gardens is an absolute must for avid gardeners wanting to admire the rhododendrons and azaleas, and if you time your visit correctly, relish the dreamy mist of bluebells in the springtime. The same goes for keen photographers, looking to capture the glory of nature – there’s even a guided course which can be booked in advance. Take a lazy walk along the twisty paths through the woods and take in the aroma of nature while you get your keen troop of explorers to keep an eye out for the elusive Yeti! Riverhill Himalayan gardens is home to its very own maze, designed by world-famous maze and puzzle builder, Adrian Fisher. Don’t be deceived though, it’s more complicated than it looks. In the summer head to the viewpoint, Everest Summit, for what locals consider ‘the best view in Kent’ and enjoy a picnic with the snacks, treats and drinks you’ve collected from the other locations on this itinerary. Failing that, homemade sponge cake from the coffee shop is a real treat to celebrate a good trip.

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Experience

Coming Soon