We are lucky enough to live in Kent, The Garden of England, and we can name just about 100 reasons why we think it is so great here! Kent is also an incredibly popular tourist destination, whether you're visiting from London or Luxembourg, there's no doubt there's a lot here to keep you entertained. Our home town of Margate alone has an abundance of fantastic independent businesses, historical attractions such as the shell grotto and Margate caves and of course the infamous Dreamland! However if you are looking to try something a little bit different, why not visit one of the lesser-known wonders right under our noses?! There's loads of hidden gems all over our county, here is a list of a few of our favourites to get you inspired for your post-lockdown adventures!
Image of the Redsands Fort via Project Redsand.
The Maunsell Forts are armed towers built in the Thames and Mersey estuaries during the Second World War to help defend the United Kingdom. They can be seen off the coasts of off Herne Bay and Margate. They were operated as army and navy forts, and named after their designer, Guy Maunsell. There were seven in total in the south east, four of which were naval forts and three were army forts. Seven towers make up the Redsand army fort which is at the mouth of the Thames Estuary off the Kent coast. There are ongoing efforts to try and restore the fort because it's considered to be in the best condition of all of them. If you'd like to read more about these efforts and donate, visit the Project Redsand website here. It's currently the only fort that can be visited safely from a platform in between the legs of one of the towers. According to the Maunsell Sea Forts website, in the past there were plenty of boat tours that approached the forts and even let people take a look inside of them but nowadays organised tours are rare. Some boat tours do still take people to the sites of the forts, though, find out more here.
A guided tour of the Ramsgate Caves via Visit Ramsgate.
Down beneath Ramsgate lies an abandoned labyrinth of tunnels which snakes for more than 3 miles around the town. This unique underground city was constructed as part of the town’s Air Raid Precautions in 1939 and includes a former main line railway tunnel dating back to 1863. This incredible network of tunnels formed an underground metropolis below Thanet where families lived for months at a time without seeing the light of day. The hidden town was so permanent that it even had street signs, canteens shops, concerts and a hospital. A guided walk around these historic tunnels is a must for anyone visiting Kent, you can book your tour here.
The remains of the villa via English Heritage.
Lullingstone Roman Villa
Lullingstone Roman Villa was built during the Roman occupation of Britain and is situated near the village of Eynsford in Kent. Constructed in the 1st century, around A. D. 100, the house was repeatedly expanded and occupied until it was destroyed by fire in the 5th century. It is considered to be one of the most outstanding Roman villa survivals in Britain, visitors can still view the mosaics and prints of the rare wall paintings, a heated bath-suite and a ‘house-church’ as well as many fascinating Roman artefacts. You can book your visit here.
The striking structure of the Old Lighthouse via Dungeness Lighthouse.
The Old Lighthouse, Dungeness
The Old Lighthouse is an Historic Grade 11 building, listed in 1992 by Shepway District Council, recently celebrating its centenary. Opened by His Royal Majesty the Prince of Wales in 1904 after a 3 year build, it survived two world wars before being decommissioned in 1960. For 56 years it provided a welcome to marine vessels negotiating the English Channel. The impressive building is almost 46 metres high and 11 metres in diameter. Over three million bricks were used to build the structure!
The beautiful views via Samphire Hoe.
Samphire Hoe is a man-made country park and nature reserve situated near Dover in Kent. The park was created by using 4.9 million cubic metres of chalk marl from the Channel Tunnel excavations and is found at the bottom of a section of the White Cliffs of Dover. You can experience a walk on the winding paths, discover the diverse wildlife and enjoy incredible views over the cliffs and the English Channel. They also offer guided walks, talks, and exhibitions on wildlife.
Just one of the breath-taking sights via High Rocks.
High Rocks National Monument
High Rocks is a 3.2-hectare geological Site of Special Scientific Interest west of Tunbridge Wells. It is a Geological Conservation Review site with acres of breath-taking sandstone rocks interlinked with eleven bridges, that provide a scenic walk in a tranquil woodland setting. Once a stone age camp, now a National Monument these impressive rocks are on our must-see list. Rock climbing is possible at the site but you must pre-book via the website.
We hope you enjoyed learning about some of Kent's lesser known treasures! Whilst we're currently at home dreaming of adventures, we've found planning our next trips really helps lift our moods and gives us something to look forward to. Which place on this list will you be visiting first? If you're looking for some dog-friendly days out in Kent, have a look at our post over on Hiro + Wolf where we give you the run-down on some of our faves!