Cricket, hiking, theatre, world-class art galleries, live music, historic homes and more: Our Kent entertainment guide covers all the bases.
Entertainment in Kent
If the England Cricket World Cup win inspired you to get into the game or you’re a six-hitting expert yourself, head down to the Kent County Cricket Club in Canterbury, a short distance from our Canterbury Town Centre hotel. One of the 18 county teams in the country, they have a long and illustrious history, having won virtually every competition since being founded in 1842. The season runs from April to September, with home games played at the gorgeous St. Lawrence ground in Canterbury, one of the most picturesque cricket venues in the UK.
Take a more active part in your sport and leisure with a trip to the Kent Downs, an area of outstanding natural beauty that stretches from London to the White Cliffs of Dover. Hikers can cover some or all of the 153 miles on the North Downs Way or tackle some of the many cycling trails and routes.
Those looking for a little more adrenaline-fuelled fun should check out Kent Surf School in Viking Bay in Broadstairs. With lessons and kit hire available, you can take to the water on a stand-up paddleboard, take a kayak tour of the coastline or hit the surf to ride some gnarly waves.
Kent County Cricket Club
Museums and Art Galleries
If you only have time to visit one art gallery in Kent, try and make it the Turner Contemporary in Margate. The free-entry, modern art space is dedicated to Margate’s famous painter JMW Turner and houses one of the UK’s best collections, spanning three stories and blurring the lines between historic and contemporary art.
Down House near Sevenoaks is another highlight. The home of Charles and Emma Darwin, you can stroll through the gardens that inspired him to write ‘On the Origin of Species’ over 150 years ago. And, as if that wasn’t good enough, Sir David Attenborough hosts the interactive, multimedia tour around the house and grounds.
More historical grounds can be found at Chartwell, which was Sir Winston Churchill’s family home from 1922 to 1965. The rooms have been well-preserved and restored, providing an amazing insight into the writer, painter and family man who led his country through World War II. The National Trust site also has a large wooded area with trails, den-building and play areas nearby, perfect for little ones.
Going even further back in time, the Roman Museum in Canterbury covers the Roman invasion in Kent. The underground museum is packed with artefacts, mosaics and historical finds all set around an excavated Roman house. And just around the corner you’ll find The Canterbury Tales, an interactive journey through Chaucer’s tales that kids and families will love.
The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury is one of the largest venues in Kent and one of the most impressive. The 1,200-capacity auditorium re-opened in 2011 after an extensive rebuild and is a state-of-the-art, three-level experience that hosts big-name events from National Theatre tours and the Northern Ballet Company to West End musicals, stand-up comedy, live music and more.
Where The Marlowe Theatre is all modern excellence, the Theatre Royal in Margate is one of the oldest in Kent, dating back to 1787. It’s also one of the largest theatre spaces in the county when you include the Winter Gardens, a 1,900-capacity live music and theatre venue that once hosted The Beatles. The Theatre Royal itself is an impressive, two-storey horseshoe-shaped theatre with large balconies with most of the architecture dating back to 1894.
The Orchard Theatre in Dartford is another very active venue with a broad range of events spanning drama, dance, classical music, opera, West End musicals, comedy and live music. Opened in 1983, the 956-capacity auditorium is located in the centre of Dartford, just a short distance from our Dartford hotel.
If live music is your thing, head to The Forum in Tunbridge Wells. A mainstay on the live music touring circuit since its launch in 1993, the 250-capacity venue has hosted international superstars like Green Day, Adele, Oasis, Muse and Coldplay. The independent venue still has its finger firmly on the pulse, with regular guest bands, tribute acts and club nights. Another highly recommended live music venue is the 140-capacity Ramsgate Music Hall which mixes up-and-coming acts with tribute acts and popular club nights.