This is my first attempt to put together a blog article with travel recommendations for a staycation in Kent. I will also try to convince you with my unpopular opinion on why Kent is a lot better staycation than driving 8+ hours to Cornwall and basically do and see the same things! DISCLAIMER: I am not a travel blogger, all pictures and views are my own!
Why driving 8+ h to Cornwall when Kent is 60 min on the train from London?My own
Kent is the perfect combination if you’re looking into an escape England experience during covid times. It’s a beautiful location where you can enjoy history, great food, beaches and sunshine, and feel like you’re having a holiday in continental Europe. Kent is also rich in history. In fact, the history of Kent is deeply connected with the Roman Empire and Catholic Church and you appreciate that by the vastity of historic sites, churches and the stunning Canterbury Cathedral.
Kent is a great location if you’re looking for an escape England experience.
Kent is just literally 60 min on the train from London, the high-speed train from London Saint Pancras will take you to the coast before you can even realise you are no longer in the city. That makes Kent a perfect spot for either a staycation or a long weekend. The county is located between London and France and the influence from continental Europe is very strong. It’s something hard for me to explain because I am not from here (Kent or England) and I see a lot of similarities between living here and in Italy.
The vast majority of Kent is rural which implies there’s loads of farming, fishing and harvesting going on. The county is known as the gardens of England and everything is locally produced. I often stop by to buy vegs and fruits (especially strawberries and raspberries) on the street at very affordable prices and they actually taste like fruits!! I would do the same in Italy. The quality of food is outstanding, I would go to an Italian restaurant and couldn’t tell I was in England. The traditional street food, lovely fish and chips, are some of the best I had in my life. Apologies for making such a big deal about food but I do believe that eating tasty, local and good food makes life a lot more enjoyable.
On a sunny day, there is no way to tell if I’m here or in Italy!
Of course, there’s a lot more to do and see than apple and sunshine. As I mentioned previously, the county is rich in history and historic sites. In the district where I live, the Dover district council, we have 3 stunning castles within a 10-mile driving distance. A fourth castle was present back in the days, Sandown Castle, but was washed away by the tides and it’s been converted into a community garden. Dover, Deal and Walmer castles were built to protect the southern coast of England from French and Catholic invasions and played a key role in the world wars too. Of course, they are magnificent constructions but their primary purpose wasn’t to function as royal/aristocratic residences. They are military bastions so very spartan in their outlook. There are other castles in the Medway area such as Rochester, Scotney and Hever Castle where the Anne Boylen family lived.
If you want to introduce a bit of exercise into your holiday (I do exercise on holiday) just to keep a routine, let me tell you that running on the seafront watching the stunning sunrise or sunset (both experiences available within 30 min driving distance) is the next level of awesomeness. There are also plenty of coastal cycling and walking trails to enjoy too. My absolute fave hiking trail is the hike starting at Kingsdown and finishing at Saint Margaret. It’s approximately a 7 km (back and forth) hike on the white cliffs facing the English Channel. Bonus: on a sunny and clear day, it is possible to see the white cliffs of France.
Just because a place doesn’t hit travel magazines or it’s an unknown Instagram location, it doesn’t discount it as a great place to be!
To conclude, I feel like just because a place (read their politicians) doesn’t spend money in advertising it as a tourist location it doesn’t discount it as a great location for a vacation. Not everything you do has to be an Instagram popularity contest or you have to take that picture with that specific angle and pose just to jump on the bandwagon of the current travelling trend. Differently from other well-known fancy places, Kent doesn’t need money coming from advertising it as a touristic location because the area is one of the richest in England due to the connections/trading to Europe and proximity to London.
My absolute fave visit Kent blog BaldHiker offeres a lot more insight into the history and things to do in Kent so please check out for more. The post does not contain affiliated links and all the unpopular opinions are my own. Bye