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Arts & Culture in Kent  holiday cottages

Arts & Culture in Kent

Elianne Reed 28 November 2019

Culture is alive and kicking in the Garden of England. There are many cultural attractions and destinations throughout the county with events taking place all year long. From museums and theatres in Kent to exciting Kent festivals, there will be a cultural highlight bound to strike a chord with everyone. We’ve listed many of the biggest and most popular attractions and venues in Kent but we’ve also included some of the lesser-known events and places too – if you have the time to pay them a visit, we’re sure you will be pleasantly surprised! When you've seen all you can see, retreat to one of our cottages in Kent to relax and prepare yourself for your next cultural day out.

FESTIVALS IN KENT

WHITSTABLE OYSTER FESTIVAL

Whitstable

For foodies, the Whitstable Oyster Festival is an unmissable experience. Whitstable is historically known as one of the UK’s best places to harvest oysters, so it’s an apt location for the event and a great place to sample some for yourself while in Kent. The festivities kick off with the traditional seafront procession before the food fair is held alongside live music, workshops and a number of activities for children.

  • Where: Various venues throughout Whitstable
  • Stay at: Honeypot Cottage, Whitstable (sleeps 4)

SOUTHBEATS FESTIVAL

DJ playing music on a pair of decks

Southbeats is a festival which showcases huge names and breaking talent from the world of dance music. Taking place at the Port Lympne Reserve in Kent, some of the top DJs and dance acts to have appeared at the festival include Basement Jaxx, Example, Sigma and Mistajam.

Another festival to check out:

VENUES IN KENT

THE MARLOWE

Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury, Kent

Located in the historic city of Canterbury, The Marlowe is an acclaimed theatre which brings a variety of plays, comedy and music to the stage, each guaranteed to entertain or leave you thinking. One of the region’s leading cultural venues, there are more than 350 performances hosted here every year.

TUNBRIDGE WELLS ASSEMBLY HALL THEATRE

Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall Theatre in Kent

The Assembly Hall Theatre is one of the largest in Kent offering a packed programme of music, comedy, theatre, opera and more, with a variety of shows catering to all tastes. With a performance taking place here almost every day, there’s bound to be something great to watch while you’re in the area.

  • Where: Crescent Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 2LU
  • Stay at: Apartment 15, Tunbridge Wells (sleeps 2)

Another fantastic venue:

Kent doesn't just have great culture - there are restaurants to discover, miles of coastline to explore and lots of historical sites to uncover. Check out our complete guide to Kent to find out more.

ART GALLERIES IN KENT

TURNER CONTEMPORARY

Turner Contemporary art gallery in Margate, Kent

Aspects of the works of JMW Turner are regularly on show at this beautiful, spacious art gallery in Kent. Situated on the seafront in his beloved Margate, a visit to this striking structure makes a great afternoon out. Besides Turner’s work, there is room for touring modern art exhibitions, which have included pieces by Anthony Gormley and Tracey Emin. Be sure to visit if you love contemporary art in all its guises. Despite the calibre of the artworks on show, admission is completely free.

  • Where: Rendezvous, Margate, Kent, CT9 1HG
  • Stay at: Bay View Annexe, Margate 1.8 miles (sleeps 4)

FOLKESTONE CREATIVE QUARTER

View of Folkestone, Kent, from the sea

Folkestone is a paradise for lovers of the arts as it’s home to its very own thriving creative quarter, which houses a number of creative businesses and artists’ studios. It’s a great place to browse some of the works by numerous up and coming artists, as well as a great opportunity to find your own unique artwork to take home.

More great galleries:

MUSEUMS AND COLLECTIONS IN KENT

ROCHESTER GUILDHALL

Rochester Guildhall Museum in Rochester, KentImage: Amanda Slater

One of Kent’s finest 17th-century buildings, the Rochester Guildhall is a great introduction to the history of the local area, featuring a number of items and exhibits from over the centuries. Among the highlights are the Dickens Discovery Room, a Victorian drawing room and a reconstruction of part of a prison hulk.

  • Where: 17 High Street, Rochester, Kent ME1 1PY
  • Stay at: Sandown, Rochester 5 miles (sleeps 2 and 1 dog)

POWELL-COTTON MUSEUM

Powell-Cotton Museum at Quex Park in Kent

Found at the splendid Quex House, the Powell-Cotton is one of the UK’s most fascinating private collections. It chronicles the work of Percy Powell Cotton, an explorer who travelled Africa and Asia, and brought back with him a world-class collection of natural history artefacts. Many of these can be seen in the museum alongside collections of 19th-century fine arts, antique furniture, weaponry, ceramics and archaeology.

  • Where: Quex Park, Park Lane, Birchington, Kent, CT7 0BH
  • Stay at: Bay View Annexe, Margate 1.8 miles (sleeps 4)

More fascinating museums:

MORE INSPIRATION

If you’ve been persuaded to base your next holiday in Kent and would like to treat yourself to some of the cultural delights above, take a look at our varied collection of wonderful Kent cottages.

 

And for even more great days out in the region to remember, why not pay a visit to some glorious National Trust properties in Kent?

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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