Applications for Kent's Big Weekend close this Friday, March 3, but you've still got time to try and bag yourself free entry to top attractions across Kent.
The 'Big Weekend' is an annual event organised by Visit Kent, their aim is to showcase the attractions available in the county. The idea of providing free entry is to promote the attractions and ensure big crowds come throughout the whole season. The county event takes place on the opening weekend of April. See some of the standout attractions below:
Unsurprisingly, Dover Castle is one of the major attractions across the whole of Kent. It is known as ‘the most iconic of all English fortresses’ – you can climb the Great Tower for some stunning views. Various events take place there throughout the year. Dover Castle played a crucial role in the defence of the realm for over nine centuries.
Dover Transport Museum
Dover Transport Museum is the only transport museum in Kent and has over 50 road vehicles. Many of these are set in period street scenes, with shopfronts displaying many interesting and unusual items. A large interactive model railway, as well as several smaller displays, complements the hundreds of models on display.
Built by the order of King Henry VIII, Deal Castle is one of the finest Tudor artillery castles in England. You can explore the castle and its grounds in full.
Folkestone's Best Western Clifton Hotel
The Best Western Clifton Hotel in Folkestone is perched on the famous Leas, offering stunning views across the Channel to France. Celebrated as a Folkestone landmark, the hotel is fabulously situated only fifty yards from the Leas Cliff Hall.
Howletts Wild Animal Park – Canterbury
Howletts is part of the Aspinall Foundation. They have plenty of species to see on a large site with well-constructed, comfortable enclosures.
Port Lympne Wild Animal Park – Hythe
Port Lympne is also part of the Aspinall Foundation. Their safari makes for a memorable day out with plenty of animals and protected species in well-constructed large enclosures. You can even camp at the top of the safari hill in a lodge and wake up to the most amazing views of the animals. Based in Hythe, less than a 15 minute drive from Folkestone.
Wingham Wildlife Park
Wingham homes Kent’s widest selection of animals including tigers, lemurs, Kent's only penguins and the UKs only Jaguar cubs. Relax in one of the two cafes, let the children go wild in both indoor soft and outdoor adventure play areas, walk through the lemur enclosure and experience some Kent’s best keeper talks.
The cathedral is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England. Building developments on the cathedral ran between 1070-1834 and regular renovation takes places where necessary. It is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury and has something to offer for all, even if it is just appreciating the intricacy of the building.
Canterbury River Tours
The river tours offer a 40-minute experience on the River Stour. They provide an intriguing insight into Canterbury’s historic past. Your tour guide will explain in detail many interesting facts and stories about the city and you can see some destinations only possible by being on the river.
Dreamland – Margate
The theme park opened back in 1920 and has recently undergone renovation to become one of Margate’s busiest attractions. The Grade II listed Scenic Railway is one of the world’s oldest roller coasters and has plenty of history.
112 of Kent's attractions have donated tickets and there is no limit to the number you can apply for. There will be extra prizes to be won for the ticket holders over the 'Big Weekend'. Over 120,000 people applied for tickets last year and the event is part of English Tourism Week, with tourism one of the fastest growing sectors in the national economy.
You can apply for tickets and see the full lineup here.