There may be 92 counties in the United Kingdom, but there are so many different things that make Kent special and unique. Also home to one of our parks, Allhallows.
48 hour guide to Kent
1. Rochester was degraded from a city to a town
Canterbury is the only city in Kent after Rochester lost its status in 1998 despite it being a historic city since 1211. The news devastated many of its residents, but the only way it could regain city status is if the Queen authorises it.
2. The Duke of Kent presents the trophies at Wimbledon
Although Prince Edward may be a lowly 33rd in line to the throne, the Duke of Kent has the honour of presenting trophies to the winners at Wimbledon. This means he had the honour of handing it to Andy Murray who was the first British champion in 77 years.
3. Matthew Webb was the first person to swim the English Channel
On August 24th 1875, Captain Matthew Webb dived into the water at Dover as he planned to become a record holder. 21 hours and 45 minutes later he arrived at Calais and became the first person to swim the English Channel.
4. First white lines on the road were painted in Kent
More than 100 years ago, in 1914, the London-Folkstone road in Ashford, Kent, became home to the first painted white lines in the UK to combat a number of dangerous bends. Sadly, the USA had already beaten us to this idea and it wasn’t until the 1920s that road markings were regularly used.
5. Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn spent their honeymoon here
Divorced, beheaded, died…this isn’t going to end well, Anne! The second of King Henry VIII’s many wives, Anne Boleyn and the infamous monarch spent a few days on their honeymoon at Shurland Hall in Eastchurch on the Isle of Sheppey. But 16 months later she became the first English Queen to be publicly executed at the Tower of London on 19th May 1536.
6. Rupert, Rupert the Bear, everyone sing his name!
Are you singing? You definitely should be. Everybody loves Rupert the Bear and for that exact reason the Rupert Bear Museum was opened in Canterbury, Kent, in 2003. His creator Mary Tourtel lived and attended art school in the city.
7. Fordwich is the smallest town (by population) in Britain
With a population of just 381, Fordwich is the smallest community by population in Britain with a town council. There are just two pubs there, so pop to one for food and the other for your evening out. There’s really not much else there…but it’s a gorgeous place to visit!
8. It is often referred to as ‘The Garden of England’
Its beauty and greenery has seen the wonderful county of Kent to often being called ‘The Garden of England‘ for more than 400 years. With a beautiful coastline, stunning beach resorts, enthralling buildings and historic towns and villages it really is an incredible place to visit.
9. There aren’t actually bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover
Despite the song telling you to ‘wait and see’ them, you could be waiting a very long time as bluebirds don’t even live in Europe, let alone the United Kingdom. The war song, made famous by Vera Lynn, was apparently referring to seeing the air force return at the end of battle, bringing peace with them.
10. It was named Europe’s top destination for a family holiday
Earlier this year, Lonely Planet named Kent as number one on its list of Europe’s best family holiday destinations. The largest travel guide book publisher in the world’s pool of experts placed it above County Kerry, Ireland and Normandy, France.
11. Paramount London to rival Disneyland Paris for visitors
Paramount London, a theme park which could be ready to rival Disneyland Paris in France for the number of people it gets through its doors, is planned to open in Kent in 2020. The Swanscombe based attraction would use 872 acres of land and could create tens of thousands of jobs. Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Top Gear are all expected to be represented at the resort.