The best things to do in Kent

From majestic cathedrals and legendary castles to postcard-pretty seaside towns and a dramatic coastline, discover the best things to see and do in Kent, all within easy reach of London.
Sandy beach with colourful beach hut on a sunny day in Margate, Kent.
Enjoy a relaxing day on the beach in Margate. Photo by Max Letek on Unsplash.

Discover Kent on a day trip from London:

Known as "The Garden of England", the county of Kent is home to spectacular scenery and iconic sights rich in history and heritage, including world-famous Canterbury Cathedral, the White Cliffs of Dover, Leeds Castle, Margate and much more.

Plan the perfect day out from London, with this selection of the best places to visit in Kent.


Columns and arches that form part of the impressive architecture at Canterbury Cathedral in Kent.

No trip to Kent would be complete without a visit to Canterbury Cathedral, a medieval marvel steeped in history, featuring beautiful 12th- and 13th-century stained-glass windows.

Make sure to wander through the historic town to take in the full beauty of this lovely Kent spot made famous by Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.

You can visit Canterbury as part of a day trip from London that also takes in Leeds Castle, Dover and Greenwich.

Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle on a sunny day makes a great day trip from London.

Explore 500 acres (202 hectares) of lush Kent parkland and more than 900 years of history at gorgeous Leeds Castle, which is set by a magnificent moat.

Once a Norman stronghold, a royal residence and a royal palace, the stunning fortress dates back to 1119 and makes for a beautiful day out from London, with its many attractions and family activities, including a fun maze and underground grotto.

Combine a trip to the castle on a day trip from London that also takes in Canterbury, Dover and Greenwich.


White Cliffs of Dover plunging into the blue sea on a clear day.

Arrive at the gateway to England and marvel at the spectacular White Cliffs of Dover on the perfect day out in Kent. Stretch your legs as you walk along the coast, enjoying sweeping views of the English Channel.

Stop to admire one of the UK’s greatest fortresses, Dover Castle, along the way. Built in 1066, this mighty medieval fortress played a crucial role during the Second World War, when its tunnels were used to evacuate Allied troops who were transported from the beach of Dunkirk.

See the White Cliffs of Dover on a day trip from London that also includes Leeds Castle, Canterbury and Greenwich.

The House of Charles Darwin

View of the house and garden of Charles Darwin in Kent on a sunny day with blue sky.

Get a glimpse into Charles Darwin's family life, see the study where he famously wrote On the Origin of Species and browse the interactive exhibition about his life and work, with a tour of The House of Charles Darwin.

You can also visit the beautiful gardens that acted as Darwin’s living laboratory. See recreated experiments and discover how his observations helped him develop his groundbreaking theories.

Book tickets to visit The House of Charles Darwin now.


Close up of someone holding an oyster, with a plate of oysters and lemon slices on a wooden table on a sunny day in Whitstable.

Famous for its delicious oysters, Whitstable hosts the annual Whitstable Rocks Oyster Festival in September. This charming port town is brimming with seaside restaurants, independent cafes and pebble beaches.

Stroll around the harbour, try the town’s famous shellfish from any of the seafood shacks or restaurants lining the waterfront and get lost in the town’s winding alleys, which are full of cute pastel-coloured shopfronts, old pubs and art galleries.


Timelapse of theme park Dreamland's neon sign and lights at night in Margate, Kent.

From fab art and indie cafes to thrilling theme park rides and great vintage shops, Margate is one of the most entertaining and fun seaside towns near London, with plenty to do for all ages.

Make the most of Dreamland’s old-school arcades and retro rides, see cutting-edge art at the Turner Contemporary gallery, and soak up the seaside vibes with a delicious fish and chips on the beach.


White houses and cottages lining the beach in the coastal town of Deal in Kent, with the sea in the foreground.

Head further along the coast to the picturesque coastal town of Deal, one of Kent’s unsung gems.

As well as a pebbly beach dotted with fishing boats, a pier and a 16th-century castle, discover well-preserved Georgian townhouses, colourful fishermen’s cottages and scenic views of the English Channel towards the famously beautiful Goodwin Sands.

Discover more days out and day trips within easy reach of London.