2022 is going to be a good year for bank holidays as we’ve been given an extra one to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee, by getting a bonus holiday day on 3rd June. With all those long weekends that we’ve got to use, Kent is coming out swinging for those who want entertainment, secluded escapes, to a taste of Kent right on their doorstep.
To help with some planning, we’ve noted the full list of the bank holidays coming up across the spring and summer months:
When you think of an Easter egg hunt, can you think of a much better setting for your children than a castle? We’re hard pushed that’s for sure! Exploring Dover Castle or Walmer Castle, your little ones will hunt for a raft of clues and challenges to lead them to their prize – with each successful hunt being rewarded with chocolate and a certificate to take home. Not only will there be the egg hunt, but there’ll be activities such as egg rolling and the classic egg and spoon race, as well the magnificent castles themselves!
Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the Rochester Sweeps Festival is set in the north Kent town, whose historic and story-filled streets will be bursting with music and dance as one of the world’s biggest May day celebrations arrives. Watch live hundreds of Morris dancers come together from across the UK as they combine folk music with their clogs and clash their sticks across Rochester, for a day full of tradition.
One for the little ones (ages 2-6), the beautiful Belmont House is hosting a teddy bear picnic for your kids to bring along their favourite bear and embark on a show that will pull together your children’s favourite music, dancing and plenty of puppets. As we’re right at the end of May for this one, you’ll be able to bring your own picnics to accompany the performance, but the Tea Room will also be available for fresh drinks, cakes and ice cream!
With so many events happening on the Isle of Thanet over the coming months, your calendar will not go empty! Keeping it simple, we’ll start with the kids events – from the 9th to the 18th April, Quex Activity Park has curated a ‘Bouncing Bunnies Easter Trail’ where your little ones can follow challenges and collect eggs throughout the Adventure Woods, visiting lambs and characters along the exploration, before getting an Easter reward. For a scavenger hunt with a difference, there are three different beach spots in Thanet where you can search for marine-themed eggs – such as sharks and rays, while taking in beautiful sand and beach art. Pick your location from Walpole Bay, Viking Bay and Ramsgate.
For something more tuned to the adults, how does a display of 100’s of stunning motorbikes sound? The iconic Ace Café in London is holding its 13th annual Margate Meltdown on the 2nd June, where riders will depart from the café and make for Margate seafront, ending up with parking their bikes and scooters on the harbour in the (hopefully) glorious sunshine!
If we get a beautiful June day, which we can typically rely on for this month, one of Kent’s best days out is heading to a vineyard and enjoying a tour while feasting on a picnic. This is what’s on offer at Gusbourne as through the Jubilee weekend, they will have all of their tours running. However it doesn’t just stop there as they’ll also be offering a special Jubilee afternoon tea event, where you’ll enjoy freshly made sandwiches, scones and pastries with fine tea and paired wine - bliss in the Kent countryside.
Continuing the wine theme (we’re in Kent, how could we not?), is Wine Tours of Kent who offer a fantastic premium wine tasting experience day which is perfect for people who live in Kent. Making your day friendly yet informative, you’ll be able to sample some of your county’s finest wine without doing any of the driving, while also tasting some of our best produce and culinary delights.
Switching it up a little, we’re heading over to Maidstone and its Distillery, where you can get another taste of Kent. With extra bank holiday dates added, you are invited to join a tour where you can uncover the town's 200 year distilling history, the process and finally a tutored tasting. Yet for something a little more Jubilee, take a hands-on Cocktail Masterclass evening with canapés. Getting to grips with the art of mixology, you will learn how to create three delightful classic cocktails, served alongside some delicious canapes.
Are you dreaming of heading to the seaside and taking to the water with a stand up paddleboard as the sun goes down? Kite Pirates are one of Kent’s premier SUP providers, with lessons to learn the basics, or once you’ve got a little more experience, head on a safari around the likes of Margate, Sandwich and Broadstairs where you might even spot a seal! Once you've headed back onto dry land, keep the seafaring theme going by having a meal at Bouy & Oyster for some seafood that'll taste almost as good as the feeling of being out on the water again.
When you have the beautiful Emmetts Garden as a backdrop, it’ll be hard to distract yourself to head to an exhibition they’re holding, yet from the 13th May to 13th July, for the very first time the garden will be hosting the International Photographer of the Year exhibition, which will feature a selection of winning photographs from across categories such as; ‘Beautiful Gardens’, ‘The Beauty of Plants’, ‘Wildlife in the Garden’ and the likely macro favourite - ‘The World of Fungi’.
While we’re not saying a photography exhibition might not be suitable for your kids, Emmetts Garden have the perfect alternative for later into the year - Into the Fairy Kingdom. Running throughout the summer holidays (23rd July to 12th September), pick up an activity pack from the visitor centre and go on an adventure with the hob goblin guide, Puck, to go out on an adventure and safely make it back to the human world with plenty of quests and challenges on the way.
We know the weather isn’t particularly on our side in England, and especially on Bank Holidays – however this is one the weather can’t spoil! With Creative Retreats studio in Chilham you can learn all sorts of creative skills in glass – from stained glass evening classes to a two-day leaded stained glass getaway, with a full bank holiday weekend of learning. There’s plenty of sessions, so be sure to find their calendar of bookings here.
A warren that steps back into time on a raft of technology from games, computers and toys. A visit to the Micro Museum in Ramsgate will send you on a discovery of the inventors of digital technology through hundreds of items from as far back as the 1940s to today, while also letting you play with some of the tech! With additional days of opening over Easter and May Bank Holidays there’s plenty of opportunities to better understand our digital world.