As Brits we know that as winter slowly approaches, the wet weather is fast approaching and we will soon be facing many rainy days.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get out and explore all the county has to offer.
We’ve rounded up some of Kent’s best free indoor attractions for the whole family to enjoy this season, whatever the weather!
Battle of Britain Memorial, Folkestone
Britain is a country steeped in history, many of whom live right here in Kent. For those wishing to learn more about their country’s heritage, a trip to the Battle of Britain Memorial might be in order. Even the unveiling of this memorial was a significant moment in history, as a senior member of the royal family – Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother – officially opened the site, near Folkestone, in 1993. There is a number of things to see and do here, including the Beaverbrook Wall, inscribed with Churchill’s famous 1940 speech; the central Battle of Britain statue; a visitor center with educational and interactive experiences; and a memorial wall, which contains the names of Royal Air Force Battle of Britain aircrew.
Where: New Dover Road, Capel-le-Ferne, Folkestone CT18 7JJ.
When: Every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Saturday October 1st. Learn more here.
Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury
Affectionately known to locals simply as The Beaney, this fascinating museum, art gallery, library and visitor center is a must-see. Standing proudly in the middle of Canterbury High Street, the Grade II listed building is packed with exhibits, artefacts and resources, from hands-on workshops to children’s trails. The real selling point of this unique attraction is that it offers a range of educational and entertaining services under one roof and, for the most part, they are all free. So whether you and your family are art lovers, history buffs, bookworms, or just want to learn more about this bustling city, you’ll find it all at The Beaney.
Where: 18 High Street, Canterbury CT1 2RA
When: Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn more here.
Dover is best known for its historic castle, its wartime past and, of course, its impressive white cliffs, all of which can be explored in more detail at the Dover Museum. The museum focuses on local history and archaeology, but also attracts visitors with its flagship exhibit, the Bronze Age Boat. Discovered in 1992 by archaeologists in Dover, the well-preserved remains of this wooden boat are believed to be around 3,500 years old and experts believe it was in use around 1,500 BC. It took nearly a month to fully excavate the boat and it has been kept in the museum ever since, along with stories and facts about its interesting past.
Where: Market Square, Dover CT16 1PH
When: Monday to Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Close on Sunday. Learn more here.
Gravesend Borough Market
If you’re saving your pennies but still want to feel like you’re part of the hustle and bustle, especially at weekends, Gravesend Borough Market is a great place to start. Spend hours at one of Kent’s oldest markets, established in 1268, and soak up the bustling atmosphere of this truly historic building. It’s up to you whether you decide to spend the money at any of the traders here, who regularly set up shop selling antiques, gifts, fashion, accessories and food from street, but entry to the market is completely free and there’s often plenty to see and do, even if you’re just window shopping.
Where: High Street, Gravesend DA11 0AZ
When: Tuesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open until late on Fridays and Saturdays. Learn more here.
Kent Mining Museum, Deal
Since opening earlier this year, the Kent Mining Museum has become a staple of Betteshanger Country Park in Deal. The museum takes visitors on a journey through the history of the Kent Coalfield, which spanned East Kent and was integral to the coal industry from its discovery in 1890 until 1989 when the mine Betteshanger coal mine, on which the museum is built, has closed. . Exhibits inside the museum show visitors what it was like to live as a Kentish miner with mine wagon displays, interactive activities, authentic artefacts and first-hand stories person of people who lived and worked in the industry. And, if the rain clears up, the beautiful 250-acre country park is well worth a stroll.
Where: Betteshanger Park, Sandwich Road, Deal CT14 0BF
When: Wednesday to Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn more here.
Enter Chillington Manor, Maidstone’s grand Elizabethan mansion, and explore one of the most elaborate and extensive collections in the county. Since the Maidstone Museum was established over 160 years ago, it has accumulated over 600,000 artifacts and objects for visitors to admire and learn about. You can find Kent’s only adult human mummy in the Ancient Egypt collection; designer and designer clothes, including pieces from Givenchy, Dior and Balenciaga in the Costumes and Textiles collection; and 250,000 insect specimens from around the world in the Natural History and Biology Collection. This is undoubtedly one of the most impressive museums in Kent, and you can explore all it has to offer for free.
Where: St Faith Street, Maidstone ME14 1LH
When: Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Opening hours vary during school holidays. Learn more here.
As the second oldest cathedral in England, Rochester Cathedral dates back further than anything else on this list. Founded in 604, the 1,400-year history of this cathedral is rich and vast. Visitors can see Textus Roffensis, a medieval manuscript compiled in the 1120s and now on display in the crypt, enter the chapter library through a 14th-century door, and read the words of more than 7,000 worshipers from the 12th to 21st centuries in graffiti surveying inscriptions. It’s still an active place of worship, so make sure you know the schedule for services before you go.
Where: Garth House, The Precinct, Rochester ME1 1SX
When: Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Learn more here.
Contemporary Turner, Margate
A trip to the coast might not be the first thing on your mind when it rains, but you might just change your mind when you know a visit to the Turner Contemporary is on the cards. This sophisticated seaside gallery is brimming with creativity and artistic energy, and it’s a must for culture vultures. Since opening in 2011 in Margate, the gallery has hosted groundbreaking exhibitions by local artists, as well as big names such as Tracey Emin, Steve McQueen and Ingrid Pollard. The signature pieces on display here have attracted a number of famous visitors in the past, including Kate Middleton, so you never know who you might bump into while browsing the gallery.
Where: Appointment, Margate CT9 1HG. Learn more here.
When: Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.