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13 best hidden gems in Kent to explore in 2024

Updated: Mar 9

Your Ultimate Guide to exploring off-the-beaten track locations scattered across Kent.


Kent has some of the best countryside and even the best beaches in the whole of the UK, and with that comes the increase of tourists each year! However, there is more to see than just the White Cliffs of Dover and the interesting castles to see. So if you're looking to escape some of these crowds the next time in Kent; remember some of these little gems!


In this article, we share 13 of the best hidden gems in Kent which you need to add to your Kent bucket list this year. We hope you enjoy!


Image of Hothfield Waterfall in Kent


1) Folkestone White Horse


A beautiful place with an impressive artwork of the white horse. There is actually a spectacular vantage point to look out across to France, and on a clear day you can even see the Calais clock tower.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Folkestone White Horse


1) What is the Folkestone White Horse?

The Folkestone White Horse is a large hillside figure located near the town of Folkestone in Kent, England. It is carved into the chalk cliffs overlooking the English Channel and measures approximately 90 meters in length.


The origin of the horse is uncertain, but it is believed to have been created in the early 20th century as a local landmark and tourist attraction. The Folkestone White Horse is one of several hillside figures found throughout England, with its distinctive shape adding to the scenic beauty of the surrounding landscape.


2) Can visitors access the Folkestone White Horse?

Yes, visitors can access the Folkestone White Horse by foot or by car. There are designated footpaths and trails leading to viewpoints overlooking the hillside figure, allowing visitors to admire it from various angles.


Additionally, the nearby White Horse Wood Country Park offers walking and cycling routes that provide panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and the English Channel. Visitors should exercise caution when walking near the cliffs and adhere to any safety guidelines or restrictions in place.


3) Is the Folkestone White Horse visible year-round?

Yes, the Folkestone White Horse is visible year-round, although weather conditions and vegetation may affect visibility at times. The white chalk outline of the horse contrasts against the greenery of the surrounding landscape, making it visible from various vantage points along the coast.


Visitors can enjoy views of the Folkestone White Horse during all seasons, with spring and summer offering the opportunity to see it against a backdrop of blooming wildflowers and clear blue skies. Photographers may prefer early morning or late afternoon light for capturing stunning images of the hillside figure.


Places to stay near Folkestone White Horse


Image of Folkestone White Horse in Kent


2) Lydd Sound Mirrors


These amazing monolithic structures aren't just impressive to look at, they're actually still functional! Visitors can get up as close as 100m next to the sound mirrors and you might even hear people whispering at the far end if you're lucky! Baring in mind this is only on one of the open days at these Sound Mirrors.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Lydd Sound Mirrors


1) What are the Lydd Sound Mirrors?

The Lydd Sound Mirrors, also known as acoustic mirrors or listening ears, are a series of large concrete structures located near the town of Lydd in Kent, England. Built in the 1920s and 1930s, these structures were used as early warning devices to detect the sound of approaching enemy aircraft before the invention of radar.


The mirrors consist of curved walls that reflect and focus sound waves, allowing observers to detect the presence and direction of aircraft engine noise.


2) Can visitors access the Lydd Sound Mirrors?

Yes, visitors can access the Lydd Sound Mirrors, although some may require permission or guided tours for entry. The structures are located on public land near the village of Greatstone-on-Sea and can be reached by foot or by bicycle along designated paths and trails.


Visitors are advised to be cautious when exploring the area, as some of the structures may be in a state of disrepair or located on unstable ground. Guided tours may be available during certain times of the year, providing visitors with an opportunity to learn about the history and significance of the sound mirrors.


3) Are the Lydd Sound Mirrors open to the public year-round?

The accessibility of the Lydd Sound Mirrors may vary depending on factors such as weather conditions, maintenance schedules, and access restrictions. While the structures are located on public land, some areas may be subject to seasonal closures or restrictions for safety reasons.


Visitors are encouraged to check local information sources or contact relevant authorities for the latest updates on access to the Lydd Sound Mirrors. Additionally, guided tours or special events may be organized periodically, providing opportunities for visitors to explore the site and learn about its historical significance.


Places to stay near Lydd Sound Mirrors



Image of Lydd Sound Mirrors in Kent

3) Hothfield Waterfall


There aren't many waterfalls in Kent, and even though majority of the time this is more so a trickle of a waterfall, you should definitely see it after a day of rainfall! It is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Hothfield Waterfall


1) What is Hothfield Waterfall?

Hothfield Waterfall is a captivating natural attraction nestled in the picturesque countryside of Kent, England. It is a stunning cascade of water that flows gracefully over rocky terrain, creating a tranquil and scenic setting for visitors to enjoy.


This hidden gem offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.


2) How can I access Hothfield Waterfall?

Accessing Hothfield Waterfall is relatively easy, with designated pathways and trails leading to the site. Visitors can embark on a leisurely stroll through the surrounding woodlands, immersing themselves in the beauty of nature as they make their way to the waterfall.


The journey to Hothfield Waterfall is as enchanting as the destination itself, providing opportunities to spot local wildlife and admire the lush vegetation along the way.


3) Is Hothfield Waterfall suitable for all ages?

Yes, Hothfield Waterfall is suitable for visitors of all ages, making it an ideal destination for families, couples, and solo adventurers alike. The gentle terrain and well-maintained pathways ensure accessibility for individuals with mobility concerns or strollers.


Families can enjoy picnics by the waterfall, while photographers can capture the beauty of the cascading waters against the backdrop of the natural surroundings. Whether you're seeking a peaceful retreat or an outdoor adventure, Hothfield Waterfall offers something for everyone to enjoy.


Places to stay near Hothfield Waterfall



Image of Hothfield Waterfall in Kent


4) Kings Wood Sculpture Trail


This little gem is a stunning 1500-acre ancient forest which is excellent for dog-walking. There are numerous routes through the forest with a cool sculpture trail. Be careful though as even though the routes are wide and clear, most trails aren't waymarked.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Kings Wood Sculpture Trail


1) What is the Kings Wood Sculpture Trail?

The Kings Wood Sculpture Trail is an enchanting outdoor art installation located within the picturesque woodlands of Challock, Kent, England. Nestled amidst the serene landscape of the North Downs, this trail features a captivating collection of sculptures crafted by local and international artists, seamlessly integrated into the natural surroundings of Kings Wood.


2) How long is the Kings Wood Sculpture Trail?

The Kings Wood Sculpture Trail spans several kilometers within the woodlands of Challock, Kent, England. Visitors can explore winding pathways and forested terrain as they journey through this immersive art experience.


Whether opting for a leisurely stroll or a more extended hike, visitors can expect a memorable journey through the enchanting landscape of Kings Wood.


3) Are there any guided tours available for the Kings Wood Sculpture Trail?

Yes, guided tours of the Kings Wood Sculpture Trail are available for those seeking a deeper understanding of the artworks and their significance. Located in Challock, Kent, these tours provide insightful commentary on the history, themes, and techniques behind the sculptures, offering visitors a richer appreciation of the art and its connection to the natural environment.


Guided tours may be scheduled at regular intervals or arranged by appointment, allowing flexibility for visitors to explore the trail while benefiting from expert guidance.


Places to stay near Kings Wood Sculpture Trail



Image of Kings Wood Sculpture Trail in Kent

5) The West Malling Cascade


You'll be so surprised at how many people travel hundreds of miles to see West Malling's most famous landmark. It's a gorgeous place to visit for a day, with remnants of Victorian architecture to see as well.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting The West Malling Cascade


1) What is the Malling Abbey Cascade?

The Malling Abbey Cascade is a captivating water feature located within the grounds of Malling Abbey in West Malling, Kent, England. This picturesque cascade is formed by a series of beautifully crafted stone steps that descend gracefully, creating a tranquil and scenic focal point amidst the abbey's serene surroundings.


Visitors can enjoy the soothing sounds of flowing water while taking in the natural beauty of this hidden gem.


2) How can I access the Malling Abbey Cascade?

Accessing the Malling Abbey Cascade is straightforward, as it is situated within the grounds of Malling Abbey, which is open to the public during specified visiting hours. Visitors can explore the abbey's grounds and gardens, where the cascade is prominently featured, by following designated pathways and trails.


Whether arriving by car or on foot, visitors can easily access the abbey and its stunning cascade, providing a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.


3) What amenities are available at Malling Abbey?

While visiting Malling Abbey and its picturesque cascade, visitors can enjoy a range of amenities to enhance their experience. The abbey grounds may feature facilities such as parking areas, restrooms, and seating areas where visitors can relax and admire the tranquil surroundings.


Additionally, guided tours or informational signage may be available to provide insights into the abbey's history, architecture, and natural features. Visitors are encouraged to check the abbey's website or contact the abbey directly for the latest information on visiting hours, amenities, and any special events or activities taking place.


Places to stay near The West Malling Cascade




6) Fort Amherst Heritage Trust


This is a great place to visit, especially for families. Visitors can enjoy a cool tunnel tour and a stunning view at the top of the fort. Some visitors even say it's possibly the best view of Chatham.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Fort Amherst Heritage Trust


1) What is the Fort Amherst Heritage Trust?

The Fort Amherst Heritage Trust is a historic site located in Chatham, Kent, England, dedicated to preserving and showcasing the rich military history of the area. Originally built in the 18th century as part of the defences for the Chatham Dockyard, Fort Amherst has since been restored and transformed into a fascinating heritage attraction.


Visitors can explore the fort's underground tunnels, artillery emplacements, and defensive structures while learning about its role in defending the dockyard and the nation's maritime heritage.


2) How can I access the Fort Amherst Heritage Trust?

Accessing the Fort Amherst Heritage Trust is convenient, as it is located within close proximity to the town center of Chatham, Kent. Visitors can easily reach the site by car, with ample parking available nearby, or by public transportation, with bus and train services serving the area.


Once on-site, visitors can enjoy self-guided tours of the fort's historic features, including the underground tunnels and gun batteries, or participate in guided tours led by knowledgeable volunteers.


3) What amenities are available at the Fort Amherst Heritage Trust?

While visiting the Fort Amherst Heritage Trust, visitors can enjoy a range of amenities to enhance their experience. The site features a visitor center with exhibits, educational displays, and a gift shop where visitors can learn more about the fort's history and purchase souvenirs.


Additionally, guided tours and events may be offered throughout the year, providing opportunities for visitors to delve deeper into the fort's fascinating past. Restroom facilities and refreshments may also be available on-site, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable visit for all.


Places to stay near Fort Amherst Heritage Trust



Image of Fort Amherst Heritage Trust in Kent


7) Abbot’s Cliff Sound Mirror


We would definitely recommend seeing this cool 100 year old technology. This is one of the best preserved examples and the most easily accessible. The views are worth a visit alone, but be prepared for some wind!


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Abbot’s Cliff Sound Mirror


1) What is the Abbot’s Cliff Sound Mirror?

The Abbot’s Cliff Sound Mirror is a remarkable historic structure located near Folkestone in Kent, England. Constructed during World War I as an early warning system to detect enemy aircraft, this unique monument is one of the few remaining examples of its kind in the UK.


The sound mirror consists of a concave concrete dish, designed to amplify and reflect sound waves, enabling observers to detect the approach of enemy aircraft before the advent of radar technology. Today, it stands as a poignant reminder of the ingenuity and innovation of wartime defense strategies.


2) How can I access the Abbot’s Cliff Sound Mirror?

Accessing the Abbot’s Cliff Sound Mirror is relatively straightforward, as it is situated along the picturesque cliffs of Folkestone in Kent. Visitors can reach the site by following designated walking paths or coastal trails that offer stunning views of the English Channel and the surrounding countryside.


While there is no direct road access to the sound mirror, ample parking may be available nearby, allowing visitors to embark on a short hike to reach the monument. It's advisable to wear sturdy footwear and check local trail maps for the best route to the sound mirror.


3) What amenities are available at the Abbot’s Cliff Sound Mirror?

As a historic landmark located along the scenic coastline of Kent, the Abbot’s Cliff Sound Mirror offers limited amenities on-site. There are no visitor centers or restroom facilities directly at the sound mirror, so visitors should plan accordingly before embarking on their journey.


However, nearby towns such as Folkestone may offer amenities such as parking, restrooms, and refreshment options. Visitors are encouraged to bring along any necessary supplies, such as water, snacks, and appropriate outdoor gear, to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit to this fascinating historical site.


Places to stay near Abbot’s Cliff Sound Mirror




8) Madeira Walk Waterfall


The Madeira Walk Waterfall is such a relaxing place to spend some time; with a good amount of water tumbling over the main waterfall with many lesser waterfalls around it. Personally, we wouldn't make the trip especially to see this waterfall, but definitely check it out if you're in the area already.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Madeira Walk Waterfall


1) What is the Madeira Walk Waterfall?

The Madeira Walk Waterfall is a picturesque natural attraction located in the charming coastal town of Ramsgate, Kent, England. Nestled within the scenic Madeira Walk gardens, this cascading waterfall is a tranquil oasis amidst the bustling seaside promenade.


Fed by a gentle stream, the waterfall flows gracefully over rocky terrain, creating a serene and enchanting atmosphere for visitors to enjoy.


2) How can I access the Madeira Walk Waterfall?

Accessing the Madeira Walk Waterfall is easy, as it is situated within the scenic Madeira Walk gardens in Ramsgate, Kent. Visitors can reach the waterfall by following designated pathways that wind through the lush greenery of the gardens.


The waterfall is conveniently located near the town center and is within walking distance of popular attractions such as the Royal Harbour and Ramsgate Main Sands beach.


3) What amenities are available at the Madeira Walk Waterfall?

While visiting the Madeira Walk Waterfall, visitors can enjoy a range of amenities to enhance their experience. The gardens feature seating areas and picnic spots where visitors can relax and take in the tranquil surroundings.


Additionally, nearby facilities such as restrooms, cafes, and shops may be available within walking distance of the waterfall. Visitors are encouraged to explore the charming seaside town of Ramsgate and make the most of their visit to this hidden gem along the Kent coast.


Places to stay near Madeira Walk Waterfall



Image of Madeira Walk Waterfall in Kent


9) Dumpton Gap


Dumpton Gap is a beautiful sandy beach with interesting little rocks further along. It is a secluded beach located between Ramsgate and Broadstairs, so it's perfect to escape the tourists crowds heading down to Kent.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Dumpton Gap


1) What is Dumpton Gap?

Dumpton Gap is a secluded beach nestled between Broadstairs and Ramsgate on the stunning Kent coastline in England. This hidden gem offers visitors a tranquil retreat away from the bustling crowds, with its pristine sands and picturesque cliffs.


Dumpton Gap is known for its natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere, making it a favourite destination for those seeking a relaxing day by the sea.


2) How do I access Dumpton Gap?

Accessing Dumpton Gap is convenient, with various access points available along the coastal paths between Broadstairs and Ramsgate. Visitors can reach the beach by walking along the cliff-top paths or descending the steps leading down to the shore. Parking facilities may be available nearby, allowing easy access for those arriving by car.


Additionally, public transportation options such as buses and trains serve the area, providing accessibility for visitors traveling from further afield.


3) What amenities are available at Dumpton Gap?

While Dumpton Gap is renowned for its natural beauty and tranquility, amenities on the beach itself are limited. Visitors can enjoy the unspoiled surroundings and stunning views of the coastline, but should come prepared with their own supplies such as food, water, and beach essentials.


Nearby towns such as Broadstairs and Ramsgate offer a range of facilities including cafes, restaurants, and shops, where visitors can find refreshments and other amenities before or after their visit to Dumpton Gap.


Places to stay near Dumpton Gap



Image of Dumpton Gap in Kent

10) Walpole Tidal Pool


The Walpole Tidal Pool was built in 1937 and is the perfect place for people to swim without interference with the tide. It's one of the oldest and biggest tidal pools in the UK, even the water quality is amazing! It's no wonder you see so many swimmers throughout the whole year.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Walpole Tidal Pool


1) What is the Walpole Tidal Pool?

The Walpole Tidal Pool is a unique coastal feature located in the charming seaside town of Margate, Kent, England. This hidden gem is a natural rock pool that forms during low tide, offering visitors a secluded spot to swim, paddle, or explore marine life in a safe and serene environment.


Nestled along the picturesque Walpole Bay, the tidal pool is a favourite destination for locals and visitors alike seeking a tranquil escape by the sea.


2) How do I access the Walpole Tidal Pool?

Accessing the Walpole Tidal Pool is easy, as it is situated along the promenade of Margate's Walpole Bay. Visitors can reach the tidal pool by walking along the coastal path or descending the steps leading down to the shoreline.


During low tide, the pool becomes accessible for swimming and other recreational activities. Parking facilities may be available nearby, and the tidal pool is also within walking distance of Margate's town center and main attractions.


3) What amenities are available at the Walpole Tidal Pool?

While the Walpole Tidal Pool itself does not offer amenities, visitors can enjoy the natural beauty and tranquility of the surrounding area. The nearby promenade features benches and seating areas where visitors can relax and take in the scenic views of the bay.


Restrooms, cafes, and shops may be available within walking distance, providing convenience for visitors looking to spend a day by the sea. Additionally, lifeguards may be on duty during peak times to ensure the safety of swimmers and beachgoers.


Places to stay near Walpole Tidal Pool



Image of Walpole Tidal Pool in Kent

11) Epple Bay Beach


A very small bay perfect for those wanting to escape the crowds when in Kent. We recommend checking the tides before you visit and also enjoying the view from the top of the cliff. When the tide is out there are some cool rock pools to keep the kids entertained!


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Epple Bay Beach


1) What is Epple Bay Beach?

Epple Bay Beach is a scenic coastal stretch located near Birchington-on-Sea in Kent, England. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle, this hidden gem offers visitors a peaceful retreat with its golden sands, picturesque cliffs, and panoramic views of the North Sea.


Epple Bay Beach is renowned for its natural beauty and tranquil atmosphere, making it a popular destination for families, couples, and outdoor enthusiasts alike.


2) How do I access Epple Bay Beach?

Accessing Epple Bay Beach is convenient, with several access points available along the coastline. Visitors can reach the beach by walking along the coastal paths or descending the steps leading down to the shoreline.


Parking facilities may be available nearby, allowing easy access for those arriving by car. Additionally, public transportation options such as buses and trains serve the area, providing accessibility for visitors traveling from further afield.


3) Is Epple Bay Beach suitable for swimming?

Epple Bay Beach is suitable for swimming, particularly during calm weather conditions and when lifeguards are on duty. However, visitors should be aware that the beach does not have lifeguards stationed year-round, so swimming should be done with caution, especially for inexperienced swimmers or during times of strong currents.


It's advisable to check local tide and weather conditions before swimming and to adhere to any safety warnings or guidelines provided by beach authorities.


Places to stay near Epple Bay Beach



Image of Epple Bay Beach in Kent

12) Reculver Towers and Roman Fort


The imposing twin towers of the medieval church at Reculver dominate the skyline of Herne Bay, acting as a navigation marker for ships at sea. It's definitely worth a visit for an hour or so if you are in the area.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Reculver Towers and Roman Fort


1) What are Reculver Towers and Roman Fort?

Reculver Towers and Roman Fort are historical landmarks located on the northeast coast of Kent, England. This hidden gem comprises the striking twin towers of the medieval Reculver Church, built upon the remains of a Roman fort dating back to the 3rd century AD.


The site offers visitors a fascinating insight into the region's rich history, boasting panoramic views of the coastline and remnants of ancient Roman occupation.


2) How do I access Reculver Towers and Roman Fort?

Accessing Reculver Towers and Roman Fort is convenient, as it is situated near the village of Reculver and is easily reachable by car, bus, or on foot. The site is located along the Saxon Shore Way, a scenic long-distance footpath that traces the coastline, providing visitors with picturesque walking routes.


Parking facilities are available nearby, and designated pathways lead to the towers and fort ruins, allowing visitors to explore the site at their own pace.


3) What is the significance of Reculver Towers and Roman Fort?

Reculver Towers and Roman Fort hold significant historical importance, serving as a testament to the area's diverse past. The site was originally a Roman fort known as Regulbium, strategically positioned to defend the coastline against seaborne invaders.


Over time, the fort evolved into a Saxon settlement and later became home to the medieval Reculver Church. Today, the towers and fort ruins stand as a reminder of Kent's rich heritage, attracting history enthusiasts, archaeologists, and curious visitors keen to uncover its stories and secrets.


Places to stay near Reculver Towers and Roman Fort



Image of Reculver Towers & Roman Fort in Kent

13) Shakespeare Beach


A gorgeous secluded beach which is quiet for most of the year (and you won't see the crowds of Dover here either!). The path to get to Shakespeare Beach is quite tricky so do take care. It's a nice pebbles beach for a brief walk or even meditate.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Shakespeare Beach


1)What is Shakespeare Beach?

Shakespeare Beach is a picturesque coastal spot located near Dover in Kent, England. Nestled along the famous White Cliffs of Dover, this hidden gem offers stunning views of the English Channel and the iconic chalk cliffs.


It is named after William Shakespeare, who is believed to have referenced the White Cliffs of Dover in his play "King Lear." Shakespeare Beach is known for its natural beauty, tranquil atmosphere, and scenic walking trails along the cliff tops.


2) How do I access Shakespeare Beach?

Accessing Shakespeare Beach is convenient, with several access points available along the coastal paths near Dover. Visitors can reach the beach by walking along the cliff-top paths or descending the steps leading down to the shoreline.


Parking facilities may be available nearby, allowing easy access for those arriving by car. Additionally, public transportation options such as buses and trains serve the area, providing accessibility for visitors traveling from further afield.


3) Is Shakespeare Beach dog-friendly?

Yes, Shakespeare Beach is dog-friendly, making it a great destination for dog owners looking to enjoy a coastal stroll with their furry friends. Dogs are welcome to roam and explore the beach, but it's important to keep them under control and clean up after them to maintain the beach's pristine environment.


Please be mindful of any signage regarding dog restrictions or lead requirements, especially during peak seasons or nesting periods for wildlife. With its scenic views and open spaces, Shakespeare Beach offers the perfect setting for a leisurely walk or playtime with your canine companion.


Places to stay near Shakespeare Beach



Image of Shakespeare Beach in Kent

We hoped you enjoyed discovering the local finds and less known places which are scattered around Kent. We are confident that visiting some of these hidden gems will make your Kent trip even more memorable!


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