South East News

Make the Most of 2020 in Kent

Calling all the Outdoor Champions, the History Heroes, the Memory Makers, the Story Sharers and the Taste Makers, this is your year. Trust us, 2020 (or #KentyTwenty as we’re so fondly dubbing it…) is going to be a big one.

Our glorious county has got a lot to share with you this year, from the arrival of The 149th Open (now we’ve got your attention) and the 100th birthday of the Scenic Railway at Dreamland, to the 850th anniversary of Thomas Becket’s murder in Canterbury Cathedral and 150 years since the death of the iconic author Charles Dickens.


We at Visit Kent would hate for you to miss out on a minute of the excitement, so we’ve done all the hard work for you and rounded up the very best things to look forward to across the Garden of England this year. Grab a drink and start reading – you’ve got exciting plans to make…



We may have mentioned it once or twice before but the 149th Open is coming to Royal St George’s this July, so are you ready to take a swing at some of our esteemed courses? What with this, the Junior Championship and the Senior Amateur Championship arriving to our greens, all you golfers had better start packing up your clubs. Or, for those who prefer a cricket bat to a golfing club, why not celebrate 150 years of Kent County Cricket Club with a packed program of matches, special events and concerts? And, if your idea of the great outdoors is more scintillating scents and gorgeous gardens, you’ll find plenty of floral festivals to look forward to, from the wonderful Leeds Castle Festival of Flowers, to the Snowdrop Festival at Hever Castle. Ready for fresh air and a taste of the Kent countryside?



Kent is renowned for its history – its many castles and fortresses guarding the gateway to the country for centuries. But this year is the year to visit. You’ve probably heard of the murder of Thomas Becket, but did you know this year marks 850 years since his death in Canterbury Cathedral? Kent has stood on the frontline of England since the beginning of time and our military history is second to none. With this year marking the anniversary of both Dunkirk and The Battle of Britain, it’s safe to say there will be many commemorations of Kent’s important role in both campaigns, so don’t miss out.



Families, this one is for you! 100 years ago, the iconic Scenic Railway first arrived in Margate and Dreamland was born! There may have been many rides since, but this vintage favourite still stands, so we reckon it’s time you packed up the family, from the little ones to the grandparents, and made the pilgrimage back to the land of dreams. Plus, with heaps of festivals going on this year, including The Kent County Show and Dickensian Christmas, you might want to stick around and discover a few more family favourites.



Our little corner of the UK can be found throughout some of the world’s greatest works of art and literature, and (if we do say so ourselves) with our beautiful landscapes and fascinating history, it’s not very hard to see why. One of Kent’s biggest fans, Charles Dickens, died 150 years ago, so this year we’ll celebrate his life the only way we know how - with two festivals and a five-day celebration in his honour. But it doesn’t end there, as the county gets an artistic makeover, with the Folkestone Triennial, Estuary 2020 and your last chance to see The Turner Prize exhibition in Margate.



You didn’t think we’d forgotten our foodie roots, did you? We are famous for our oysters, fresh fruit and veg, hops and wine around here, so it’s time to raise a glass and start celebrating! From the great Faversham Hop Festival, to the Wine Garden of England’s celebration of our vineyards, and tours of the newly opened Curious Brewery in Ashford, there is plenty going on in Kent to raise a toast to in 2020.


For further information inspiration on things to do in Kent this year, head to