Leeds Castle in Kent

Hotels in Kent, England

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Kent is that south-easternmost county in Great Britain where the English Channel is at its narrowest, and consequently, where threats from continental Europe emanated. The Chatham Dockyards formed the first line of defence after England split from the French Catholic Church, and supplied 500 ships up until the Second World War. The dockyards also figured prominently in the life and works of Charles Dickens, and today you can join a tour to see where he spent his boyhood and worked before he became a literary luminary of his generation.

The same dockyards and Kent's inspiring seascapes were painted by J. M.W. Turner who grew up in Margate in East Kent. Pay tribute to Britain's most reclusive painter in the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery where the sea-facing guesthouse he frequented – and the landlady who was his mistress – once stood. You can stay in a quaint bed and breakfast in Kent England to join Turner Tours that will bring you to 10 locations where the artist set up his easel.

White Cliffs of Dover

The more aesthetically compelling White Cliffs of Dover, part of the larger Kent Downs which are cliffs of chalk and designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, also functioned as a deterrent from invasions and, after the war, is the last view of Britain for those making the 75-minute crossing into the port of Calais. If you can’t fit a jaunt to France into your itinerary, book a room in one of the hotels in Kent England and lace up your boots instead and explore the coastal trails. The National Trust designated it one of the 10 best in the country.

The Garden of England

After the dust of WWII settled, Kent was more known as the Garden of England, thanks to its rolling farmlands and orchards that produce, among others, hops and grapes. Follow the Kent wine trail to the combined 45-acre Biddenden and Tenterden vineyards producing Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Bacchus, and 400-year-old breweries and oast houses (hop kilns) of Faversham which are the oldest in Great Britain.

Canterbury, Kent

Kent was also the subject, home, or place of exile of some of the greatest names in English literature and history. The author of Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer, moved to Kent to escape possible execution in London and eventually became the Justice of the Peace for Kent. The county named one of the colleges at the University of Kent in Canterbury after him.

As a university town busy welcoming tourists who come to see the UNESCO-listed and 14-centuries-old St. Augustine’s Abbey, Canterbury has a wide assortment of short- and long-term accommodation in Kent England which you can use as a base to explore the dramatic coasts of Whitstable and Herne Bay, and the more immediate attractions of the cathedral, the museum and the castle that have all seen history unfold from the time of the Romans to the rule of the Normans, the entry and establishment of Christianity in England, and the burial of two monarchs.