Kent Indoor Attractions
It’s raining, it’s pouring, but that does not mean it has to be boring – not in Kent, anyway! Even the beautiful Garden of England benefits from a drop (or shower) of rain every now and then to keep it looking so lovely, so we really shouldn’t mind too much. And as for the cold, well, layers are one of the answers if you really must go into the great outdoors.
If you really have to that is, because of course, you don’t have to! Even if you can’t stand another moment staring at the same four walls, you don’t actually have to venture outside to have fun; even if the kids are fighting or eating everything in sight because – yes, the dreaded words – they’re bored.
That’s because we’re so very lucky here in Kent to have a plethora of amazing indoor attractions to visit all year round which, when it comes to autumn, is very handy indeed. insideKENT have rounded up just a few of these excellent indoor attractions, so you’ve always got something up your sleeve on even the dullest of days.
Trampolining is having a huge moment currently, and that trend for jumping up and down doesn’t seem as though it’s going to be abating any time soon. So, why not keep up with what’s hot and head over to Flip Out in Chatham? The main trampoline park is ideal for anyone aged five and over, and is a series of interconnected, wall-to-wall trampolines. There is a toddler area for the teeny tinies, two free running sections that will really work some energy off, a foam pit and more besides. Once you’ve finished flipping, you can enjoy a tasty treat from the onsite café where you will find fantastic views across the water.
The weather is not an issue when you’re underground, which is why a trip to the Chislehurst Caves is such a good idea when the sun decides not to shine. The caves are 22 miles of connected underground passageways, 30 metres below the ground. Tours are available from Wednesday to Sunday each week, and there is a café and gift shop available as well as ample free parking. The caves were first opened to the public in 1900, and have a lot of history to them, including the fact that they became the largest World War II air raid shelter outside of London.
Hornby Visitor Centre
What else to do on a dull, cold, possibly wet day than get the train set out and have some fun with it? The only way to better this idea is to head off to Hornby headquarters in Margate where you can explore the origins of the household name, learn how the toys are made, and of course play with them for hours if you so wish! Ideal for the young and the young at heart, at the Hornby Visitor Centre you can enjoy products from Hornby, Scalextric, Airfix, Humbol and Corgi. Some of the toys on show are rarities, so this might be your only chance to see them.
The Canterbury Tales
This year marks the 30th birthday of Canterbury Tales interactive tour, which has been around since 1987 – if it was fun back then, the recent upgrade and refurbishment has made it exceptional. Journey through Chaucer’s England as you begin in the Tabard Inn in London and decide to join in with the pilgrims heading to Canterbury. Hear their stories – some funny, some sad, all fascinating – and learn about what life for them was really like. With a headset that allows you to listen in on these stories, you can really immerse yourself in the Medieval world. Here’s an interesting piece of trivia too – the Canterbury Tales is the second oldest attraction in Canterbury…the only one to beat it is the cathedral!
Dover Museum and its Bronze Age Boat Gallery is a great place to spend some time on a rainy day in Kent – or any other day, come to that. Free entry is always a bonus, but when there is as much to explore as there is at this locally themed museum it’s made even better. Situated right in the town centre, Dover Museum showcases the story and the history of Dover. Within the museum is the renowned and fascinating Bronze Age Boat Gallery, which relates back to the discovery of a Bronze Age boat in 1992 and explains why it was and still is such an important find.
Clip ‘n’ Climb
Clip ‘n’ Climb is where climbing meets theme park and is ideal for those who love to be active even when the rain is threatening, or indeed, falling! The different climbing walls and games are suitable for ages four and up, so the whole family can join in if they want to. If not, there is plenty of opportunity to sit and watch the more athletic or adventurous family members do their thing. There is no experience necessary, so if you’ve never climbed before it’s no problem – you will receive all training and all safety equipment. With climbing walls such as Stairway to Heaven, Lightning Crack and Spaghetti Junction to have fun with, this is a day out with a difference. There’s a great café there too, making it even easier to stay for longer!
Lullingstone Roman Villa
There are some truly amazing Roman villas left in the UK, but this one in Kent is one of the best and most well preserved. The build of this particular villa began in about 100 AD, but it was extended and rebuilt over the centuries until it became one of the most luxurious homes in the area in the 4th century. Today, you can see the gorgeous mosaics, prints, and rare wall paintings. There are lots of Roman artefacts to be found on this site in the stunning Darent Valley including two human skeletons and rare paintings. Children can dress up in traditional Roman costumes and take part in seasonal activities too.
The Huguenot Museum is the perfect place to visit for those who want to understand more about the history of Britain or, more specifically, the history of Britain’s first refugees. Learn about the persecution of the Huguenots in France, and why – and how – they travelled to Britain to escape the terrors of their homeland; there is an interesting and thought-provoking link to the refugees of today too.