TOP EXPERIENCE GIFTS
‘Tis the season for celebration, goodwill to all mankind… and a dose of frantic Christmas shopping.
This month, insideKENT has teamed up with Visit Kent to bring you a list of our top gift experiences around Kent that should help to take the hassle out of present buying this festive season. Move out of the way Mr Clause…
SURPRISE, EXCITE AND EXPERIENCE GO APE THIS CHRISTMAS
Lose yourself in an interactive Go Ape experience with the new Go Ape app and virtual reality headset. Using 360-degree live action footage, Go Ape has created an authentic adventure tackling wobbly crossings, zip wires and the infamous Tarzan swings – Forest Segways and Tree Top Junior are both included as well. Give loved ones a taste of the adventure that’s to come and leave them ready to embrace the great outdoors at Go Ape.
Price: Start from £33 per adult
INDULGE IN AN OVERNIGHT STAY & 4 COURSE TASTER MENU AT THE MARQUIS AT ALKHAM
Book a stay in a beautifully decorated double room, boasting all the luxuries of a 5-star, gold-awarded getaway. Your experience includes a delicious 4-course set ‘Kentish Tasting Menu’, as well as a 1/2 bottle of house wine. In the morning you’ll be treated to a delicious full breakfast, created using the finest local ingredients.
Price: Gift vouchers from £159
AFTERNOON TEA FOR TWO AT ROWHILL GRANGE
A gift as magical as the one you love! Enjoy the most English of traditions with a home-baked Afternoon Tea for two in this luxurious 19th-century manor house. Indulge in finger sandwiches, scones, patisserie, tea, coffee and of course, clotted cream and preserves. Afternoon Tea can be enjoyed by an open fire in one of the Grange’s intimate lounges, or in the summer season (if the weather permits), can be enjoyed al fresco on the hotel terrace.
Price: From £41.90
GIVE A WESTERHAM BREWERY GIFT EXPERIENCE THIS CHRISTMAS
A ‘Brewer for a Day’ experience at the new state-of-the-art award-winning Westerham Brewery is the perfect gift for beer lovers and those with an interest in brewing. Join the team at Westerham for a full day’s brewing, from mashing-in at the start to cooling-in and pitching the yeast at the end.
Price: £99 per person (maximum 2 people on any one day)
PRIVATE GUIDED TOUR AT BIDDENDEN VINEYARDS
A Christmas gift to tickle the taste buds! Book a private tour of Biddenden’s famous vineyards where your tour guide will escort you round the vineyard and winery explaining the full processes and any specific areas of interest you may have, followed by tastings in the vineyard shop!
Price: Dependant on number of people (from 2 people at £33pp to 14 people at £11pp)
ADOPT AN ANIMAL AT KENT LIFE
Adopt an animal at Kent Life Heritage Farm Park for a loved one this festive season. Your gift will help keep one of the animals fed, watered, clean, well-housed and happy for one calendar year. The lucky gift recipient will receive a ready-to-frame photo of their furry friend, along with a certificate, fact sheet and a complimentary ticket so they can visit their animal. Choose from playful alpacas, cheeky donkeys, goats (including floppy-eared Nubians!), horses and ponies, or a friendly, fluffy sheep.
Price: £20 for a year
Purchase: To adopt an animal, call 01622 763936; for details of animals that can be adopted visit www.kentlife.org.uk
A RIGHT ROYAL GIFT AT CHIDDINGSTONE CASTLE
What better gift than a personalised voucher to visit historic Chiddingstone Castle and perhaps a traditional English Afternoon Tea too? Give the gift of a trip to Chiddingstone Castle – a stately home and an accredited museum, which houses some of the UK’s most important Ancient Egyptian and Japanese collections.
Cost: Gift vouchers are available for Admission to the Castle (£9.50 per person); Cream Tea in the Tea Room (£6.50 per person); Full Afternoon Tea in the Tea Room (£15.50 per person); Admission with Full Afternoon Tea (£24 per person) and Admission with Cream Tea (£15 per person).
MAGIC IN MARGATE AT DREAMLAND
Give the gift that keeps on giving this yuletide with a Dreamland Annual Membership. From only £25, and with peak (Cherry on Top) and off-peak (Sprinkles) options, Amusement park membership enables guests to ride unlimited, whilst the NEW Octopus’s Garden and Roller Disco memberships give unlimited access to those areas. All members get priority booking and discounts off a range of events as well as discounts off food, drinks, and the Dreamland Shop. *T&Cs apply.
Cost: From £25
Purchase: www.dreamland.co.uk/membership or at the Dreamland Membership lounge
YULETIDE BREWERY TOUR
Discover the secrets of Britain’s oldest brewer with an award-winning guided tour around the Faversham Brewery site throughout December. See brewing and fermentation vessels; taste natural mineral water from the brewery’s well; try some malted barley and smell locally grown Kentish hops. The 80-minute tour includes a visit to the Old Brewery Store and ends in the Visitor Centre with a tutored tasting of Shepherd Neame’s Kentish ales. Warm, homemade mince pies will be served in the Visitor Centre bar, and visitors can visit the Brewery Shop to browse a selection of fantastic Christmas gift ideas. (NB: Due to the industrial nature of the brewery visitors younger than 12 years of age are unable to join the tours.)
Price: £13.75 per person
ANIMAL ADOPTION AT WILDWOOD
Show you care by gifting an exclusive animal adoption pack. Fantastic gifts for any animal lover! For a limited period Wildwood are offering Wolf, Bear, Arctic Fox or Reindeer adoptions to suit all occasions and budgets. Your pledges will go towards the welfare of our animals and educating future generations to appreciate our natural world. Adoption packs include original photography, a one-day entrance ticket to visit your chosen animal and a hand-written enclosure plaque.
Purchase: in the Park Shop, by Telephone or Online at www.wildwoodtrust.org/adoptionspostal.html
TREAT LOVED ONES THIS FESTIVE SEASON WITH A CRAFT SPIRIT DISTILLERY EXPERIENCE
In search of the perfect gift for gin or vodka lovers? Then why not book a tour of The Copper Rivet Distillery? You’ll get to explore Pumphouse No. 5, a beautiful Victorian building overlooking the River Medway and Upnor Castle, and one of the few places in England you can experience the entire distillation process from grain to glass. The tour ends with a tasting of crafted spirits, and following this you can also enjoy a perfect serve or two of Copper Rivet’s signature Dockyard Gin and Tonic in the visitor centre.
Cost: £12 per person
A SPECIAL EXPERIENCE WITH STRICTLY’S ANTON AND ERIN
Give somebody the gift dance with Anton and Erin at the Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel this Christmas. You can learn to dance with the Strictly star professionals or just come along in the evening to see a star ballroom performance, along with a Q&A session. Tickets are limited.
a.) A 50-minute dance workshop with Anton & Erin, a Gala 4-course dinner, performance from Anton & Erin + Bed & Breakfast for £199pp.
b.) A Gala 4-course dinner, performance from Anton & Erin + B&B for £159pp.
FALCONRY EXPERIENCE AT LEEDS CASTLE
Know someone with a fascination with owls or interested in the history of hawking? This Bird of Prey Experience enables you to fly a wide range of birds from Leeds Castle’s smallest to largest. The experience includes a behind the scenes tour and the chance to fly the birds to your own glove across the estate. Enjoy access to the Castle and grounds once you have finished your experience.
Price: A half day costs £70 and a full day (including lunch) costs £135 for participants. Spectator vouchers cost £30 for a half day and £45 for a full day.