5 great family days out this summer
Summer is the perfect time to get out and about with your family, and there’s no shortage of attractions in Kent. Here are some of our recommendations for a great family day out – each of which is within a few miles of Rankins Farm.
The Hop Farm
With a multitude of indoor and outdoor activities available, the Hop Farm is guaranteed to keep the whole family entertained whatever the weather. Set within the boundaries of the world’s largest oast village, it features a farm with horses, donkeys, llamas and goats, as well as outdoor pursuits such as an adventure play area and football based games.
If the weather isn’t so kind, there’s plenty in the way of indoor activities to keep you occupied. The whole family can enjoy a hoverboarding or Segway experience, watch a 4D movie or explore the magic castle with its mirror maze and host of magic tricks to try. Visitors with an interest in Kentish life can also learn about the history of hop picking and discover related artefacts in the Yesterday’s World Museum.
With its beautiful gardens and enchanted forest, Groombridge Place is great fun for all ages. The formal gardens are a joy to wander through, each boasting its own theme and ambience, and chess players will love the Giant Chessboard opposite the Knot Garden. The forest is home to a variety of wildlife such as Fallow deer and kingfishers, and has tree swings and aerial walkways for the more adventurous. Residents of the estate include peacocks, chickens, a Shetland pony and a Zedonk (half zebra, half donkey).
Budding construction workers will love Diggerland – a chance to dig up dirt, swivel round and dump it in a full sized JCB. There are various models to try, as well as a range of other digger based activities such as skittles, a search for buried treasure, or using a mini JCB to hook a plastic duck from its pond. If you’re lacking the hand-eye coordination for that, take a ride around the grounds with a marshal or try your hand at go karting. There are all sorts of activities for children depending on their height, making it a fun day out regardless of age.
Penshurst Place is hosting a range of activities for families each Sunday between 11am and 5pm over the summer. As well as regular falconry displays at the Hawking Centre, there are storybook themed crafts and a garden storytelling of Wind in the Willows in the afternoons. Bolder families can enter the Maize Maze and discover its hidden secrets. All activities are included in the entry price.
Knole Park in Sevenoaks is Kent’s only remaining medieval deer park, and home to a herd of wild deer descended from those hunted by Henry VIII. Over the summer holidays, it’s hosting Family Mondays, where children can take part in themed craft activities such as creating a musical instrument from nature, planting seeds and tracking animals. These free sessions run from 11am-3pm and are suitable for children of 5-12 years.