The name Kent derives from the ancient Celtic tribe who inhabited South East England from the Thames to the south coast. ... Julius Caesar wrote in his account of his military campaigns in northern Europe, Gallic Wars, that the people of Cantium were the most civilized of the Celtic tribes.
Kent's largest river is the Medway which divides the county vaguely east and west. Its source is in the High Weald Sussex. Its mouth flows in to the Thames estuary. Hasted wrote in his encyclopaedic work The Historical & Topographical Survey of Kent that the ancient Britons called the Medway Vaga (travel) to which the Saxons prefixed Med (middle). If you are born on the east side of the Medway you may call yourself a Man of Kent If you were born to the west a Kentish Man. The female equivalent being Maids of Kent or Kentish Maids. When the Men and Maids terms first came in to use is uncertain. Some say its from the invasion of Angles, Saxons and Jutes who called Canterbury Cantawarburgh. The Anglo Saxons occupied West Kent whilst the Jutes, settled East of the Medway.
The emblem of Kent and also of Kent Family History Society, traditionally it is shown on a red background. In 2017, as part of a rebranding exercise, Kent FHS reverted to this traditional style. The horse is affectionately named after his Latin motto Invicta meaning unconquered. A reminder that Kent was not conquered at Hastings on 14 October 1066.
After the 1972 reorganisation of English counties Canterbury came under County administration. Kent County Council then administered almost the entire county. However, the united county was to last less than thirty years as in 1998 the Unitary Authority of Medway was formed from Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham and Strood and the county was once again split in two.
The county is roughly triangular in shape, covering the south east corner of England. The chalk ridge of the North Downs runs centrally, east to west across the county, reaching over 800 feet in places. South of the downs runs a parallel ridge called the Ragstone Ridge. The Vale of Kent, a rich lowland to the south of the county, forms part of the Kent Weald. To the east lies the majestic city of Canterbury, home of the Anglican Church of England.
Kent is blessed with a spectacular coastline. Just along the south coast stands the famous and iconic White Cliffs of Dover, which run from Kingsdown to Folkestone, a well known symbol of Britain. To the south west is a wide expanse of low-lying marsh called Romney Marsh, where the shingly promontory of Dungeness extends southwards into the English Channel.
Kent is the oldest recorded name in Britain still in use. First recorded in 55 BC by Greek and Roman writers, who referred to Kent as 'Kention', calling its inhabitants the 'Cantii'. Its origin is not clear, but the Celtic root 'canto' means an edge or rim, which probably refers to the fact that the county is on the south east 'rim' or 'edge' of England.
Kent is known internationally as the 'Garden of England' and it is a reputation that has been earned from its gently undulating hills, its rich hedgerows creating a patchwork of fields, flowery meadows and abundant orchards. Famed for its hops with the oast houses once used to dry them, it still supplies both large and micro-breweries throughout the county and there is now also a huge growth in vineyards particularly in the central region of the county. This is testament to the warmer weather in the South East.
The North Kent coast from Whitstable round to Ramsgate, Margate and Broadstairs offers a real vintage feel to a seaside holiday. Deck chairs, expansive promenades lined with gift shops and seafood stalls hark back to the 50's. This stretch of the coast is currently going through a revival with Michelin starred restaurants, gastro pubs and chic cafes popping up. Further south, you will find medieval Sandwich then Deal and onto Dover and this is the gateway to Europe, where the White Cliffs and magnificent Dover Castle are certainly worth a visit. Heading inland, enjoy the café culture, shopping and abundant history in the City of Canterbury. Why not take a punt down the river Stour or go underground to the fascinating Roman museum - there really is something for everyone.
Kent is a haven of breathtaking English landscape, hence the name 'The Garden of England.' From mysterious marshland to the dramatic white cliffs of Dover, from sleepy villages and bustling seaside resorts to historic castles and towering cathedrals, there's no shortage of things to do in Kent.
Places to visit in Kent.
Visitors regularly take short breaks in Kent to wallow in the famous towns like Canterbury and Rochester and to explore the green rolling hills, wooded valleys and far-reaching landscapes. Whether on foot, bicycle, road or horseback, you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to a summer picnic spot or a crisp autumn stroll.
Kent's coastline is a beautiful place to visit all year round and the area of Thanet comprising Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs regularly boasts the most blue flag beaches in the UK. Find out more about the towns and villages that make up the Garden of England using our interactive map of Kent.
Many of Kent's tourist attractions are open all year round so find something to do today with activities listings each showing a map and opening times for your convenience. Seasonal events in Kent take place all year round so whatever weekend you're visiting, there's bound to be a fun day out to be had near you.
Those who prefer their meals brought to them are always keen to try out a great country pub, where one of Kent's most famous assets, the local wine, can be sampled. For a more active way to unwind Kent's blue flag beaches offer ample opportunities to take part in the water sports, and for those who are looking to dive deeper into Kent, there are plenty of accommodation options for somewhere to stay if you 'd like to experience more than a day.