The sun has been shining in White Cliffs Country this Bank Holiday and May Half Term! Get set for creative experiences, outdoor fun and historical adventures - in our characterful towns of Deal, Dover and Sandwich, along our striking coastline and in our beautiful countryside.
If you love art you’re in a for a treat. Enjoy artwork at the coast and right by the sea, with a new pop-up exhibition at St Margaret’s Bay near Dover: the Affordable Art Ark is open on Saturdays and Sundays until 19th June. This gallery and workshop space displays a collection of nature-inspired bespoke illustrations, sculptures and pottery by local artists.
Take a train ride on a heritage train through the pretty countryside of White Cliffs Country with East Kent Heritage Railway. With trains now operating on Sundays, start your journey from Shepherdswell and travel along the historic line that once served the Kent Coalfield. Explore the model railway and woodland miniature railway along with woodland walks and stop for a bite to eat at the Colonel's Cafe, or at Eythorne Tearoom inside a vintage train carriage.
Journey back in time and uncover centuries of incredible history as you explore the coastal castles of White Cliffs Country. Visit medieval Dover Castle, the Tudor artillery fortress of Deal Castle and the beautiful former Royal residence of Walmer Castle and Gardens. Set in beautiful surroundings, each has its own unique story to tell and you'll enjoy a wonderful day out as you step into the past of this fascinating destination.
©East Kent Heritage Railway
In quaint and quirky Deal, view the current exhibitions at the town’s stunning art galleries. Visit Taylor-Jones & Son’s new gallery space - their Grade 2 Listed Georgian building has a high street frontage and an underground gallery where you can explore the old wine vaults that were once the entrance to Deal's infamous smuggling tunnels. Linden Hall Studio has a revolving schedule of contemporary artists in an open space set over two floors, close to Deal’s conservation area and award-winning high street. The Seaward Gallery exhibits Penny Bearman's paintings in a community friendly, attractive setting at the heart of the "creative corner" between the seafront and Deal town centre.
Betteshanger Park near Deal has plenty of outdoor fun and family activities that everyone will enjoy this Half Term. Little ones will love the Pirate Trail, as they join Captain Sea Dog and help him find his cheeky pirate friends who are lost around Betteshanger Park. This fun family-friendly trail challenges children to find hidden clues around the park to reveal a secret pirate phrase, with a chocolate reward for successful pirate hunters! Wild One’s Forest School is Betteshanger’s holiday club for children aged from 5-11 years. Kids will love the woodland crafts, lighting fires, camp fire cooking, building dens, climbing trees and learning new outdoor skills. Betteshanger Activity Club, also taking place in Half Term, offers 9-14 year olds the chance to experience Mountain Biking, BattleZone Archery, “MyPT” fitness training, Art of Archery, Forest adventures, Geocaching and Orienteering.
©Betteshanger Park, Deal
Explore the history of medieval Sandwich at Sandwich Guildhall Museum. Now open from Wednesday to Sunday, the museum is pleased to be able to welcome visitors once more and to share its wonderful and unique collections. Discover the story of the ancient Cinque Port from as early as the Mesolithic period to the modern day and don’t miss the intact Tudor Court Room, which can be viewed whilst visiting.
©Chequers Kitchen Cookery school
And if you’d like to brush up on your culinary skills or learn how to cook something new, Chequers Kitchen Cookery School between Deal and Sandwich is holding cookery classes throughout Half Term and at the weekend. Find out how to make Thai street food, master your bread-baking skills and cook authentic Italian dishes in a beautiful kitchen venue near the sea.
Don’t forget, with hospitality having reopened in White Cliffs Country you can choose from a fantastic selection of places to stay to make the most of your time here. Choose from coastal and countryside cottages, seafront hotels and guesthouses, camping, glamping and more, with plenty of pet-friendly options. White Cliffs Country is full of great places to eat in Deal, Dover and Sandwich – visit our eat and drink pages to whet your appetite.
For more ideas and inspiration on how to fill your early June staycation with wonderful experiences at the coast and in the countryside, check out our Events guide and Things To Do pages. Start filling your calendar now!