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Introducing Kent

Sitting demurely in London’s backyard, Kent is justly described the garden of England. This neatly manicured landscape of lush farmland, cultivated country estates, fruitful orchards, and carefully nurtured tourist attractions seems to mirror its own glorious public gardens on a grand scale. It’s also the beer garden of England, producing the world-renowned Kent hops and some of the country’s finest ales. Here too are long coastal stretches dotted with old-fashioned beach resorts, spellbinding Canterbury crowned by its fascinating cathedral, and the port of Dover which is close enough to France to smell the garlic or hop over on a day trip to taste it.

Canterbury

With history along every lane, an old alehouse on every corner and a captivating World Heritage–listed cathedral plump in its heart, Canterbury is one of southern England’s top attractions. Its narrow medieval alleyways and precarious timber-beamed buildings are a joy to explore, as are its riverside gardens and ancient city walls. Yet Canterbury is no mere showpiece to times past, but a spirited and lively place with a large student contingent and a wide choice of contemporary bars, restaurants and arts. But book ahead for the best hotels and eateries: pilgrims may no longer flock here in their thousands but there’s a year-round flood of tourists to replace them.