Enjoy autumn in the garden of England

British breaks: Kent


What's on


Floral arrangements inspired by Tudor paintings, tapestries and flower books will be on show at Leeds Castle (leeds- castle.com) during the Tudor Flower Festival, from 7 to 11 October. Designers, florists, flower societies and clubs will all be competing.

Cider and unusual varieties of apple can be sampled and bought at Kent Life's Apple and Cider Festival (kentlife.org.uk) on 10 and 11 October.

Apples are also the theme of another festival at Brogdale (brogdale collections.co.uk) on 17 and 18 October. There will be hundreds of varieties on display from the National Fruit Collection, with many to taste and buy.

Hever Castle (hevercastle.co.uk) celebrates the season with its Autumn Garden Weekend on 17 and 18 October. Visitors can walk through the grounds with the gardeners and discover the glorious colours of autumn around the lake, while also learning how to forage for food.

The Canterbury Festival (canterburyfestival.co.uk), from 17 to 31 October, will see 1,000 performers from around the world descend on the city. The diverse two-week programme caters for all tastes, ranging from music by Handel and Haydn in the Cathedral to comedy from Alistair McGowan on his first tour in 10 years.

Head to Ramsgate Royal Harbour on 24 October for the launch of Kent Coastal Week (thanetcoast.org.uk). Events, exhibitions and workshops will range from watching seals and viewing fresh catches to finding out which fish are safe to eat. More events will take place around the Thanet Coast, suitable for a variety of age groups, until 1 November.

See the sights

Check out Kent's wines and beers with the help of two downloadable trails from Produced in Kent ( http://www. producedinkent.co.uk/new_ foodtrails.shtml), titled Hops and Downs and Red, White and Brut.

Meet a Kent Greeter (visitkent.co.uk/greeters) for a free insight into the county from someone with genuine local knowledge. These volunteers are keen to share details about the area they love with visitors.

See the second oldest cathedral in England at Rochester (rochester cathedral.org). Entrance is free to this inspirational medieval structure in the heart of Dickens country.

Visit the closest airfield to the enemy during the Battle of Britain. The Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum at RAF Manston (spitfirememorial.org.uk) is now home to original examples of the two fighter aircraft.

Spend the day at Bewl Water in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (bewl.co.uk). The largest expanse of inland water in the South-east has lots of activities on land and water.

Take to two wheels in the Bedgebury National Pinetum and forest (bedgebury pinetum.org.uk), just south of Tunbridge Wells. You can hire a bike and take off along specially marked cycle routes – plus there's a play trail for younger visitors, too.

Further information

For more ideas or accommodation suggestions, go to visitkent.co.uk.

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