5 English Heritage locations to visit in Kent
24th September 2021
English Heritage was founded in 1983 and protects over 400 historic monuments, castles and grand homes that would otherwise be neglected and left to decay. Kent is home to some of the best historic landmarks and attractions in the country and is a real treasure trove of locations waiting to be explored.
A staycation or a visit to Kent will allow you to see some of the English Heritage’s oldest and best-preserved locations including Roman ruins, castles with over 2,000 years of history and elegant Tudor houses. Keep reading to find out more about these amazing locations, accessibility information and much more, all the information you could need for a stress-free day out.
5 English Heritage locations to visit in Kent:
- Dover Castle
- Reculver Towers And Roman Fort
- Walmer Castle And Gardens
- Rochester Castle
- Deal Castle
Dover Castle is one of the most famous castles in England and has over 2,000 years of gruesome, dark and deadly history that is just waiting to be uncovered. The castle is also known as the historic palace of Henry II and for being a grand dwelling with vibrant furnishings, colourful staterooms and banqueting halls. Fast forward in its history and find out how it played a vital role in the campaign to win both world wars and the damage that was inflicted upon it as a consequence.
Janis and Gary from the blog Our World For You love visiting historic locations around Kent and think Dover Castle is a great option for people of all ages: “We love digging further into British history and the English Heritage sites in Kent have some fascinating tales to tell. Dover Castle sitting high above the White Cliffs is magnificent to explore from King Henry II’s imposing medieval palace to the secret wartime tunnels used during Operation Dynamo. These historic castles are incredibly captivating and a joy to visit.”
Dover Castle has plenty to explore including The Great Tower, WW1 Fire Command Post, the secret wartime tunnels, The Bunker Escape Room and the medieval tunnels to name just a few. There is also food and drink establishments on site for those who need a little break between explorations. For those with limited mobility who often use aids like home stairlifts, the site is well equipped for visitors in a wheelchair or those who cannot walk long distances with accessible entrances in certain areas, accessible toilets, handrails and wheelchair loaning. To find out more about the accessibility of the site click here.
Reculver Towers And Roman Fort
Reculver Towers and Roman Fort is set on the hills of Herne Bay and English Heritage describe its history a little more: “It later became the site of an Anglo-Saxon monastery before becoming the parish church for Reculver. The tall towers were built in a remodelling of the church in the 12th century.”
Although there isn’t as much to see as some of the other sites in the area, the history of this location is unprecedented and one not to be underestimated. Much of the site has been lost to coastal erosion, but the two towers are still standing along with some of the internal walls. The site is accessible for all with flat and smooth tarmac paths up to the ruins.
Walmer Castle And Gardens
Once a Tudor artillery fortress that was turned into a grand stately home for the Lords Warden of the Cinque Ports, Walmer Castle and Gardens is a true gem in the Kent countryside. The garden is the true jewel in the crown with eight acres of award-winning gardens, the site enjoys a mix of formal and informal gardens that won the Kent Tourism Awards in 2019, a true testament to the magnificence of the site.
Walk the gardens and discover flourishing herbaceous borders, impressive, sculptured hedges, the bursting kitchen garden and the tranquil setting of the Queen Mother’s garden. With plenty of resting spots, sightseeing points and flat, accessible paths, the site also caters to those in wheelchairs and with mobility aids, however, the castle is only accessible by stairs. More Walmer Castle disability information is available via the link.
Rochester Castle was built around 1127 by William of Corbeil, Archbishop of Canterbury and was strategically placed to guard the crossing of the River Medway and is a shining beauty in the surrounding area. Janis and Gary from Our World for You also love Rochester Castle: “Heading to the heart of Kent along the River Medway you can discover the magnificent 12th-century Norman Keep at Rochester Castle.”
Jacquie from Flashpacking Family also thinks Rochester is a fantastic choice for those looking to explore the history of Kent and explained why she loves the site: “Kent has such a fantastic choice of castles to visit and one of our favourite castles in Kent is Rochester Castle. What it lacks in grandeur compared to the likes of Leeds Castle or Hever Castle, it makes up for in its fascinating history. It is one of the oldest castles in England, dating back to around 1090. It is strategically placed – guarding an important crossing of the River Medway and inevitably has seen many a fierce battle over the last 1,000 years – as evidenced by the run-down appearance of the castle. They hold events throughout the year and when visiting, we recommend climbing the keep (which is the tallest medieval structure in Europe) for fantastic views.”
Although the site has a selection of disability features including disabled parking spaces, accessible toilets and handrails, the site is at the top of a steep set of stairs, so visitors should consider this before visiting.
Deal Castle was built by the order of King Henry VIII and is known to be one of the finest Tudor artillery castles in England. The castle was built as a defensive fort on the coast at Deal and contained storerooms and tunnels below up to the circular rooms above. The unique shape allowed guards to get a 360 view of the surrounding area to allow them to keep watch for invasion from land and sea. The castle is great for the whole family with displays, children’s activities and artefacts dating back to the Tudor period, if you want to get a glimpse into Tudor life, then this is the place to come.
“A little further around the coastline are the castles at Deal and Walmer, built by order of King Henry VIII to protect England against overseas invasion,” says Janis and Gary.
Similarly, to Rochester Castle, the site does have multiple sets of stairs so those in wheelchairs should consider their visit before arriving, however, the site has accessible toilets and for those who don’t want to rise the stairs there is a pleasant walk and cycle path that links Deal and Walmer Castles along the beachfront.
If you’re visiting Kent and love all things history, then make sure you plan to visit some of these sites. Those members who are aged over 65 can get discounted joint, individual and lifetime memberships which give you free access to English Heritage sites across the country. To read more articles like these, then head to the Age UK Mobility news page for similar blog posts.
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.