Kent, the so-called Garden of England and one of the home counties in the south-east of England. Kent borders London and has an important maritime history due its Channel coastline. Kent is called the Garden of England because of its abundance of fruit growing orchards and hop gardens, a heritage which has dictated the shape and development of the county over the centuries and which is still very much in evidence today.
Kent is a landscape of rolling green hills and tranquil meadows with pretty villages and historic houses, and the iconic and unusually-shaped oast houses which were used to dry the hops before making beer. Kent is a beautiful destination for a country wedding with numerous venues of all styles and sizes plus the convenience and ease of access offered by its proximity to both London and the coast.
Dotted with pretty country estates, the aspiring rural bride can choose from stately homes, grand castles, manor houses, mills, barn conversions and hop gardens to say their vows. For something a little more unusual, Kent does not disappoint with a wildlife park, an iconic Victorian amusement arcade, a contemporary art gallery and even an historic Napoleonic fort amongst the county’s niche offerings.
Kent has a spectacular coastline with amazing views across the English Channel and is also home to the famous White Cliffs of Dover. Brides looking for a wedding with a nautical flavour or even just a seaside view will be spoilt for choice. Pick one of Kent’s popular coastal towns as your backdrop including Whitstable which has a young and trendy vibe or Herne Bay with its rows of multi-coloured beach huts or the traditional bucket and spade location of Margate and its iconic amusement park, Dreamland, and yes, you can even get married there. For a classic, historical setting, Chatham is unbeatable with an ancient maritime tradition and some stunning Georgian architecture and fabulous photo opportunities in the historic Royal Dockyard.
With a history of fruit and hop growing, it is no wonder that fruit juice and wine are easy candidates for the reception menu with a variety of local orchards and vineyards offering a selection of craft beers, ales, ciders and wine. Local seafood is also readily available from coastal towns like Whitstable famous for its oysters so why not cut down on food miles and source delicious local fare for your guests and make the most of what Kent has to offer.
Kent is ideally located for both central London and the Continent. The port of Dover offers ferry crossings to Calais and Dunkirk or you can hop on the Eurostar at Folkestone. Kent is just under forty miles from central London and the M25 London Orbital motorway runs along the northern edge of the county providing excellent road links around the capital and to other parts of the UK. There are numerous train services running from both London Victoria and St Pancras to different parts of Kent which is a popular home for London commuters so rail travellers are well catered for.