North Kent Coast Tourist Information

Step on board HMS Cavalier (1944) at The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Step on board HMS Cavalier (1944) at The Historic Dockyard Chatham

The North Kent Coast is rich in heritage and contains the Medway towns of Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham. Discover Kent’s maritime history at the Historic Dockyard Chatham or treat children to a great fun introduction to Dickens at the ‘Dickens World’ attraction right next door to the dockyard.

Numerous heritage buildings around North Kent have links to Charles Dickens and magnificent castles and cathedrals also feature in the area, notably at ancient Medway gateway Rochester. The award-winning visitor centre at Rochester is a good starting point for gathering information and touring the area.

Rochester Castle

Rochester Castle

Real ale fans won’t want to miss a visit to the Shepherd Neame brewery in historic market town Faversham, a main centre in the Swale area, or spend a weekend away in the pretty coastal town of Whitstable famed for its annual summer oyster festival and packed with fine specialist shops, old inns and great arts centres. The actor Peter Cushing who adored Whitstable and lived here for many years has a plaque on the coast here marking the spot from which he admired his favourite view.

Herne Bay is perfect for a family seaside holiday with a long beach promenade featuring a historic bandstand, pavilion and pier. You can also pick up birdwatching and seal watching boat trips here and there is plenty of opportunities for watersports.

Walk or cycle right to the end of Herne Bay’s long and flat promenade to reach hidden gem Reculver Country Park with its eroding cliffs. Cycle routes and the cliff top Saxon Shore Way Trail are here as well as the Scheduled Ancient Monument, The Reculver Towers dating from the 12th century and adjacent remains of a Roman ‘Saxon Shore’ fort.

Cycling along Herne Bay's long promenade towards Reculver Towers

Cycling along Herne Bay’s long promenade towards Reculver Towers

To the north of Rochester sits the Hoo Peninsula, a haven for waterbirds and home to two RSPB nature reserves. To the east is the Swale and the Isle of Sheppey separated from the mainland by the Swale waters and featuring award-winning beaches around Sheerness and the RSPB’s Elmley Marshes popular with birdwatchers.

Getting Here

The Medway region of North Kent is easily reached by road from the north, south and west via motorway links the M25, A2 and M2, off at Junctions 1 to 4. From London exit the M25 onto the M26 then the M20, Junction 4 along the A228 or Junction 6 and the A229 into the area.

Dover port, Eurotunnel at Folkestone and Eurostar at Ashford are within easy driving distance, or pick up rail links from Ashford International or Ebbsfleet into the region. Stations feature in many of the large towns across North Kent including Rochester, Chatham, Sittingbourne, Faversham, Whitstable and Herne Bay. Rochester and the Medway towns are a mere 43 miles from Gatwick Airport.

Shepherd Neame brewery tours & shop in Faversham

Shepherd Neame brewery tours & shop in Faversham

Where to stay

The Medway towns and North Kent coastal towns offer a superb choice of unique guest houses and holiday cottages all at exceptional prices compared to the nearby capital. Stay in a Grade Listed old vicarage B&B or a luxury boutique guest house with a host of pamper treats. The North Kent Coast with its beaches, sailing, watersports and favourite attractions like Dickens World and Herne Bay’s cycling promenade is a great choice for a family holiday or short break.

Self-catering accommodation includes a wonderful mix of character seaside holiday homes and cottages in the Whitstable area or move slightly inland and find a selection of pretty rural cottages perfect for coast and country touring. The area is well served with a choice of quality, affordable chain hotels and around Sheppey and Seasalter near Whitstable sit some great all inclusive family holiday parks. Browse and book your North Kent Coast holiday online now with iknow.

Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.