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The 2019 Muddy Stilettos Awards

24th April - 22nd May 2019

They're back! Find out more

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Reader Treats Just For You!

FRI 22 – SUN 24 & FRI 29 – SUN 31 DEC 2017

FRI 22 – SUN 24 & FRI 29 – SUN 31 DEC 2017

The History Of Christmas Carols, Hever Castle, now – 24 Dec

You’ve sung them in church, at school, or with friends and family and you know all of their words by heart, but do you know the stories behind some of the best-known Christmas carols? Walk through the rooms of the Castle adorned with beautiful decorations and welcoming log fires to learn about the history of these seasonal songs. Discover the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ trail and wander through the illuminated gardens as dusk falls. From now until December 10 (open Wed – Sun) then from December 11 – 24 (open Daily).

Peter Pan, The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, now ‐ Sun 14 Jan

Another one that will appeal just as much to your sons and daughters, Peter Pan, even stars some faces that you might well recognise too Shaun Williamson (EastEnders and Extras) and Wendi Peters (Coronation Street). And if your kids, like mine have been glued to CBBCs for years, they’ll be delighted to see children’s favourites Gemma Hunt (CBeebies’ Swashbuckle), David Ribi (Channel 5’s Milkshake) and Samantha Dorrance (CBeebies’ The Tale Of Mr Tumble). The croc is ticking so hook your tickets now! *snigger*…


Moonlight Drive-in Cinema, Hop Farm Family Park, Various Dates

Grab the blankets and recline those seats, The Moonlight Drive-In Cinema at the Hop Farm is back with some of our Christmas classic Faves including ElfLove ActuallyThe Polar ExpressHow the Grinch Stole Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life.

Aladdin, The Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, Fri 8 Dec to Wed 3 Jan

Oh yes it’s the thrilling story of a boy, a lamp and a genie. Aladdin is one of the most popular pantomimes of all and it’s a personal favourite because it’s just as good for boys as girls. (I once watched a 7-year-old boy ball his eyes out because his mum told him he had to sit through Cinderella!) With plenty of songs, jokes and excitement to keep everyone in your family happy this one looks like a fab all-rounder.

The Traditions Of Christmas, Leeds Castle, now – 24 Dec

This Christmas the magnificent Castle rooms will be beautifully displayed with glittering decorations and fragrant pine trees styled around Christmas traditions, past and present. Christmas as we celebrate it today has its origins in Victorian Britain. Visit the Queen’s Room to see the style of tree, the Royal Family would have had and find out more about the influence of Victoria and Albert on our modern festive traditions.

Santas Grotto, Royal Victoria Place, Tunbridge Wells, now – 24 Dec

Make sure your little ones experience the true magic of Christmas with a special visit to see the Big Man himself and he’s stopping in at RVP this Christmas. His ‘fireside’ Grotto is located on level 1 opposite M&S and now open every day until 4pm on Christmas Eve. There is even a photography service to capture that special moment (hopefully smiles and not tears).

Cinderella, The Orchard Theatre, Dartford, Sat 9 – Sun 31 Dec

You are invited to the biggest Royal Ball of the year as a sumptuous production of Cinderella comes to north Kent. Starring Louie Spence as Dandini, Michelle Collins as The Wicked Stepmother, Jayne Wisener as Cinderella and Phil Butler as Buttons, don’t miss this year’s unmissable Christmas treat. Packed with all of the traditional pantomime ingredients you’ve come to expect, expect laugh-out-loud comedy, stunning scenery, beautiful costumes and some very special extra guests -genuine Shetland Ponies joining in the fun!

The Hop Shop at Castle Farm now – Sat 23 Dec

Packed to the brim with thoughtful gifts, for him, her and the kids, it’s a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of delights… and with plenty of free parking. Plus, the Coffee Cart café is back with a special Christmas menu on offer – including delicious Mince Pies (handmade in Kent in small batches of course), and loads of other festive treats in store… This is a very cute little farm shop.

Festive Afternoon Tea, Port Lympne Reserve, now – 24 Dec

A festive afternoon tea is the perfect winter warmer after a morning spent walking round the reserve, including a selection of dainty sandwiches including turkey breast and winter cranberry jam, British Isle stilton with festive tomato chutney and smoked salmon with lemon infused cream cheese and chives. And have I mentioned the homemade scones with a hint of Christmas dusting or the selection of pastries, macarons, chocolate truffles and shortbread? Oh and served with a glass of mulled wine of course (or selection of teas or coffees if you must).

Find more ideas here

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Kent