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Free activities and days out in Kent and East Sussex

It can often get expensive taking the family out for the day so we wanted to embark on finding cheap – if not free – days out and activities in Kent and East Sussex to keep the children entertained. While searching inexpensive family friendly activities the following attractions and days out sprung to mind:

Feeding the ducks in Tunbridge WellsFree Outdoor activities for Children

Walking in the local woodlands and parks of Kent and East Sussex is a great way to keep the children entertained. You could also try some of the following activities and tips to allow them to explore more of the outdoors:

  • Take some paper and crayons out with you and try tree rubbings. Look for interesting patterns and different types of trees.
  • Collect fallen leaves and try making leaf rubbings or a collage from different coloured leaves.
  • For a more active time take a football to a local park or outdoor space and kick a ball around or play other ball games at local recreational grounds.
  • Take a bike or scooter to a local park or playground.
  • Take a kite out with you and learn to fly it in places such as Tonbridge Park.
  • Take some old bread and feed the ducks at local parks such as Dunorlan, Tonbridge Park or Haysden Country Park.

Many of the following outdoor places offer activities for free:

Broadwater warren, Tunbridge Wells ponies - walks in Kent

1. Birchden Woods / Harrison Rocks near Groombridge provides an interesting walk through woodlands with a rock climbing area on the large sandstone rock formation. There is an honesty box for use of the area.

2. Broadwater Warren, Tunbridge Wells is a free woodland countryside walk though an RSPB area.

3. Dunorlan Park, Tunbridge Wells – a free park in Tunbridge Wells that offers a chance to feed the ducks, play in the play area, enjoy picnics (in finer weather) or play ball games.

4. Mote Park, Maidstone – a 450 acre park in Maidstone offering lots of activities for children such as model boating on the large lake, walking, cycling or sporting activities.

5. Local playgrounds and parks – there are many local parks in and around Tunbridge Wells offering free outdoor play.

6. A trip to one of the Kent or East Sussex beaches can offer an exciting day out from building sandcastles, fishing, searching for sea life in rock pools, playing ball games or flying kites.

7. Canterbury Norman Castle is an ancient ruin of a castle in Britain and is free to visit.

8. Pepenbury, near Pembury, Tunbridge Wells offers a chance for children to see small animals, chickens, pigs, donkeys and goats as well as taking a woodland walk. Entrance is free although donations are always welcome.

Free indoor activities for children

For rainy days it’s often tricky to think of things to do with the kids that will keep them amused in Kent and East Sussex. However the following free activities are great when the weather is not so good.

1. Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery offers a trail for children to follow, encouraging them to discover museum objects. It also hosts a number of events - many of which are free - such as young nature hunters, drop in art sessions, and art and craft sessions in the school holidays.

2. Local libraries are excellent on rainy days with weekly sessions including story telling, music and singing sessions; or you can simply pop in to read books together.

3. RAF Spitfire & Hurricane Memorial Museum based at Manston Airport has free entry and showcases the two fine fighter aircraft amongst other memorabilia relating to the Battle of Britain.

4. Rochester Cathedral’s historical and architecturally beautiful building is free to visitors although donations are always welcome and guided tours are available for a charge as well as refreshments in the tea rooms.

Turner Centre Art Gallery, Margate

5. Many of the London Museums are free and can offer a great day out.

6. Turner Contemporary Centre Art Gallery in Margate has free entry. It also often hosts activities for families such as arts and craft sessions, which vary in price from free to a small charge depending on the session.