10 great Christmas things to do in Kent in 2023

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Christmas is such a special time of year. It’s so nice to take some time and do something special over the festive period. A Christmas market is nice, but there’s more that you can do to entertain yourself and your family over the season. Here are 10 great Christmas things to do in Kent in 2023.

Go back in time at Chartwell and Quebec House

Chartwell and Quebec House are two great National Trust properties both in Westerham in Kent.

At Quebec House in Westerham from 25 November to 17 December, the house will be decorated in a Georgian Christmas style. Go back in time to see what Christmas was like during the Georgian era. Find out more here.

Chartwell, the former residence of Winston Churchill is really pulling the stops out this Christmas. Each room will be decorated individually to replicate a children’s story book. A magical fairy-tale. Find out more here.

Afterwards, why not head to Squerrys Vineyard in Westerham for some Christmas bubbles. Find out more here.

Get active with a Santa run or a cold water dip

There are some wonderful active Christmas things to do in Kent in 2023. Here are a few ideas to whet your whistle.

1/ A SANTA RUN – Join a charity Santa Run in Herne Bay on the 10th December. There are a few distances to choose from, so you don’t have to be a pro-swimmer. Details here.

2/ A COLD WATER DIP – Ah the famous Boxing Day Dip. A chance to take a cold water swim in Kent over Christmas in Folkestone. Find out more here.

3/ CANOEING ON BOXING – Canoe Wild in Canterbury offers a social Boxing Day or New Years Day paddle. Details here.

Check for local events in your area.

Christmas lights trails in Kent

A winter light display is one of the great Christmas things to do in Kent. When it comes to winter light displays in Kent, Bedgebury is a hard act to follow. From 17 Nov to 31 Dec the forest lights up to become a magical winter wonderland.

Another option is Hever Castle, which also offers a magical winter light display that has become increasingly popular. It also runs until the 18 January, so if you want to do something festive in the new year, this is the one for you.

Visit Santa’s Grotto in Kent

One of the best Christmas things to do in Kent this year is to visit Santa, especially if you have children.

Two great options to visit Santa this year are Hever Castle, which you could combine with a visit to the winter lights too. Another is the Museum of Kent Life, in Maidstone, which promises a festive extravaganza. Canterbury Christmas market also has a grotto that you can even take your dog to!

Buy a Christmas Tree in Kent

Going out to select a pine tree to decorate your Christmas tree is such a wonderful winter pleasure. Thankfully, it is one of the great Christmas things to do in Kent that is easy to do. There are plenty of places to choose from in the Garden of England. Kingswood Christmast Tees in Maidstone is popular, as is Kent Christmas Trees in Chartham.

Visit a Christmas market in Kent

I know it’s a cliche, but the Christmas season feels much more complete with a visit to a Christmas market. The warmth of mulled wine is a treat when it’s cold outside. Lucky for visitors to Kent or residents, there are so many great Christmas markets in the country.

Here are three of the best Christmas things to do in Kent in 2023.

Canterbury Christmas Market

Canterbury is a chocolate box city, a favorite of mine to visit especially in the winter. At Christmas, the streets come alive with the market. You can take a visit to Santa’s Grotto (you can even take your beloved pooch to visit Santa) and browse the many stalls.

Look out for food and drinks stalls like Canterbury Brewers, selling local beer and that Bratwurst Haus. There’s live music sometimes too.

DATES: 10th November to 24 December 2023.

WHERE: Whitefriars Shopping Centre, CT1 2TF

FIND OUT MORE: On the official website here.

Rochester Christmas Market

The Rochester Christmas Market is particularly magical as it is set in the castle grounds. Amidst the mystical atmosphere you can find the usual gift stalls and food and drink stands too.

Kids will particularly like the Christmas Village (but do note an extra charge to enter.)

DATES: 25 November to 10 December 2023

WHERE: Rochester Castle Gardens, Castle Hill, Rochester ME1 1SW

FIND OUT MORE: On the official website here

Faversham Christmas Market

You have to get in quick to attend the Faversham Christmas Market, it is only on for one weekend of the year. We’ve included this on the list of best Christmas markets in Southern England, because Faversham is a beautiful medieval town which looks even more delightful under the twinkle of Christmas lights.

Make a day of it and stop by Posillipo, an Italian foodie hideaway, for lunch and head to Vino Faversham to buy some wine for the festive period.

DATES: 9 and 10 December 2023

WHERE: Faversham Market Place, Faversham, Kent ME13 7AG

FIND OUT MORE: On the official Faversham Christmas Market.

Wine tasting in Kent

For the grown ups, an English wine tasting in Kent is an ideal way to spend a festive afternoon. And one of the best Christmas things to do in Kent this year.

Hush Heath by Balfour is one of our most treasured wineries in Kent, we are regular visitors when in the UK. Hush Heath offers wine flights to taste and they sell bottles, perfect for Christmas stocking fillers. On the 23 November, they will be hosting a Christmas shopping evening. Register your attendance here.

There are many great vineyards in Kent – you can find our guide to English wine tasting in Kent here.

Make a Christmas wreath

Making a Christmas wreath is a really wonderful way to spend a few hours over Christmas. Not only will you take home a lovely decoration, but you will also learn a new skill.

Two of our favourite florists in Kent offer wreath making classes (details below). There are lots of others around Kent too – but get in quick, these workshops tend to fill up quick.



Find a cosy Christmas pub in Kent

Kent is full of cosy pubs at the best of times, at Christmas, they are even more inviting. One of our favourite things to do during the winter season is to head out on a welly walk and end at a pub for a pint or two with friends.

Here are five of our favourite Christmas pubs in Kent:






Brave the weather with a seaside walk

Why not blow the cobwebs away this festive season and head to the seaside for a walk? Whether you have a pooch or a paunch to exercise, the Kent (and sussex) coast is a super place to stretch your legs.

Our favourite spots in Kent (and nearby Sussex) are:


Whistable is a lovely town, but for a walk it’s best to head just a little further away to Seasalter, which tends to be quieter and gives you a bit more space to enjoy the walking. Look out for seals in the water too. To cap off your walk, you could stop by the Sportsman at Seasalter. A pub renowned for it’s food. Just make sure you book ahead.


Camber Sands is a fabulous sandy beach, complete with dunes. It’s so expansive that it is perfect for a winter welly walk. OK, it’s not quite in Kent (over the border in Sussex), but it is very close. One of our favorite places for a winter walk. After your walk, check out The Gallivant. A secret spot near to the sea serving delicious food in stylish and warm surroundings. It’s very dog friendly too.

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