Information and Tourism
Kent is situated in the most south-easterly corner of Britain, although it feels as if you're not actually that far from London
. It is quite rightly known as 'The Garden of England'. Its fertile, rolling hills are just perfect for fruit-growing and hop cultivation. Kent's countryside is dotted with market gardens, orchards and distinctive hop-drying buildings known as 'oast' houses.
This is reputed to be one of the warmest parts of the UK, which has to be a boon for Kentish farmers. It is also much appreciated by tourists. The county's popularity as a holiday destination began in the 19th century. The experience isn't quite as genteel nowadays, but nevertheless, there are still plenty of lovely old-fashioned towns and beach resorts worth visiting here.
Kent has witnessed many a literary and artistic masterpiece over the years - Canterbury doesn't just have a magnificent cathedral, it also inspired Chaucer to write his 'Canterbury Tales'. The Victorian author Charles Dickens featured the Cliffe Marshes and the town of Rochester in his books, while the renowned Romantic landscape artist J. M. W. Turner also spent some of his childhood in the seaside town of Margate.
A mere 21 miles / 34 kilometres separate the coast of Kent from France
, which is why the county's ports, most notably Dover, have become so strategic in catching the cross-Channel trade. Dover is also home to the White Cliffs, which were seen as an iconic symbol during the Battle of Britain in World War Two.
In 2004, a new pretender to the cross-Channel business arrived in Kent. The Channel Tunnel links Folkestone with the French Pas-de-Calais and boasts the longest underwater section of tunnel anywhere in the world. Currently, around 17 million passengers head underground via Le Shuttle. One of the questions raised when the Channel Tunnel was built was that of borders. It was decided that this county would be given a nominal border at the halfway point.
Kent Information and Fast Facts
- Country: England
- Region: South-East England
- Population: approximately 1.7 million
- County administrative town or city: Maidstone
- Biggest town: Maidstone
- Language: English
- Area: 1,440 square miles / 3,730 square kilometres
- Depth of Channel Tunnel: 75 metres / 246 feet
- Highest temperature recorded in Kent (August 2003): 38.5°C / 101.3°F
WORLD GUIDES TO KENT
World Guide to Canterbury, England
Filled with history and incorporating plenty of 21st-century vitality, Canterbury may not be an especially large city, but is cram-packed with character. Central Canterbury is dominated by its towering cathedral, which is a good reference point.
Map of Kent