6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Kent Life today CLICK HERE

The Kent Life Diary

PUBLISHED: 23:45 28 September 2010 | UPDATED: 17:55 20 February 2013

The Kent Life Diary

The Kent Life Diary

All the best festivals, Hallowe'en and half-term happenings, musical and theatrical events in Kent this October

The Kent Life Diary

All the best festivals, Halloween and half-term happenings, musical and theatrical events in Kent this October

County Festivals

Canterbury Festival

16 to 30 October

Tickets: varies

Tel: 01227 787787


Boasting an international line-up, the Canterbury Festival is one of Kent's top arts festivals and will be packed with more than 200 events throughout its duration. The festivities kick off with a concert at the Cathedral courtesy of the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio, with talented solo violinist Alena Baeva appearing. A wonderful selection of theatre-related events includes Admission: One Schilling starring Patricia Routledge, a tribute to the works of Dame Myra Hess, as well as dance extravaganzas. Acclaimed jazz singer Stacey Kent will also be appearing during the festival, as will legendary keyboardist and complete space cadet Rick Wakeman. There will also be a series of free events including a Carnival Parade through the city streets.

Tonbridge Arts Festival

15 to 24 Oct

Tickets: Varies

Tel: 01732 359966

Various venues across the town

The arts are coming to Tonbridge in a big way this October, with the town's Arts Festival promising something for everyone. Events get under way with the fantastic Phil Collins tribute act No jacket Required, and the Original Bucks Fizz with Kents very own Cheryl Baker will close proceedings in style. In between, there are more than 60 events scheduled that cater for evey size of pocket (many events are free of charge) and for every taste. Throughout the festival, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to get involved in workshops covering such diverse subjects as circus skills, song writing and acting for TV. Any budding artists can also make a contribution to 'The Big Picture', which will be one big image created out of 22 panels outside of the castle. There will also be authors giving readings and poets a plenty for those of a literary disposition. And if all that wasn't enough to whet your appetite, there will also be a host of comedy improvisation, medieval music and appearances from international magician Jonanthan Shotton and artist Guy Portelli of Dragon's Den fame.

Tenterden Folk Festival

30 Sept to 3 Oct

Tickets: Varies

Web: http://www.tenterdenfolkfestival.org.uk


Two new performers have been added to the already jam-packed roster that will be appearing at this year's festival. The first, singer-songwriter George Papavgeris, may not be the archetypal proponent of English folk, having been born in Greece and was mainly interested in English and American pop, but adopted he has, and what a coup for the festival he is. The second, Vic Ellis, is, quite literally, a one-man-band; and he will be taking to the streets of Tenterden with his drums, cymbals, bells, horns, melodeon, kazoos, whistles and unforgettable dance steps. Both are guaranteed to fraw a crowd and are two very welcome additions to Tenterden's Folk Festival.

Broadstairs Food Festival

28 Sept to 3 Oct

Tickets: Contact venue



Shining the spotlight on quality Garden of England produce, this foodie event will feature more than 70 stalls selling locally caught fish, ethically raised meat, fruit and veg, preserves and jams, beers, ciders, and, my favourite, cakes. There will be special tasting sessions in restaurants, cafs and bars in the town, as well as special demonstrations and specially created festival menus.

Half-term happenings

A haunting Halloween at Hever Castle

October half-term

Tickets: Contact venue

Tel: 01732 861 700

Hever Castle, Edenbridge

Celebrate all things ghoulish and ghastly throughout the half-term break. Younger visitors to the castle can get into the spirit of Halloween by being entertained by the ethereally storyteller, the Lady from the Wildwoods, as well as create their own model ghosts to take home at the drop-in craft workshops. Families will also be encouraged to walk the Pumpkin Trail and piece together the puzzles about some of Hever's ghostly inhabitants.


25 Oct

Tickets: 5 to 22

Tel: 01892 678678

Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells

Based on a classic tale of smuggling, this wonderful example of physical theatre from Angel Exit Theatre is perfect for keeping the kiddies entertained during half-term. This inventive and innovative show features live music, an original score and an astounding collection of highly flexible, acrobatic performers.


Halloween Ghost Tours

30 October

Tickets: 15

Tel: 01732 861701

Hever Castle, Edenbridge

For one night only, those who are not spooked by weird goings-on, the rattling of chains and the presence of something not of this world can test their mettle by going on adventure to encounter some of the more unsavoury and sinister elements of Hever Castle. This is a rare opportunity to explore the castle's darker corners at night, which is certainly not an opportunity to pass up.

Halloween dining experience

30 October

Tickets: 47.50 per person

Tel: 01732 861701

Hever Castle, Edenbridge

If you feel like tackling a ghost tour on a full stomach, how about a dining experience that will be the perfect preparation for a ghostly tour? Guests are invited to dine in the magnificent surroundings of the new Guthrie Pavilion Restaurant at Hever Castle, then venture through the darkness of the moonlit gardens and the eerie surroundings of the Topiary Walk to the deserted castle gate, where a guided ghost tour will start.

Uncover the Secrets of Ancient Egyptian Mummies

25 Oct

Tickets: 4 to 19.50

Tel: 01892 870347

Chiddingstone Castle, Chiddingstone

There can be nothing more terrifying than a reanimated mummy, swathed in bandages, lurching towards you. However, if you are made of stern stuff and can shrug off that image and want a fun family day out (yes, really), make sure you go along to Chiddingstone Castle and uncover the secrets of the Ancient Egyptian Mummies at this most ghoulish time of year. The littler ones among your party can take part in the Big Draw Event as well as meet a real-life mummy. Uncover the secrets of mummification and why the Egyptians went to such great lengths to preserve their dead... if you dare.

Shepherd Neame's haunted past

30/31 Oct

Tickets: Contact venue

Tel: 01795 542016

Shepherd Neame Brewery, Faversham

Visitors to the Shepherd Neame Brewery are in for some scary surprises, as ghostly figures recount some of the strange goings-on at Britain's oldest brewer. See the very heart of 300-year-old working brewer and learn about unusual sightings of ghostly apparitions and the strange sounds and smells that staff have experienced over the years. There will be the opportunity to have a glass or two of Dutch courage in the visitors' bar before embarking on a tour, or to calm your nerves after returning. Booking in advance is essential.

Open events

Mini-Western Heights Open Weekend

23 Oct to 24 Oct

Tickets: 2.59

Tel: 01304 205108

Western Heights, Dover

Following on from the huge success of the full weekend earlier in the year, the Western Heights Preservation Society is proud to announce another mini-open event. This is the last opportunity of the year to explore the tunnels and casements of the curious construction that is the Drop Redoubt and the Grand Shaft, as well as meet the re-enactors that will be on hand to add a little colour and characterisation to proceedings.

Canterbury Cathedral Open Evening

5 Oct

Tickets: Contact venue

Tel: 01227 762862

Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury

The Cathedral is throwing open its doors as a bit of a 'thank you' to the residents of Canterbury and surrounding areas for its annual open evening. This year's event is themed as the Music and Choristers of Canterbury Cathedral, and the centrepiece of this exhibition will focus on the musical partnership that dates back to St Augustine's arrival in 597AD. Each area of the magnificent building will be packed with exhibits, displays and demonstrations, which will give visitors the chance to learn and sample some of the specialised local crafts practiced in and around the Cathedral.

Minster Abbey historical open day

9 Oct

Tickets: Free


Minster Abbey, Isle of Sheppey

The famous Northwode brasses will be uncovered for the first time in 30 years, so the general public can witness them first hand. The full-size brasses of Lord and Lady Northwode are particularly noteworthy because they are only one of three in the country that depict female attire of the period. Guides will be on hand to offer information about the building and the exhibits on show, as well as plenty of activities for children, including brass rubbing.

Flower/garden events

Autumn Glory Flower Festival

6 to 10 Oct

Tickets: 10 to 17.50

Tel: 01622 765400

Leeds Castle, nr Maidstone

Fabulous floral displays will transform the rooms in Leeds Castle into a riot of colour, sights and smells. Florists, flower societies and clubs will be competing to create award-winning displays by using imaginative design techniques and plenty of creative flair.

Gardening Courses

8 and 22 Oct

Tickets: Contact venue

Tel: 01233 666159

Godinton House, Ashford

There are still places on offer for two very informative courses run at Godinton House. They will be presided over by the head gardener of Godinton, Viv Hunter, and Hadlow College lecturer Fiona Abrahams. The first, Autumn Task workshop (8 Oct), includes advice on pruning, mulching, winter protection and glasshouse work, and the second, Propagation workshop (22 Oct) will cover areas such as cuttings, division and seed collection.


Four Seasons By Candlelight

30 Oct

Tickets: 28

Tel: 01892 532072

Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells

The tour will be celebrating one of the most popular pieces of music ever, The Four Seasons by Vivaldi. The Mozart Festival Orchestra will be bringing the music to life, and classical music fans will be able to revel in what promises to be a fantastic journey back to the 18th century. In addition, the audience will also be treated to works by Handel and Bach among many others. The orchestra will be conducted by David Juritz..


28 Oct

Tickets: 12.50

Tel: 01732 450175

Plaza Suite, The Stag Theatre, Sevenoaks

Presented by the Flying Burrito Club, Headwater will be serving up their freewheeling, sensual and sentimental repertoire to an appreciative audience. Building up a reputation as one of the finest acoustic roots groups around, this Vancouver, Canada outfit are not afraid to tackle some dark subjects including death, loss, and love. Reminiscent of the sounds of Peter Gabriel and Neil Young rolled into one, Headwater are one of the smoothest Canadian exports to hit our shores since Molsen lager.

White Caps, Tiger Crepes and Feather Boas

4 Oct

Tickets: 17.50 and 18.50

Tel: 01634 338338

Chatham Central Theatre, Chatham

Seventies band The Rubettes featuring Alan Williams will be taking to the stage at Chatham Central Theatre to raise vital funds for Breakthrough Breast Cancer. Break out your bell bottoms and your tank tops for some groovy fun, man. The evening kicks off with the glam-tastic Marc Bolan tribute act Too Rex, and The Rubettes will be playing many of their classic hits, including Sugar Baby Love and Juke Box Jive, while the fantastic Mud II will be donning their drape jackets and getting their Tiger Feet tapping.


Dario Fo's Accidental Death of An Anarchist

12 to 16 Oct

Tickets: 7.50 to 17.50

Tel: 01892 678678

Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells

This farce, based on a true story by Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo, was a sensation when it made its debut in Italy in 1970. When an anarchist 'falls' to his death from a window, all of Milan is awash with speculation and uproar. Entering this volatile situation is a man with a glass eye and a peg-leg known only as 'The Maniac' with just one thing on his mind - mischief. A highly charged and biting satire presented by Trinity's resident amateur company in a new translation.

Little Shop of Horrors

13 to 16 Oct

Tickets: 12 to 14

Tel: 01732 450175

The Stag Theatre, Sevenoaks

A gleeful, grotesque and gruesome musical thats fiendish fun for all the family. Boasting some incredibly energetic songs and a selection of zany, eccentric, and downright potty characters, this show will delight anyone who likes their entertainment a bit, well, unusual.


Fine Wine Fair

15 Oct to 17 Oct

Chelsea Old Town Hall

Tickets: 320 to 108

Web: www.finewinefair.org

Chelsea Old Town Hall

This fair is aiming to bring the world of wine to a wider audience and as well as tasting sessions, there will also be master classes on how to taste wine properly, and how to invest in fine wines. Wine experts will also be on hand to offer tips and tricks to procure that perfect bottle of plonk, as well as show you around the stands.

RHS Autumn Harvest Show 2010

5 Oct to 6 Oct

Tickets: 5 (first day), 3 (second day)

Tel: 0845 612 1253

Horticultural Halls

Calling all you green-fingered readers out there, the RHS Autumn Harvest Show offers those who love flora and food a perfect opportunity to indulge both passions. Autumn is perfect for planting and expert nurserymen will be on hand to demonstrate the art of creating stunning hanging baskets, pot containers and patio features. The Horticultural Halls will be teeming with RHS medal-winning floral exhibitors as well as exciting and emerging new talent.

Design for Living

Until 27 Nov

Tickets: Contact venue

Tel: 0844 871 7628

The Old Vic

Noel Coward's witty and provocative observations on the nature of relationships are superbly encapsulated in this production. Starring Lisa Dillon, Andre Scott and Tom Burke, Design For Living has broken out of the period it was written in and is as perfect now as it ever was. The three characters flirt with fame and success and uncover its slightly darker underbelly, as lust and betrayal raise their heads, and, of course, the dialogue will zing thanks to Coward's wonderful turn of phrase and razor-sharp talent for timing.

Diary web links

Autumn Glory Flower Festival

Leeds Castle


Gardening courses at Godinton House

Godinton House


Canterbury Festival



Broadstairs Food Festival



A Haunting Halloween at Hever Castle

Halloween Ghost Tours

Halloween Dining Experience

Hever Castle


Uncover the Secrets of Ancient Egyptian Mummies

Chiddingstone Castle



Dario Fo's Accidental Death of an Anarchist

Trinity Theatre


Shepherd Neame's Haunted Past

Shepherd Neame Brewery


Mini Western Heights Open Weekend

Western Heights


Canterbury Cathedral Open Evening

Canterbury Cathedral


Minster Abbey Open Day


Tonbridge Arts Festival



Tenterden Folk Festival



Four Seasons By Candlelight

Assembly Hall



Little Shop of Horrors

The Stag


White Caps, Tiger Crepes and Feather Boas

Chatham Central Theatre



More from Out & About

Fri, 15:58

Kent has many castles and stately homes, but we have hand selected the ten best castles in Kent for you to visit

Read more

Nicknamed 'The Bubble', we take a look at a place famous for oysters, pristine pebble beaches and stunning sunsets. Whitstable really is one of kind

Read more

Our county town has always had a lot to offer, blending a riverside setting and important history with a modern town centre and an expanding population

Read more

Smallhythe Place is celebrating a triple milestone this summer with a special exhibition and live performances

Read more
Friday, June 28, 2019

From an underground, shell-covered cave to one of the world's smallest theatres, Margate has so much to see and do. We have gathered some great things to do when you visit

Read more

Put away your digital devices and get back to nature with a few nights under canvas and the starry night skies this summer

Read more
Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Kent has a wealth of beautiful gardens to visit and throughout the open garden season you'll find an array of stunning choices. Here's a selection of our favourites

Read more
April 2019
Monday, June 24, 2019

Enjoy a short urban walk rather than a country stroll this month, as we follow the course of the ancient Pent stream

Read more
Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Try our pick of some of Kent's best boat trips: With everything from a wildlife spotting jaunt down the Stour to a jetboat adventure on the Medway, there's something for everyone

Read more
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Kent has many villages that exude historical charm and a traditional village atmosphere beloved by locals and visitors. Here we pick 10 of the prettiest to explore

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life