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Little Kent

PUBLISHED: 16:26 08 June 2011 | UPDATED: 19:31 20 February 2013

Little Kent

Little Kent

Our very own Yummy Mummy Emma Ward searches out the best things to do every month in the county with her two young children in tow

Retail therapy
in Rochester


Rochester transports you back in time to olde worlde England at its finest. While fewer modern retail chains make this city seem a little dated, the quaint feel that attracted its most famous resident, Charles Dickens, remains today.
Easy to get to by public transport (train station is two minutes from the high street), parking can be a tad more troublesome. But once we were on foot, we found the place really easy to navigate.
Rochester is great for children, with its safe, touristy feel, toy shops and bakeries. One highlight is The Candy Bar, an old-fashioned sweet shop (watch narrow aisles with buggies). We visited just before Easter and the choice of chocolate eggs, chicks and bunnies et al was breathtaking.
Another excellent shop we found was Just for Kidz, again on the High Street, selling nearly new baby and childrens clothes and equipment at reasonable prices. Son Number Two was delighted to find a lovely soft toy rabbit. As I said, it was Easter.


Top thing to do
For older kids, Rochester is full of history, from the Cathedral to the fascinating (free) Guildhall Museum. Younger visitors will enjoy Monkey Bizz, a large indoor soft play and activity centre for children up to age 12. 01634 717788.


The verdict
Plenty of charity shops with pocket-money items, plus the fab sweet shop and nearly new store makes this city ideal for children wanting to make an early start on their summer holiday spending money.


If you do one thing this month


get down and dirty at Diggerland! Ever fancied getting behind the wheel
of a real-life digger? Nows your chance at a theme park with a difference. Located in the Medway Valley Leisure Park near Strood, Diggerland is full
of different vehicles for visitors to ride, explore or simply admire.
From JCB rides and driving experience to dumper trucks and mini landrovers, there are vehicles galore. The park is aimed at all ages, but we found, however, that there were slightly fewer things for the very young to do. While Diggerland is reasonably expensive to get in, there are online advance booking discounts and plenty to do inside. Boy heaven!
Diggerland is open daily from 1-5 June, then every weekend in June.
In July, it opens at weekends and every weekday from 11 July onwards. 0871 22 77 007


Three other great things
to do this month


Learn traditional bush craft skills in a series of workshops
at Riverhill Himalayan Gardens near Sevenoaks on 4 and
5 June. Or celebrate Fathers Day on 18 and 19 June with
a spot of rock climbing. Age 6+. 01732 458802
Lets go fly a kite! Come to the Kite Festival at Testson
Bridge County Park in Teston on 11 and 12 June. Bring
your own kite, see the professionals at work, or join a kite-making workshop (1). 08458 247 600
Enjoy Shakespeares Twelfth Night in the open air in the delightful setting of Manor Park Country Park (West Malling) on 18 June. Tickets cost 12for adults, 7 for children with family discounts. Booking essential on0845 8247 600.


Caf culture
Cool places to eat with the kids


What: Mulberry Restaurant at Chartwell
Where: Mapleton Road, Westerham TN16 1PS 01732 868381
This family-friendly restaurant sits outside the pay perimeter of Sir Winston Churchills spectacular house and gardens, now in the care of the National Trust (and also well worth visiting). The restaurant serves hot and cold lunches, snacks and drinks with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients.
It caters well for young visitors, with childrens lunch boxes, baby food and excellent changing areas. Slightly pricey perhaps, but pretty much guaranteed good quality every time you visit.

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