Kent is best known as the 'Garden of England', a phrase first coined by Henry VIII. It claims to be the oldest county in England and contains some 17000 listed buildings. Kent is most famous for its oast-houses, having tall conical or pyramidal roofs. These are the old kilns used for drying hops, once grown throughout the county. Many of which have now been converted into beautiful luxury homes.

Aylesford Village

Aylesford Village © Golders

The county is roughly triangular in shape, covering the south east corner of England. The chalk ridge of the North Downs runs centrally, east to west across the county, reaching over 800 feet in places. South of the downs runs a parallel ridge called the Ragstone Ridge. The Vale of Kent, a rich lowland to the south of the county, forms part of the Kent Weald. To the east lies the majestic city of Canterbury, home of the Anglican Church of England.

Kent is blessed with a spectacular coastline. Just along the south coast stands the famous and iconic White Cliffs of Dover, which run from Kingsdown to Folkestone, a well known symbol of Britain. To the south west is a wide expanse of low-lying marsh called Romney Marsh, where the shingly promontory of Dungeness extends southwards into the English Channel.

'the ten miles between Maidstone and Tunbridge (which the Kentish folk call the Garden of Eden) ... there, there are, on rising grounds... not only hop-gardens and beautiful woods, but immense orchards of apples, pears, plums, cherries and filberts... and, all taken together, the vale is really worthy of the appellation which it bears.'

William Cobbett (1830), "Rural Rides"

County Town:

Maidstone - distance from London: 37 miles (59 km)

Nearby Counties:

Greater London, Surrey, Sussex

Train Operators:

South Eastern / Southern

Nearest Airport:


Major Roads:

M2, M20

Highest point:

North Downs, 800 feet


Darent, Great Stour, Little Stour, Medway

County Flower:


Local Delicacies: 

Kentish Well Pudding - local fish dish with a crust and topping of suet and currants
Kentish Pudding Pie - a sweet rice pudding dish with a pastry top

The Meaning of Kent

Kent is the oldest recorded name in Britain still in use. First recorded in 55 BC by Greek and Roman writers, who referred to Kent as 'Kention', calling its inhabitants the 'Cantii'. Its origin is not clear, but the Celtic root 'canto' means an edge or rim, which probably refers to the fact that the county is on the south east 'rim' or 'edge' of England.

Map of Kent


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