WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND
From illuminated trails to festive falconry and Christmas markets to sailing with Santa. There’s plenty going on across Kent this week to keep everyone busy...
FESTIVE FALCONRY, DOVER CASTLE
In the days of wartime rationing, those with the skill to hunt with hawks and falcons were equipped to catch some extra festive fare. For the final weekend of Second World War Christmas events at a the castle, on Saturday and Sunday, December D 15-16, visitors can step into wartime Dover Castle and watch birds of prey take to the skies in a display of 1940s-themed falconry. There will also be stories of birds in wartime and the chance to learn about how falconry was used during the conflict. Events run from fr 10am to 3pm and entry costs £20 and £12 for five to 15-year-olds. Details at english-heritage.org.uk/dover
WALMER W CASTLE & GARDENS
Sample a Walmer Castle Christmas with tours of the castle out of hours when the rooms r are festively decorated. The tours at a 3pm and 6pm, which need to be prebooked, are on Thursday, December 13 and Thursday, December 20. Tickets cost £14 and £10 for children between five and 15. For details go to english-heritage.org.uk/walmer
CHRISTMAS AT BEDGEBURY, GOUDHURST
A forest full of festive lights has arrived in Kent at Bedgebury Pinetum in Goudhurst for its first Christmas at Bedgebury attraction. The illuminated winter wonderland will run after dark until Sunday, December 30. There are illuminated walkways, singing lampposts, giant Christmas trees and opportunities for selfies at every turn. The Tunnel of Light has a million pea- lights along a 70m walkway and there are rings of fire in the Fire Garden. Book your tickets at christmasatbedgebury.seetickets.com
SAIL WITH SANTA, JETSTREAM TOURS
Jump aboard the Jacob Marley for a mystical voyage to the North Pole this Christmas. The family-friendly experience starts on arrival at Rochester Pier to sail down the River Medway towards the North Pole. While seeing the sights you can enjoy festive music and colouring for kids, plus seasonal refreshments. On arrival at the pole
– also known as Chatham Marina – Father Christmas will climb aboard to meet the children and give them a gift before heading off on his own journey. The 90-minute experience by Medway’s Jetstream Tours will run on Saturdays and Sundays through December. Book at jetstreamtours.com
CHRISTMAS MARKET, MAIDSTONE MUSEUM
The second seasonal market for the museum in St Faiths Street will be held all day on Saturday, December 15. Visitors can browse a variety of stalls selling local produce and handmade gifts and presents. For more details go to museum.maidstone.gov.uk
ICE SKATING & SANTA’S GROTTO, BLUEWATER
Santa and his elves are in The Village until Christmas Eve. Your festive journey to see Santa will begin with a traditional Christmas story presented in 4D, followed by crafts with Mrs Claus and then meeting Santa. The covered outdoor ice rink is now also open by the lakes at The Village, until Sunday, January 6. For prices and sessions, which runs until Christmas Eve, go to bluewater.co.uk.
ICE RINK, TUNBRIDGE WELLS
Calverley Grounds has been transformed into a wintry wonderland for the ice rink. The sessions in Calverley Grounds run until New Year’s Day in the amphitheatre decorated with twinkling festive lights, plus festive food and drink, music and Christmas shopping inspiration. To book, visit assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk/whats-on
EASTWELL MANOR, NEAR ASHFORD
Ice skating has returned to Eastwell Manor, Champneys Hotel and Spa, near Ashford, for the festive season, after Dancing On Ice star Jake Quickenden officially opened proceedings with a turn on the ice. Running until Wednesday, January 2, you can enjoy mulled wine, hot chocolate, toasted chestnuts and mince pies and a 50-minute session on the rink before doing some shopping at Champneys’ Christmas boutique. To bo book call 0843 561 2019 or 01233 213000.
Walmer Castle Christmas tours Magical Christmas after-dark illuminated trail at Bedgebury
Take to the water with Santa on board Jet Stream Tours Christmas Carol Sail
Eastwell Manor’s ice rink was opened by Dancing on Ice star Jake Quickenden
Enjoy falconryatdover Castle