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...

Kentish Express Ashford & District - What's On - - FESTIVE -

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.

Pic­ture Matt Bris­tow, mat­tbris­tow.net

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

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