1. The Garden of England factor
Rolling fields, vineyards, rugged coastline…Kent is nothing if not pretty. In fact, 28 per cent of the county is made up of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
2. The size
At 3,736 km² Kent is pretty sizeable, and you’re certainly never short of things to see and do. Why go on a mini break to Rome when you could drive 60 miles and not have to cross the border into another county? Oh, and there’s no poor exchange rate to worry about.
3. The local produce
In Kent we produce some amazing food and drink, from world-renowned sparkling wines to meats, cheeses and gins, we’ve got it all. And, I’m making it my personal mission to try the lot…
4. The weather
Sure, it’s no Costa Del Sol, but down in Kent we frequently get the warmest temperatures in the country. And do we moan that it’s too hot? Never…
5. The shopping
Whether it’s a shopping marathon at Bluewater, a mosey around the vintage shops in Whitstable or grabbing bargains at Ashford Designer Outlet, the shopping facilities in Kent are pretty good. Which is why I never have any money…
6. The channel-hopping options
Running low on wine in the fridge? Just pop across to Calais to restock! There’s a certain novelty to taking your passport food shopping, after all…
7. The many, many places to visit
There can’t be many places in the country where you get such good value for your National Trust membership. Everywhere you go there’s a castle or a stately home waiting to be explored (usually filled with a group of rowdy school children on a day trip, but that’s another matter).
8. The oast houses
The former hop drying buildings are all over the county, and bring with them a traditional charm. Even if you’ve never been inside one, when someone from outside Kent visits and asks you about them, you become an expert on their extensive history.
9. The Kentish pride
We don’t let the little things go in Kent. Oh no – we’re quite proud of the fact we have the first ever white lines painted on a road, we’re the birthplace of cricket, and that the gypsy tart originated here. Was Pocahontas buried in your county? Thought not.
10. The barns
So many beautiful Kentish barns I will never own. Sigh.
11. The steam railways
Charming when you’re riding on one, or see it making its merry way through the countryside. Not so fun when you’re late for work again because you had to wait at the crossing for the steam train to pass…
12. The brilliant place names
Tallyho Road, Ticklebelly Alley and Horrid Hill are among some of my favourite Kent road names. I wouldn’t be quite so keen to buy a house in Sexburga Drive or Dead Cat Alley though…
13. It’s always local
As previously mentioned, Kent is quite large. But, just like when you’re on holiday and anyone English you meet becomes so local to they as well be your next door neighbour (even though you actually live 500 miles apart) the same is true for people in Kent. Even if we live nowhere near that vineyard that just won an award, or the house featured on Grand Designs, we still feel a sense of pride, and find ourselves saying “that’s down the road from me” to anyone who’ll listen.