6 Top Theme Parks in Kent

Margate

Kent’s picturesque landscapes and historic landmarks are not its only treasures.

The county also boasts a solid collection of theme parks, each offering its unique blend of thrill, adventure, and nostalgia.

From vintage amusements echoing the golden age of seaside holidays to modern pulsating attractions, Kent’s theme parks are a major draw for visitors.

For those of you visiting the county, we’ve put together a guide of the top 6 theme parks in Kent.

Dreamland Margate

First on our list of theme parks in Kent is Dreamland Margate. And it’s not just an amusement park; it’s a piece of British cultural heritage.

Nestled in the seaside town of Margate, Dreamland is one of the UK’s oldest amusement parks, having first opened its doors in the 1920s.

Over the years, it has seen countless renovations and restorations, each time emerging with a blend of vintage charm and modern allure.

The park is a delightful mix of old and new. Its vintage rides, like the Grade II listed Scenic Railway, transport visitors back to a golden age of seaside entertainment.

Meanwhile, newer attractions ensure that Dreamland remains relevant and exciting for today’s thrill-seekers.

Beyond the rides, Dreamland offers a plethora of entertainment events, from live music to roller discos, making it a hub of activity throughout the year.

Dreamland is not just about rides and entertainment; it’s about memories.

Many visitors recall their childhood days, enjoying the simple pleasures of a carousel ride or savouring cotton candy while watching the sun set over the Margate coast.

It’s this nostalgic charm, combined with its commitment to modern entertainment that makes Dreamland a unique and cherished destination.

Address – Marine Terrace, Margate CT9 1XJ


Diggerland

Diggerland, located in Strood, Medway, is a theme park in Kent with a twist.

Instead of the usual roller coasters and water rides, Diggerland offers its visitors a chance to ride, drive, and operate real diggers, dumpers, and other construction machinery.

It’s an experience that’s both educational and exhilarating.

The park’s concept is simple yet ingenious: to provide children and adults with the unique opportunity to handle genuine construction equipment in a safe and controlled environment.

From digging holes with a JCB to going on dumper truck races, the range of activities at Diggerland ensures that there’s something for everyone.

Beyond the machinery, Diggerland offers other attractions like the Sky Shuttle, which lifts visitors high into the air, providing panoramic views of the surrounding area.

There’s also the Spindizzy, a modified excavator that spins riders around for a dizzying experience.

Diggerland is more than just a day out; it’s an adventure into the world of construction, offering insights into the machines that shape our landscapes and infrastructure.

It’s a place where children’s dreams of operating big machines come true, and adults can relive their childhood fantasies.

Address – Medway Valley Leisure Park, Roman Way, Strood, Rochester ME2 2NU


Howletts Wild Animal Park

Situated near the historic city of Canterbury, Howletts Wild Animal Park is not your average zoo. Although not a Kent theme park per se, it offers a great day out!

Established with a profound commitment to the conservation and breeding of rare and endangered animals, the park has, over the years, become a beacon for wildlife preservation.

The park is home to over 400 animals, spanning 50 species. However, what sets Howletts apart is its dedication to providing these animals with environments that closely mimic their natural habitats.

From the lush landscapes for the African elephants to the intricate climbing structures for the primates, every detail is meticulously planned.

Visitors to Howletts are not just spectators; they are participants in a global effort to understand, protect, and preserve wildlife.

The park’s emphasis on education ensures that every visitor leaves with a deeper appreciation of the natural world and the challenges faced by many species.

With its blend of conservation, education, and recreation, Howletts Wild Animal Park offers a unique experience, making it a must-visit destination for animal lovers and those looking for family-friendly theme parks in Kent.

Address – Bekesbourne Ln, Bekesbourne, Canterbury CT4 5EL


Port Lympne Nature Reserve

Port Lympne Reserve, located near Hythe, is more than just an animal park. It’s a journey into the wild, offering visitors a chance to experience the thrill of a safari without leaving the UK.

Closely related to Howletts, Port Lympne has a similar commitment to conservation and education but offers a distinct experience with its expansive landscapes and diverse range of animals.

One of the highlights of the reserve is its safari experience. Visitors can hop onto a truck and embark on a journey through the African Savannah, the Asian Experience, and other themed zones.

From the majestic lions and elusive cheetahs of Africa to the towering giraffes and playful monkeys of Asia, the safari offers a glimpse into the diverse ecosystems of our planet.

Beyond the safari, Port Lympne offers a range of accommodations, from luxury treehouses to glamping tents, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the wild.

The reserve’s commitment to conservation is evident in its breeding programs, which aim to reintroduce animals into their natural habitats.

In essence, Port Lympne Reserve is not just an attraction; it’s a testament to the beauty of the natural world and the efforts to preserve it for future generations.

Address – Aldington Rd, Lympne, Hythe CT21 4LR


Wingham Wildlife Park

Wingham Wildlife Park, located in the picturesque heart of Kent, offers an immersive experience into the world of animals, both familiar and exotic.

Originally starting as a bird park, Wingham has since expanded its horizons to become one of the most diverse wildlife parks in the region.

Upon entering the park, visitors are greeted with a cacophony of sounds, from the playful chatter of monkeys to the distant roar of big cats.

The park is home to a wide range of animals, including tigers, penguins, reptiles, and of course, a myriad of bird species.

Each enclosure is meticulously designed to mimic the natural habitat of its residents, ensuring their comfort and well-being.

One of the standout features of Wingham Wildlife Park is its commitment to conservation.

The park plays a pivotal role in breeding programmes for rare and endangered species, ensuring their survival for future generations.

For those keen on avian wonders, the park’s roots as a bird sanctuary are still evident.

From majestic birds of prey to colourful parrots, the aviaries at Wingham are a testament to the park’s origins and its ongoing commitment to feathered creatures.

The park’s reptile house is another highlight, offering a close-up view of some of the world’s most fascinating cold-blooded creatures, from slithering snakes to intriguing iguanas.

Another worthy entry in our list of theme parks in Kent.

Address – Wingham Wildlife Park, Rusham Road, Wingham, Canterbury, Kent, CT3 1JL


Hop Farm Family Park

Last on our list of theme parks in Kent is Hop Farm Family Park stands which testament to the region’s rich agricultural history. It also boasts large collecftion of  modern attractions for visitors of all ages.

Once a major producer of hops – a key ingredient in beer – the park has transformed over the years into a vibrant family attraction without losing sight of its historical roots.

Upon entering the park, visitors are immediately transported to a bygone era. The iconic oast houses, with their distinctive conical roofs, serve as a reminder of the park’s original purpose.

These structures, once used for drying hops, are among the most recognisable symbols of Kent’s agricultural heritage.

However, Hop Farm is not just about history. It’s a dynamic family attraction brimming with activities.

For the younger visitors, there’s a plethora of play areas, both indoor and outdoor, ensuring entertainment regardless of the weather.

Giant jumping pillows, an outdoor adventure play area, and a driving school for kids are just a few of the myriad attractions that keep children enthralled.

The park boasts a delightful animal farm where visitors can interact with a variety of creatures, from the typical farmyard favourites like sheep and goats to more exotic animals such as llamas and wallabies.

The interactive animal encounters, where visitors can learn about and even feed some of the animals, are particularly popular and offer an educational twist to the visit.

Address – Hop Farm Family Park, Maidstone Road, Paddock Wood, Tonbridge, Kent, TN12 6PY

 

Dale Shelabarger

Dale is the owner and founder of Cottages to Rent which he launched back in 2005. As well as promoting holiday cottages, Dale blogs regularly about top UK holiday destinations, visitor attractions and places of historical interest.