Spring has sprung at Lullingstone Castle

Lullingstone Castle and its famous World Garden are now open for the 2019 season! This is a true harbinger of spring so make sure you get out this weekend to visit and savour one of our great Sevenoaks district gems.

The team of volunteers have been preparing new garden features for 2019, so visit soon to admire and be inspired. The Easter programme will be as egg-citing as ever so keep up to date with Lullingstone events via their website and Facebook page.

This season there’s also a great offer on a family passport. Why not sign up so Lullingstone will feel just like your very own garden?

Chiddingstone Literary Festival 2019

Chiddingstone Castle’s Literary Festival is now a firm and extremely welcome feature in Sevenoaks district’s annual calendar. This year’s Literary Festival will take place over four days across the early May Bank Holiday weekend from Saturday 4th - Tuesday 7th May.

This is “Chidd Lit’s” most ambitious programme yet, spilling over with riches and diversity and carefully curated to ensure there is something for everyone, of all ages and interests. Highlights for adults include Joanne Harris, Gogglebox’s Giles and Mary, Oz Clarke, Sir Anthony Seldon, Dr Giles Yeo, Sabrina Ghayour, Jackie Kay, Anna Pasternak, Tracy Borman, Giles Milton, John Crace and many more. There’s a Poetry Writing workshop with Emma Harding, Creative Writing and How to get Published workshops with Sarah Salway and Life Drawing with Eddie Armer.

The children’s programme includes bestselling authors A F Harrold, Emily Gravett and Guy Parker-Rees, a performance of The Little Mermaid from Pericles Theatre Company, children’s film animation workshops with Press Play Films, Wallace and Gromit clay modelling with Aardman Animations, screenings of the Wallace & Gromit films and Story Writing workshops with Storymakers.

Booking opens on March 1 and is available online.

Online booking support is available on T: 0800 033 7564. Special packages are available for multiple ticket purchases.

If you want to make a weekend of it, you can find a range of bed and breakfast and self-catering accommodation to book at Simply Sevenoaks.

Mr & Mrs Smith's latest travel trend prediction

Simply Sevenoaks are delighted to say that Mr and Mrs Smith’s prediction for the last travel trend, ‘the private house hotel’ has already arrived in Sevenoaks!

Mr and Mrs Smith, the boutique and luxury hotel gurus, in a recent ES Magazine article opined that the next big trend in travel will be greater personalisation and, in their words, the rise of the ‘private house hotel’. As James Lohan (aka Mr Smith) said, ‘You’re greeted by a host, you can walk in the kitchen . . . It’s not, ‘Breakfast is served 8-10 am, sir; it’s, ‘When do you feel like eating today?’

Now this sounds an exact description of our many welcoming Simply Sevenoaks B & Bs! So we’re delighted to tell Mr & Mrs Smith that the ‘private house hotel’ has already arrived and is thriving in Sevenoaks! Visit www.simplysevenoaks.co.uk to book your choice of a ‘private house hotel’. The offering is amazing and each one is a ‘private hotel’ with a difference!

Tourism booms in Kent!

Kent’s tourism economy flourishes as visitor numbers rise to 65 million.

Kent’s visitor economy has increased 7% and topped £3.8 billion for the first time ever, after welcoming a record 65 million visitors in 2017.

Independent research commissioned by Visit Kent has revealed that 64,970,000 visitors came to The Garden of England in 2017, and the county remains the third most visited destination outside of London for foreign visitors.

Overseas overnight visits to the county increased by 4% with an 8% increase in the number of nights stayed, and a 10% increase in the resulting value.

Across the county, visitor spending figures in Kent continue to rise compared to 2015, with the highest ever numbers reported for spending in the county from both day and overnight visits.

Tourism jobs have also increased by 6.8% to 76,828, and now account for 11% of total employment across the county.

Chief executive of Visit Kent, Deirdre Wells OBE said: “Tourism is the UK’s fastest growing service sector and these figures demonstrate the contribution which our vital industry makes to the economy of Kent. With our stunning countryside, world-class heritage, and delicious locally sourced food and drink, it is no surprise that visitors’ numbers are increasing. The collective efforts of tourism businesses across the county have paid dividends and this partnership will be critical in ensuring that this growth continues during a challenging year ahead.”

Other district highlights included a 10.1% increase in the value of day trips in Tonbridge and Malling, and a 9% rise in the number of day trips to Sevenoaks. Since 2006, the value of Kent’s tourism industry has risen by 33%.

Leader of Kent County Council, Paul Carter, said “The results from the 2017 survey commissioned by Visit Kent clearly show that the visitor economy is increasingly important to the county’s future prosperity”.

Deirdre added: “These figures demonstrate that, wherever you are based in Kent, tourism can bring growth, prosperity and jobs to your community. Our challenge going forward will be to turn more of our day visits into overnight stays and short breaks, bringing even further growth to the county.”

Simply Sevenoaks couldn’t agree more. So who’s up for the challenge in 2019??

Happy Snappers . . .

Sevenoaks District Accommodation Forum (SDAF) is offering you a fabulous opportunity! Enter our annual photo competition for the chance to have your winning image feature on the cover of our 2017 accommodation and tourist guide, “Spend time in Sevenoaks”. 

 

Vintage Sevenoaks’ is the 2017 theme. Vintage – the best of its kind, a historical high, the select, the superior, the best. We’d love to see all these attributes in a stunning image which shouts ‘the very best of Sevenoaks district’, a front cover image which screams ‘wow’ to tourists and locals alike!

 

If you’re ready for the challenge, post your photograph on Facebook* (@SimplySevenoaks) using the hashtag #spendtimein7oaks for your chance to be our image of 2017.

 

In addition to your image being our 2017 guide front cover, the lucky winner will receive a prize from The Vintage Attic, Sevenoaks.  The temptingly beautiful interiors and gift shop is as lovely as we hope our star entry will be!

* Full details on Facebook