Everyone in the UK is in need of a holiday after the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, but unfortunately ongoing restrictions are still making it tricky to travel abroad.
The traffic light system used to tell us which countries are safe to travel to is constantly changing, putting people off booking an overseas holiday.
But thankfully for those of us that live in Kent, we have a whole range of holiday destinations right on our doorstep.
Read more: These hotels and holidays are still available in UK – despite rush for staycation bookings
Whether you’re after a weekend getaway or a ten-day break, Kent has plenty to offer – from quaint villages and sandy beaches to bustling cities, there’s a holiday for everyone.
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We took to TripAdvisor to check out the 17 top-rated places to stay in Kent and here’s what we found out.
The Yarrow Hotel, Broadstairs
The seaside town of Broadstairs came out top of the list.
With seven sandy beaches, clifftop walks and dozens of independent shops, there’s plenty to keep you entertained.
Broadstairs was even a favourite holiday spot for Charles Dickens, whose legacy is celebrated in the town’s Dickens House Museum.
If it’s good enough for Dickens, its good enough for us.
The Yarrow Hotel on Ramsgate Road has been voted the best place to stay in Kent with 4.5 stars from 877 TripAdvisor reviews.
The four star hotel was built in the Jacobean style and is home to 28 stylish bedrooms, a restaurant serving contemporary British cuisine, a solarium, and spa facilities.
The Albion House Hotel, Ramsgate
Ramsgate was considered one of the great English seaside towns of the 19th century, and it’s still pretty great two centuries later.
If the stunning coastline and Blue Flag beaches didn’t sell it to you, then perhaps the wartime shelter tunnels or the population of feral rose-ringed parakeets might.
Ramsgate is also home to England’s only Royal Harbour and boasts its own Meridian Line.
The Albion House Hotel put Ramsgate at second place on the list, with 707 4.5* reviews.
The beautifully restored Regency building atop the East Cliff has 12 rooms with sea views.
The Blue Pigeons, Sandwich
The historic town of Sandwich is home to many original medieval buildings, nature reserves and two world-class golf courses.
It’s most famous for being the birthplace of the sandwich itself, which was allegedly invented by John Montagu, fourth Earl of Sandwich in the 18 th century.
It came out third on the list thanks to The Blue Pigeons hotel on The Street – a family run business set in a Georgian building with an acre of gardens which has 225 ‘excellent’ reviews on TripAdvisor.
Romney Bay House, Littlestone-on-Sea
Littlestone-on-Sea is a small coastal village close to New Romney.
It’s one of the lesser known spots on the list, with just a few shops and holiday properties, but the peaceful shingle beach with its multi-coloured beach huts is certainly worth a visit.
The only hotel in the town, Romney Bay House, ranked as the fourth best place to stay in Kent on TripAdvisor.
The romantic hotel is described as a “home away from home.”
Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, Canterbury
You certainly won’t be short of things to do if you book a trip to Canterbury.
The cathedral city is home to the Archbishop of Canterbury and was a major focus of pilgrimage following the murder of Thomas Becket, making it a point of historical interest.
The city is a firm favourite with tourists due to the wide range of museums, theatres and shops to visit, stunning architecture and popular river tours.
Canterbury ranked at fifth on our list due to the popularity of Canterbury Cathedral Lodge – a contemporary hotel and conference venue situated within the grounds of the cathedral itself.
With stunning views of the cathedral to wake up to every morning, it’s no wonder Canterbury Cathedral Lodge has almost 1000 ‘excellent’ reviews on TripAdvisor.
The major ferry port of Dover ranked at sixth on our list.
Famous for its iconic chalk coastline and white cliffs, Dover is unsurprisingly a popular location for cliff walks.
There’s plenty to do for younger visitors too, with a Sea Safari, Sea Sports Centre, castle and museum.
As can be expected from a port town, there’s also plenty of places to eat – from fine dining to classic fish and chips.
Dover’s Travelodge on St. James Street was rated pretty highly on TripAdvisor thanks to its family-friendly environment and central location.
Crescent Turner, Whitstable
The seaside town of Whitstable was next on the rankings.
The long-running Regatta is a popular event for boating enthusiasts and the Whitstable Museum and Gallery displays artefacts and portraits relating to the town’s seafaring traditions.
But the mix of shingle and sandy beaches are perhaps the town’s biggest draw – attracting sunbathing, swimming and water-sports.
Crescent Turner Hotel on Wraik Hill ranked as the seventh best place to stay in Kent according to 612 reviews.
The stylish boutique hotel overlooks the coast and has panoramic views of the sea and countryside – it prides itself on being a popular destination for both romantic breaks and family holidays.
Little Silver Country Hotel, Tenterden
It’s easy to see why Tenterden ranks as the eighth best place to stay in Kent.
Its location on the edge of the Weald, overlooking the valley of the River Rother, makes it a picturesque holiday destination.
The Georgian style Little Silver Country Hotel in Tenterden has 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor and offers 16 luxury suites, an oak beam lounge, landscaped gardens and spa baths.
The site is a popular wedding venue – with ceremony’s being held in the magnificent Kent Hall or garden gazebo.
Wards Hotel, Folkestone
The port town of Folkestone is a popular spot for creatives, with numerous art galleries and a Creative Quarter, home to artists, businesses, independent boutiques and eateries.
There’s plenty to do for younger visitors too – the miniature trains on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway are a popular activity for families, as is the nearby Port Lympne Reserve.
Wards Hotel in Folkestone is a spacious detached Edwardian Property which caters for everyone from business travellers to holiday makers.
It was originally built in 1901 as part of the Lord Radnor Estate and within close proximity of the M20, Harbour Ports and the Channel Tunnel.
Premier Inn, Rainham
The small town of Rainham comes in at tenth on the rankings.
There’s not an awful lot to do, but the idyllic and quiet surroundings are perfect for a restful break.
The Premier Inn in the High Street has been rated highly by TripAdvisor users due to its proximity to Rochester Cathedral and Chatham Historic Dockyard.
Hempstead House Hotel and Spa, Sittingbourne
There’s plenty to do for everyone in Sittingbourne, whether you prefer to get some fresh air at Milton Creek Country Park or take a trip down memory lane on one of the two heritage railways.
There’s also a cinema and bowling alley complex and plenty of shops to keep you entertained.
Hempstead House Hotel and Spa puts Sittingbourne at eleventh on the rankings.
The Victorian country hotel and spa is set in four acres of beautifully landscaped gardens surrounded by the Garden of England.
The venue is licensed for civil marriages, and also has a bra new spa and fitness centre with a 15m swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and fully equipped gym.
The therapy suite offers a range of relaxing treatments.
Sands Hotel, Margate
The timeless seaside town of Margate ranked surprisingly low on the top places to stay in Kent.
Home to Dreamland, the iconic amusement park dating back to the early 20 th century, and the Turner Contemporary, an internationally acclaimed art gallery, Margate is a tourist hotspot.
The Sands Hotel on Marine Drive boasts a rooftop terrace and free breakfasts.
Its central location puts it close to some of Margate’s most popular landmarks, including The Community Pharmacy Gallery and Margate Harbour Arm.
Spring River, Ebbsfleet
Ebbsfleet is incredibly well connected, with trains from London St. Pancras taking just 20 minutes.
It’s a short bus or train ride from Bluewater, Diggerland, Chatham Historic Dockyard and Rochester Cathedral, making it a great central location for tourists wanting to explore Kent.
Spring River hotel suits both travellers and families, due to its proximity to the high-speed rail link and various landmarks.
It boasts wool-silk mattresses that regulate the body’s temperature so you can rest up before exploring the rest of the county.
Chilston Park Hotel, Lenham
Just outside of Maidstone, Lenham is a market village with a small population.
It’s certainly not a tourist hotspot but there’s plenty to do in nearby Maidstone if you get bored.
Grade I listed Chilston Park Hotel puts Lenham at fourteenth on the best places to stay in Kent.
The luxury hotel is set in 22 acres of parkland and has a AA rosette restaurant.
It has been home to eminent politicians, writers, Lords and Vicounts over the years, but is now a popular wedding and leisure destination.
Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve, Lympne
It’s no surprise why Lympne made it onto the top places to stay in Kent – the village is home to the world-renowned Port Lympne Zoo.
The Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve is a mansion steeped in history, which one entertained guests such as Winston Churchill, Lawrence of Arabia, Prince Edward and Wallis Simpson.
Guests enjoy entry to both Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks when they book a stay at the hotel.
Its unique setting has earned it 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor.
Howfield Manor Hotel, Chartham
The village of Chartham just outside of Canterbury is part of the North Downs area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Located on the Great Stour river it is a stunning place for a holiday, with numerous farms and orchards.
There’s a three mile cycle path for those who enjoy outdoors activities but it’s also just a short drive to Canterbury.
Howfield Manor hotel puts Chartham on the list of best places to stay in Kent thanks to its stunning location and beautiful gardens.
The Camden Arms, Pembury
The idyllic village of Pembury is a short bus ride to Royal Tunbridge Wells, which is renowned for being one of Queen Victoria’s favourite holiday destinations.
The picturesque countryside surrounding Tunbridge Wells makes it a great destination for walks, but there’s also plenty of boutique shops and quaint cafes on The Pantiles to keep you entertained.
The Camden Arms offers luxury accommodation with quality bespoke furniture to keep you well rested before you explore the surrounding areas.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!