Published: 12:00, 31 January 2019
| Updated: 11:51, 12 February 2019
Some 130 attractions across Kent have signed up to open their doors free for the Kent Big Weekend this spring.
The 13th Kent Big Weekend, which is organised by Visit Kent, will be held on Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7, at the start of the school holidays.
A celebration of tourism which invites the county's residents to celebrate the best attractions and activities that Kent has to offer, the weekend, held during England's Tourism Week, gives families across Kent the chance to enter to win tickets and registration is now open.
The ballot opens on Thursday, February 21 and once it has taken place, hundreds of pairs of free tickets will be dished out to the lucky winners.
Some of the county’s attractions which have signed up for this year’s event include Leeds Castle, Dover Castle and Hever Castle, Ightham Mote, the Historic Dockyard Chatham, Diggerland in Strood, Eagle Heights and Wildwood Trust at Herne Bay.
Experiences on offer include animal encounters, brewery and vineyard tours and tastings, family activities, relaxing afternoon teas, river tours and shopping experiences.
Outside of London, Kent is the third most popular visitor destination in the UK with more than 65 million domestic and international tourists a year.
Visit Kent chief executive, Deirdre Wells OBE, said: "Tourism is an incredibly important part of Kent’s economy and whilst we strive to attract new visitors to our county from London, the rest of the UK and abroad, we must never forget that our own residents are our greatest ambassadors who support our industry week in, week out.
"This is essentially why we created the Kent Big Weekend 13 years ago – to give residents a free day out to say thank you, and to create positivity and enthusiasm for their wonderful home county."
"This year looks set to be the biggest Big Weekend yet, with so many of our partners signed up to be involved – it really is a wonderful opportunity for discovering and rediscovering a whole host of superb attractions and activities."
The event has grown in popularity, with 80 attractions donating 10,000 free tickets the first year. In 2018, 34,000 tickets were donated by 130 attractions, and a record breaking 233,000 applications were made.
To register now and see the full list of attractions taking part, visit kentbigweekend.co.uk