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Southestern #SEhiddengems campaign: nominate your favourite in Kent 15 minutes from your nearest station


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Do you know a hidden gem around Kent… and are you prepared to share it?

Maybe you know the best place to enjoy some covert cafe culture, a hush-hush hot chocolate or a Sunday stroll. Or you know the best place for a spot of culture and the best foodie find?

We’ve teamed up with Southeastern to find the best hidden gems just a 15-minute walk or less from your nearest Southeastern station – and you could win some treats.

Southeastern's Danielle Roberts
Southeastern's Danielle Roberts

For four weeks, we’re giving you some tasters of the gems our county has to offer on the quiet and asking you to tell us yours.

You can vote for your favourite winter #SEhiddengems until Sunday, December 4.

Help us spread the word about your favourite hidden gems and you’ll be entered into our draw to win one of two luxury Christmas hampers, brimming with festive goodies, or a pair of FREE Southeastern weekend train passes to use at your leisure in the New Year and check out the #SEhiddengems for yourself, or revisit your favourite!

We want to hear your nominations and we’ll be suggesting some of our own, but to get you pondering here are some put forward by Southeastern...

NEXT STOP...

FOLKESTONE

The seaside town’s Creative Quarter is one of the county’s best-kept secrets.You’ll feel like you’re soaking up culture like a sponge as you step on to the quarter’s cobbled streets, lined with artists’ studios, workshops, galleries and shops.

Folkestone's Creative Quarter. Picture: Visit Kent
Folkestone's Creative Quarter. Picture: Visit Kent

There is also a permanent collection of works dotted throughout the town, part of the Folkestone Artworks collection.
If you fancy checking out a Parisian-styled literary coffee shop, then the Steep Street Coffee House is the place to go, with its library-filled walls, toasty croissants and blackboard tables that you can put your own artwork on with chalks.

NEXT STOP...

ROCHESTER

You’ll want to take it slow on your stroll along Rochester High Street as it fulfils even the greatest of expectations.
Steeped in history, the town has plenty of reminders of author Charles Dickens’s links, and it was the setting for many of his novels. If you fancy having a rummage through a selection of novels, Baggins Book Bazaar is on the High Street and is the largest second-hand bookshop in England. Browse antiques, pick up some old-fashioned sweets and even catch a show at the Medway Little Theatre! Even on a Sunday, it’s a hidden gem to be treasured.

Baggins Book Bazaar in Rochester
Baggins Book Bazaar in Rochester

HOW TO CAST YOUR VOTE

We’ll be bringing you some inspiration over the next three weeks, and featuring some of your ideas, but to vote for your favourite winter #SEhiddengems you need to enter via
kentonline.co.uk/hiddengems

Look out for our tweets and Instagram posts and add yours – make sure you use the #SEhiddengems

TOP TIPS FOR YOUR TOP PLACE

Drink: It could be your favourite cafe, or the best place for cocktail culture. Or, or for winter, can you tell us your favourite gem for a warming hot chocolate – or even mulled wine?

Food: Can you share your favourite spot to tuck into a big breakfast, where to get tasty pub grub, a sumptuous Sunday roast or a secluded spot for an intimate candlelit dinner?

Location: Let us know your most Instagrammable beauty spot, or the setting to take a Sunday stroll.

Entertainment: Where do you like to head for a spot of evening fun or a daytime treat, both indoors and outdoors around the county?

Shopping: We’re looking for those not- on- the- High- Street places you like to head to to get something a bit different or a one-off gift.

Walking distance: The winter #SEhiddengems hidden gems need to be within 15 minutes’ walk of the nearest Southeastern stations.

Luke Evans, who works for southeastern
Luke Evans, who works for southeastern

They are spread across the county, and range from Borough Green & Wrotham to Tunbridge Wells and Ashford International to Sheerness-on-Sea, from Whitstable to Canterbury West and Westenhanger to Wye, from Deal and Sandwich to Longfield and Meopham, and Dartford to Gravesend and Strood.

Villages are also covered, from East Farleigh and Yalding to Chilham, from to Headcorn and Bearsted to Charing.

For details of Southeastern stations near you and to buy tickets visit southeasternrailway.co.uk

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