Published: 06:00, 14 May 2021
| Updated: 11:21, 18 May 2021
With restrictions easing further, more of the county's favourite attractions can welcome back visitors indoors again.
For families looking for great days out indoors, there’s trampolining, bowling, cinema and and castles galore reopening. We take a look at what's coming next week...
English Heritage will be reopening Deal Castle, along with Dover and Walmer castles indoors to visitors on Monday, May 17. Deal Castle is the only which could not open outdoors in the last few months. Visitors need to pre-book at english-heritage.org.uk.
Historic Hever Castle, near Edenbridge, reopens inside to visitors again from Monday, May 17. The castle’s outdoor areas, gardens and grounds, play areas and water maze have all reopened to visitors already. You need to pre-book entry tickets, which have set time slots to arrive within at hevercastle.co.uk
Leeds Castle will be reopening inside to visitors on Monday, May 17. At the same time, falconry displays, the Dog Collar Museum and Castle View Restaurant will also be reopening. Managers are anticipating a busy year of events, including the Leeds Castle Concert on Saturday, July 10, and the fireworks on November 6 and 7. Pre-book at leeds-castle.com
Museums & galleries
Margate's Turner Contemporary reopens to visitors on Tuesday, May 18, with booking for tickets now open. It re-opens in what will be its 10th anniversary year with The Tourists: Ellen Harvey and JMW Turner, alongside Ashes by Steve McQueen. Find out more here.
Canterbury's city centre museum and gallery, The Beaney, reopens on Tuesday, May 18. Entry is still free (though donations are welcomed) but visitors need to pre-book. There will be a one-way system. Find out more here.
Maidstone Museum in St Faiths Street museum is set to reopen to visitors again on Wednesday, May 19. As well as 600,000 treasures in its collections, it will reopen with a new exhibition, focusing on dinosaurs. The museum is free to enter. Details at museum.maidstone.gov.uk
Rochester Art Gallery re-opens after a six month closure on Tuesday, May 18 with a three week pop-up show on until Saturday, June 5, Pattern & Beyond, featuring the work of 24 students on the BA Fashion Textiles and MA Printed Textiles for Fashion & Interiors courses at University for the Creative Arts, Rochester.
Nearby Chatham Historic Dockyard reopens to visitors on Monday, May 17 after being closed to the public for seven months due to government restrictions. It will have all its usual attractions and, on Saturday, May 29 a new, temporary exhibition Hidden Heroines uncovering the untold stories of the women of the dockyard throughout its 400-year history, opens. Pre-book here.
The Royal Engineers Museum, on Prince Arthur Road in Gillingham, reopens on Tuesday, May 18, to pre-booked visitors. There will be a new exhibition which focuses on a famous episode in the history of the Corps of Royal Engineers for visitors to explore. Making African Connections: Sudan & the Mahdiyya takes the experience of General Charles Gordon during the Siege of Khartoum and sets it in the context of the religious revolution that overturned colonial rule in Sudan in the late 1800s. It will be open Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10am to 5pm. Book at re-museum.co.uk
Flip Out trampoline centres in Ashford and Chatham reopen on Monday, May 17. Find out more here.
Odeon, which has nine sites in Kent, is to reopen the vast majority of its UK cinemas on Monday, May 17.
Vue cinemas plan to reopen all their sites in the UK on Monday, May 17, including Westwood Cross in Thanet and Bromley.
Showcase Cinema de Lux at Bluewater is due to reopen on Monday, May 17. Book here.
Cineworld has said it will reopen its cinemas across England on Wednesday, May 19. The chain has sites in Strood, Ashford, Dover and Bexleyheath.
Bowling & Climbing
Hollywood Bowl will reopen its sites in the county - in Ashford, Maidstone, Rochester and Tunbridge Wells - from Monday, May 17. Book here. MFA Bowling will also reopen its site at Whitstable on Monday, May 17.
Clip n’ Climb in Tonbridge also reopens on Monday, May 17. Book your visit here.
National Trust properties
Historic sites from Churchill's Secretaries' Office at Chartwell to Vita Sackville-West's writing room at Sissinghurst will be reopening to visitors indoors from Monday, May 17, with pre-booking for tickets needed.
The majority of the house at Chartwell near Westerham reopens including the Secretaries’ Office and a refreshed artwork display in the studio. The ground floor of Ightham Mote near Borough Green reopens along with the Gatehouse at Sissinghurst Castle Garden which has a refreshed display, along with The Tower, but with limited capacity. There’s a new mindfulness trail across the estate too.
Knole's Showrooms, the Orangery, bookshop and the Royal Oak Foundation Conservation Studio will reopen to visitors. The house is home to three artefacts from the National Trust’s 125 Treasures book, including the newly conserved and rehung Niobe's Pride tapestry which survives from the 16th century.
Scotney Castle's ground floor will reopen though The Old Castle remains closed. Open daily, times vary.
Ellen Terry's 16th century house and gardens at Smallhythe Place, Tenderden will open Wednesdays to Sundays. There will be a new, short introductory talk upon arrival for visitors.
At Lamb House, Rye the ground floor will reopen along with the garden, one of the largest in Rye. To book to visit a site go to nationaltrust.org.uk