Published: 06:00, 09 July 2020
Whether you're looking for entertainment, thrills or culture, Kent's reopening venues have it on offer for you.
Here's the latest on what's opening up again near you:
After Bluewater's Showcase de Lux became the first cinema to reopen to visitors last week, the next to follow suit will be two branches of Odeon.
The chain is reopening its branches in Chatham Maritime and Tunbridge Wells on Friday, July 10. Films showing include this year's earlier blockbuster 1917 and Sonic the Hedgehog. To find out more click here. The Maidstone site will not reopen until October, for ongoing works.
The treetop adventure zone at Leeds Castle in Maidstone will reopen on Friday, July 10, after the castle's grounds reopened last month.
The company's Bedgebury site at Goudhurst has already reopened. There is limited capacity due to new measures. For more information and to book click here.
Things are slowly getting back to normal at the castle near Maidstone, after its grounds reopened to visitors last month. From Monday, July 13, the European castle adventure playgrounds, adventure golf, the bird of prey centre and
the Lady Baillie & Culpeper Gardens will also be open to visitors. Find out more at leeds-castle.com
The museum in St Faith’s Street, which has been entertaining its social media followers with the adventures of its mascot Spike during lockdown, will reopen to the public on Tuesday, July 14. There will be a one-way route and social distancing. Visitors will be encouraged to book their free visit in advance through the website. Some regular activities such as dressing up wont be available and the Ancient Lives gallery will remain closed as it is a narrow space. Museum director, Victoria Barlow, said “We’re doing all we can to make a visit as easy and fun as we can but it won’t be like it used to be for a while. We ask people to bear with us." Book at museum.maidstone.gov.uk
The Paul Greengrass Cinema at The Woodville
The cinema which is inside the theatre in Gravesend will reopen on Monday, July 13, with new safety measures.
Cllr Shane Mochrie-Cox, of Gravesham council, said: “Things may be a little different when you arrive, but the team has been working incredibly hard to ensure a safe and fun visit.”
The first film shown will be Military Wives and safety measures in place will include a limit of 50 people per screening, with families allowed to sit together in groups of up to four. Groups of larger than four will be split into smaller numbers. There will be no more than two screenings a day and there will be a one-way system. On arrival, visitors will be asked some health questions. All tickets must be pre-booked at Woodville.co.uk.
The site in Tunbridge Wells which has plenty of outdoor space for children to let off steam with its enchanted forest, giant tree and nest swings, has reopened its two play areas including Crusoe's World which has wooden rope bridges, a wooden ship and a new slide. The raised Board Walk is also open with its rope swings and zip wire and the birds of prey displays are running twice daily at noon and 3.30pm. The attraction has launched a new flexible family and friends ticket for £25, which only needs one person to be under 12. Visitors can take picnics and there is a kiosk selling refreshments. Book a time to visit at groombridgeplace.com
Kent County Council has confirmed it will be reopening 12 libraries on Monday, July 13, including Maidstone’s Kent History and Library Centre, Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope and Dartford Library. The remainder will be at Ashford, Sittingbourne, Gravesend, Tonbridge, Herne Bay, Folkestone, Southborough, Broadstairs and Deal. More will reopen at a later date.
Medway Council has reopened its community hubs at Gillingham, Chatham, Rochester, Strood, Twydall and Wigmore for book returns, and collection using reusable recycling bags. Books will then go into quarantine for 72 hours before being able to be reserved. From Monday, July a new Click & Collect service will launch.