Dartford in Kent is situated 20 miles to the east of London on the bank of the river Thames. Originally a Roman settlement, the old market town is famous for the Dartford Tunnel and the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, as well as being next door to one of the UK’s biggest Shopping Centres, Bluewater. Dartford is also where rock n’ roll legends Mick n’ Keef grew up – they both went to Dartford Grammar School, and today Dartford’s Mick Jagger Centre For Music and the Arts helps up and coming local talent.
Why not take in the Lullingstone Roman Villa, where visitors get into the spirit by dressing up in Roman togas whilst watching history come to life with a brilliant light show. Remember to take the costume off before you leave though.
The Eagle Heights Bird of Prey Centre is the place for vulture culture, with eagles, hawks and falcons – make sure you aren’t the prey of the day by retreating to the tea room. Hall Place and Gardens, a local Grade 1 listed residence is very fine, and also has a sub-tropical greenhouse – one of the few places in England where you can pick a banana in winter.
Dartford’s Top 10
10. Boating at Bluewater Six lakes to row or pedalo your way around.
5. Dartford Museum has over 20,000 objects, including the famous Swanscombe Skull.
9. The Orchard Theatre Dartford. One for culture vultures and luvvy lovers.
4. Just like New York, Dartford has its own Central Park with shady river walks and colourful plants. Perfect for a picnic.
8. Lullingstone Castle and The World Garden Ambling heaven, especially in the Cloud Garden.
3. Chislehurst Caves Grab a lantern for a spooky tour through the labyrinth of caves to the haunted pool.
7. Dartford’s Holy Trinity Church dates back to 1050 and comes complete with medieval graffiti
2.What if Gallery The Dartford exhibition space where the artists show you their works of art themselves.
6.Pirate Cove Adventure Park Ahoy all fun seekers! Mini golf and remote control galleons. Young adventurers will love the aerial assault course.
1. Brands Hatch is a must for adrenaline junkies. Book in advance to fly round the track F1 style.
Join the crowds at the Dartford Festival in July for a fun-filled weekend of live music, stalls and a funfair.
Pig out in style at the Pantiles Food Festival in May. There’s a feast of entertainment and gourmet food a go-go at this Dartford event!
November 5th is bonfire night, and Dartford celebrates with an explosive Fireworks party. Enjoy the funfair and stalls as the pyrotechnics light up the night.
The Trevithick Steam Festival in May is an exciting weekend of steam-driven entertainment, with vintage vehicles, displays and an impressive parade when the engines take to Dartford’s streets.
Get down to the Dartford Beer Festival in June to sample an amazing range of real ales. Will you make it home after a pint of Dartford Wobbler?
The Medieval Festival in June is a two day Dartford extravaganza with authentic re-enactments, longbows, crossbows and live firing of medieval black powder weapons. Better watch out!
For family-friendly fun in Dartford, get down to the Lawn Fest in June for great music, kids’ activities and a food fair.
The Sweeps Festival is a three day event in Dartford, set around the 1st May. Morris dancing, folk music and a colourful parade.
There’s medieval mayhem at Dartford’s King Henry VIII’s Summer Pageant in July, with jousting, minstrels and archery.
Get dazzled at Dartford’s Christmas Lights Switch On. Celebrity hosts, plus the all-important visit from Santa.
When to Go
Dartford has a mild temperate climate which is oceanic – like most of the rest of the UK, and no real extremes of weather.
Temperatures in summer tend to have an average high of 22 °C in July/August and low of 11-12 °C, while winter temps drop to an average high of 7 °C or so with low temperatures of between 1 and 2 °C.
Dartford follows the rest of England in that rainfall can be expected at any time of year.
Getting to Dartford by car is easy – with links to London on the A2, the Kent coast via the M2 and the M25 is close by with the Dartford Tunnel or Queen Elizabeth II Bridge allowing access to Essex.
Dartford train station is a five minute walk from the centre, with trains running to London’s Charing Cross, London Bridge and Victoria. Dartford is also connected to the continent via the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
The closest airport is London Gatwick – which is around 40 minutes travelling time from Dartford.
Dartford, United Kingdom
Dartford, England, located in Kent, is the main city in the borough of Dartford. It lies in a valley through which the Darent River flows and is about 25 kilometres from central London. Dartford is known as a city with cultural and religious importance and has many famous parks and churches, including the St Edmund's Pleasance and the Holy Trinity Church, which was originally built in the ninth century.
- The Orchard Theatre
- Dartford Borough Museum
- Central Park
- Watch thrilling dog races at Dartford’s Crayford Greyhound Track
- See local art and music at the Mick Jagger Centre
- Catch an exciting Dartford F.C. professional football match at Princes Park Stadium
More Info on Getting There & Around
Most people get to Dartford via the Gatwick or Stansted Airport in London, both of which can be reached easily by train. The Fastrack Bus Rapid Transport connects the Kent Thameside area as well.
Once in Dartford, many people get around by hired car or private taxi. There is also a local city bus that is convenient.
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