Monday, 10 December 2012

Family and Business in East Kent

We’ve moved to #EastKent to embrace a new way of life.

Many of my friends want to demonstrate that parents can spend time with their children, build a successful business and give back to our community too.

This isn’t some flash-in-the-pan hippy-notion, my network of mums and dads include people with very interesting and diverse backgrounds looking for change, including: new media strategists, teachers, academics, artists, film makers, shopkeepers, food producers, doulas, café owners, business coaches, nurses, communications directors and many more.

East Kent is a vibrant and creative place which is undergoing major regeneration. It has many complex socio-economic challenges, but things are changing. I believe is definitely the place to be if you want to live, work or study in an inspiring and exciting environment. With its beautiful countryside, sandy and shingle beaches, vibrant arts scene, historic towns and city as well as easy access to London, it is also a wonderful place to bring up children.

Here are some people and organisations I’ve been using to help me set up my new publishing company in East Kent.

Pre-application meeting organised by the Kent Chamber of Commerce as part of Expansion East Kent

Business networking at Whitstable Tweet Ups

Catriona Campbell at Escape to Create

Marine Studios in Margate
 (And check out GEEK2013, which I’ll be a part of

Fruitworks in Canterbury

Kerry Hales

I've been all over EastKent networking with potential investors, mumpreneurs, business and I can't wait to launch my new site and publishing business in 2013.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Support family-friendly #Whitstable cafe to open its garden

I am writing in support of @WindyCornerS planning application ref CA/12/01279/VAR. 

We moved to Whitstable nearly two years ago from Oxford not knowing anyone here. Having been students at Kent University twelve years ago, we followed our dream and decided that we would sell our home, move jobs and raise our family here. For us, The Windy Corner Stores embraces all that is special about Whitstable.

It is an independent business run by a talented and dynamic team who have sought to create a community hub. It is a place where friends, neighbours and visitors of all ages congregate to enjoy quality local produce cooked-up in creative and innovative ways. In the current economic climate, it is admirable that The Windy Corner Stores continues to serve and promote local food and drink in interesting and affordable ways. Furthermore, it regularly supports charity events, seasonal festivals, local arts & crafts and community groups. In our opinion, this is just the sort of business the Council should be supporting and encouraging to grow.

As local residents, we fully support The Windy Corner Stores’ request for permission to serve customers in their garden. We believe that this latest request is not unreasonable as the garden would only be open between the sociable hours of 9am-5pm and no alcohol would be served in it. The Windy Corner Stores already promotes a family-friendly environment and to open the gardens within the requested time-frame and without alcoholic drinks is an extension of this ethos.

It would not only be wonderful, in a personal capacity, to enjoy our time in the Windy Corner Stores’ garden, but we also believe it is critical to the future success of the business.  

Please write to Canterbury Council to support The Windy Corner Stores garden extension

Friday, 20 July 2012

#Whistable Oyster Festival for Families #wof2012

Follow @EastKentMum as I enjoy the festival with my family and friends.
Saturday 21st July
10:00 Splashpals
FREE event at Whitstable Harbour
Watch Newfoundland dogs demonstrate water rescues.
Note: Whitstable Oyster Guide 2012 notes that Splashpals is on from 10-5pm and is weather and tide dependent.

11:00 Soran Bushi and Taiko Drumming
Japanese drumming and dancing: A fisherman’s dance by students 
Whitstable Harbour

12:00 Lunch
Head to the highstreet or picnic on the beach.

13:00 Ratty, Mole and Toad
Street theatre performance which follows these much-loved characters as they embark on an urban adventure.
Whitstable Library

13:30 Meet Salana the Seal
Meet Salana the seal: a two-metre long grey seal. Performed by Circo Rum Ba Ba.
Whitstable Library

14:30-15:00 Landing of the Oysters and The Oyster parade
The official festival opening ceremony. A centuries old tradition, the ceremony concludes with a procession from The Bowls Centre to Oxford Street where the Lord Mayor delivers an Oyster to each pub and restaurant along the way.
Long beach

16:45-17:30 Samba!
Horsebridge Square
High energy Samba music from local favourites Samba Pelo Mar.

Note: Keep an eye out for Morris dancing (performed by Dead Horse Morris and Friends) throughout the course of the day.

Sunday 22nd July

This is a day for strolling around, chilling out, enjoying local art, sampling local produce and soaking up the lively atmosphere. A must-do activity is to enjoy the best of over 60 local producers’ foods and drink at the EPICentre Food Fair in Whitstable Harbour.

The morning starts with a Sunday Service and Parade from St. Alphege Church. Then, keep an eye out for: traditional sea shanties sung in Whitstable Harbour, BBQs and beer on the beach, open art studio sessions, and various music events.

The highlight of the day for young children is Trundlehonk! A family-friendly one-man-band (with a comic twist) on walkabout at various points through the day.

I will be going to Sheds! This is a photographic exhibition of people and their sheds on show at Whitstable Museum. You can also find me checking out the art on display at the Horsebridge Centre. And don’t forget to buy your raffle tickets from the Horsebridge Centre, which give you the chance to win a Doll’s House worth £3000. Tickets are sold in aid of the Horsebridge Centre and Trust Sulha (a Kent based charity raising money to educate Afghan refugees in Pakistan).

Monday 23rd July

Get your wellies on for this early morning Seashore Safari on Whitstable beach (near Keam’s Yard). This free activity is guaranteed to fascinate the whole family as you discover and learn about the little creatures that thrive on Whitstable beach.

For little ones there’s a Pop Up Cinema in The Whitstable Umbrella Centre from 11:00-13:00. Bring a picnic rug and snacks and enjoy a range of child-friendly films in a relaxed atmosphere. Cost is just £1. (Note: This fantastic event set up by a local mum isn’t advertised in the brochure so don’t miss it!)

Children from 6 years plus can compete in a fun Bubble-Blowing Competition on Tankerton Slopes at 11:30. There is a cost of just £2.

There are two engaging workshops on at the Horsebridge Centre this afternoon. From 13:45 onwards there are three sessions available to Make a Beach Beacon in preparation for Thursday’s firework display. And, at 3pm, older children from 12 years up can take part in a Puppetry Workshop to learn the skills to bring artefacts to life and become puppeteers!

Note: You need to book in advance with the Horsebridge Centre. To book either event phone: 01227 281174.

Tuesday 24th July

From 10:00-13:00, there is a range of free games and fun activities for all ages on Tankerton Slopes. Then skip off to Whitstable’s Umbrella Centre to watch a free, Punch and Judy show. According to the Whitstable guide, this 350 year old tradition “promises to entertain a new generation of children and their parents”. However, I can’t promise to what extent it will have been revised for a modern audience. (Show times: 12:00; 13:45 and 15:00)

The funniest event of the day is sure to be the Crabbing Competition taking place at 16:30 on Horsebridge/Reeves beach in Whitstable. Judges decide who has caught the best crab on nothing more than a whim! Note: You need to register at 16:00 and pay just 20p).

Wednesday 25th July

Children aged 4 upwards will definitely want to take part in the Eggy Escapades egg race. Enter one of four workshops taking place at the Horsebridge Centre to prepare and decorate your egg in preparation for Friday afternoon’s egg racing competition on Tankerton slopes.

Egg decorating and race preparation workshops take place at the Horsebridge Centre (01227 281174) at 10:30, 12:00, 14:00 and 15:30. Cost: £3 per egg.

Thursday 26th July

The day is full of activities in preparation for the evening’s parade and night’s firework display.

Get booked onto a crown-making workshop to ensure your little one has a crown fit for a Grotter King or Queen. There’s also the opportunity to make a glorious grotter with your Whitstable Oyster shell.

From dusk onwards, children will wear their crowns and carry their oyster shell grotters as everyone takes part in a magical stroll along Reeves beach. The free firework display can be viewed along the stretch of beach between the Horsebridge and the Neptune pub.

Crown making workshops: 9:30-13:00 and 13:34-17:15. Cost: £3. Book in advance: 01227 281174.

Grotter-making: From 14:30-17:00 (pop along any time). Cost: FREE. I recommend bringing your own oyster shell, to avoid disappointment, in case they run out.

Firework Display: 21:45. Cost: Free.

Friday 27th July

Eggy Escapades – The Smashing Final

At 10am, all the children who decorated and took part in Wednesday’s Eggy Escapes workshop, now take part in this fun competition. Other children will enjoy watching, I’m sure. Good luck!

Young children from 5 years upwards will enjoy the free Picassos on the Pavement event outside Whitstable Library from 14:00-15:30. Local artist, Paul George, will help your little one create their very own piece of chalk art on the pavement.

My family is looking forward to hearing and watching the Barrow Band on The Deck at Whitstable Harbour from 14:30-16:00. Songs about fruit and vegetables are accompanied by little legumes dancing. I can’t wait to see the line-dancing mushrooms and swinging pineapples.

If you need a break but your children are still full of energy, then head to Deco 5 at 16:30. Picassos on the Pavement artist will end the day performing Fred Bear and the Magic Mouse. Parents can chill out and enjoy a drink while the kids have lots of free fun.

We are going to try to conclude the festival listening to music performed by Broadstairs and St Peter’s Concert Band at St.Peter’s Church, Sydenham Street. This special festival concert in the beautiful surroundings of St Peter’s Church includes a wide repertoire from favourite classics to Disney tunes. The cost is £5 (with concessions for under 10s). You can buy tickets on the door or call 01227 792425.

Have a wonderful time at The Whistable Oyster Festival 2012 and I look forward to seeing you. Twitter @EastKentMum.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

#AttachmentParenting and Business

Following this morning's article in The TelegraphI investigate how #breastfeeding, baby wearing and business can be compatible.

I have a 4-month-old baby and a toddler. Due to the funding on offer, business advice available, and creative vibe in East Kent at the moment I believe that it is essential to network, information gather and seek funding for my start-up business now. However, I am also passionate about the benefits to mother, child and society of natural parenting methods. These include baby-led breastfeeding, carrying baby and bed-sharing - all of which have recently been termed Attachment Parenting (but which my husband and I came to by accident).

We are in a financial crisis, a pension crisis, an unemployment crisis, a childcare crisis and parents are struggling as children spend less and less time with the family (whatever type of family unit that is). It’s time for society to ask some tough questions. Just tweaking the same old policies is not going to work anymore. I think some of the principles of Attachment Parenting (I prefer the term Natural Parenting) can help us do this. And no, this is not a return to the 1980s/90s supermum! Nor is it a return to a dangerously sentimental perception of motherhood. To find out more read:

The Health and Financial Benefits of Attachment Parenting
The World Health Organisation, among other leading international bodies, has demonstrated that breastfeeding for at least six months (ideally a year plus) is best for baby and mum - especially in the battle against obesity, which costs countries millions of pounds and lives. Going from breastfeeding to solid food (baby-led weaning) without the need for purchasing pureed food is also free. Through education we could help children have healthy diets and save parents money. This has to be a good thing.

Top Tips for Mixing Babies and Business:

  • Be respectful. This is not an in-your-face political battle. Most people are happy to assist you – particularly more mature women who were mums of young children over the past few decades.
  • Be thoughtful. If you’re breastfeeding, is it worth taking a muslin square to cover yourself even if you don’t usually? (I rarely cover myself when breastfeeding but one society-changing activity at a time).
  • Be considerate. If your baby is screaming continuously, please leave the room. We need to show that parents can mix motherhood (or fatherhood) and business in a responsible and reasonable way.
  • Be prepared for a lot of interest and questions. This can actually be good for networking!
  • If it’s a large gathering, like a networking event or there are public speakers, contact the meeting organiser in advance if you can. This will allow you to build a rapport with her/him and a chance for them to accommodate you on joint terms. For example, to arrange seating arrangements in case you need to make a speedy exit for things like nappy changes.
  • Can you do something to promote the organiser or can they use you to promote them as forward-thinking and open to new working practices?
  • Embrace social media and new technology for support, networking and flexible working opportunities.

A call to action
Children are suffering. Mums and dads feel torn. Rather than just talking about the same old topics: the importance of breastfeeding, the need for quality childcare and the requirement of my generation to support an ageing population (#whenIm65), we need to come up with alternative economically and socially viable solutions.

I don’t like the options available to me and my family and neither do most of the other mums and dads I know. I want to find ways of sharing my experiences and maybe, just maybe, through social media and exposure other parents, MPs, healthcare professionals, business entrepreneurs, FTSE 100 companies, academics, charities, educational bodies etc will want to join my experiment too. 

I’m a catalyst for ideas and experimenting with new business and parenting techniques. For debate and ideas please use me!

Mixing Babies with Business in East Kent
I have recently attended some important business and voluntary group meetings with my youngest baby in a sling. Sometimes my toddler comes too if it’s the kind of event where we can do colouring-in, puzzles and other fun activities. But sometimes this isn’t fair to him or appropriate to the event, so daddy, his grandparents or a friend have helped look after him (more on the childcare debate another time!).

I would particularly like to thank and highlight the following events for welcoming me as a slinging, breastfeeding mum trying to do business and support families in the local community:

With thanks to @hackneydoula for highlighting the article.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Grandparents, Childcare and Working #whenim65 
If we remove ageism as a barrier to work then anyone who is healthy, fit and willing should be able to contribute to society by working– no matter what their age. BBC 1’s documentary The Town that Never Retired was insightful

However, it investigated the concept of what work is within a fairly conventional framework. If we are serious about tackling the major issues facing our society (an ageing population, the pension crisis, high youth unemployment, unaffordable childcare etc) then we need a radical re-think about what work is and how it is valued and remunerated.

Grandparents and childcare
My children’s grandparents are all over 65 and working. Some of the work they do is paid and some is voluntary but they all hold positions of responsibility. My in-laws also offer invaluable free childcare support to me and my husband, as they live locally (and they’re amazing!). This helps me as I’m trying to set up a business, alongside fulltime motherhood and various voluntary posts to assist women and families in East Kent (although statistically I’m either deemed unemployed or a homemaker).

Increasingly society is dependent on pensioners offering free childcare and even free care to their mentally or physically disabled spouse as they grow older. They are also relied on to provide much-needed voluntary support in the community. I still remember helping my grandmother in a charity shop when she was in her 70s years ago. And yet, over 65s are often not perceived as being capable of doing a job in a commercial environment. When my business is up and running, I hope to utilise skills from talented people based on their skills and enthusiasm - and not age.

An experiment for East Kent?
It strikes me that East Kent would be an interesting place to experiment with alternative working practices given its ageing population, the number of unemployed, the large number of further and higher educational establishments, the growth in start-ups and its regeneration agenda. It also has an interesting dynamic due to its vibrant creative community involving artists of all ages.

I'd love to know what the people of East Kent think.

And finally ...
This article was inspired by late night Tweeting between @escapetocreate and @Marcowhitspurs. Thanks both!

You can see Parts 1 and 2 of of BBC1s TV documentary The Town that Never Retired on BBC iplayer.

Coming soon: An article on Breastfeeding and Business in East Kent and EastKentMum's recommendation for families visiting the Whitstable Oyster Festival.

Friday, 6 July 2012

@EastKentMum on @LoungeOnTheFarm

Important info for families going to #LoungeOnTheFarm can be found at

The weather is warm but wet. We are packing the last of our bits and pieces for Kent's family friendly music festival and will be arriving soon.

I recommend you find the #NCT tent. Rumour has it that tired mums may get a free massage! Let me know if this is true. Certainly there will be chill out areas for babies. You can also find out about what your local East Kent children's centre can do for you (if you're not already accessing this free facility).

Zingzillas are performing this weekend if your children fancy a bop with their furry friends.

I will be tweeting updates as @EastKentMum throughout the weekend. Do let me know if you find any top child-friendly food facilities, events or activities and I'll post or re-tweet.

Top Tip: Don't forget your waterproofs and wellies. And double bag children's spare clothes if you're in tents (especially bedtime clothing so they are warm and dry). 

Image downloaded from the Lounge on the Farm website.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Last Minute Father's Day Gift Idea

My boys give daddy a picture book for Father's Day
It's always a successful gift! Children can choose the book. They get excited giving it. It's a thoughtful gift. Picture books don't cost the earth and are read all year round. Bed time is extra special! 

Here are a few of EastKentMum's recommendations.

My Dad by Anthony Browne

This is a real winner by Kent’s very own author/illustrator Anthony Browne. Wonderfully detailed and amusing illustrations demonstrating that dad really can do anything. He is as wise as an owl and as daft as a brush. He's fantastic at football and as soft as a teddy bear. Ahh!

What Does Daddy Do? 

by Rachel Bright

One dad is a teacher, another dad is a fireman …  but what does Daisy’s daddy do? Lots of comedy moments offering an insight into a child’s imagination (e.g. Daddy’s boss is a dragon so he must fight dragons!). But of course the most important job of all is that he’s Daisy’s daddy! 

No mums in this book so works well for single dads too.

Spot Loves His Dad 
by Eric Hill

Spot is always a winner with little ones! A lovely bedtime story involving dad and Spot doing lots of activities together: playing football in the park, eating ice cream at the seaside and sharing a bedtime story. 

No mums so works for single dads too. 

We’re Going On a Bear Hunt 
by Michael Rosen Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

This is a classic involving a mum, dad and their three children. Every child will want to go on a bear hunt after reading this one. I bet many a dad will want to pretend to be a bear and chase their little one around the room after reading it too!

Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born 
by Jamie Lee-Curtis Illustrated by Laura Cornell

This is a heart-warming story for parents to share with their adopted son or daughter. It is sensitively written and unique in its delivery. 

“Tell me again about the night I was born. Tell me again how you would adopt me and be my parents. Tell me again about the first time you held me in your arms.”

Guess How Much I Love You 
by Sam McBratney Illustrated by Anita Jeram

This is a heart-warming story. Many a Dad will be told he is loved to the moon and back after this story!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

East Kent Mum visits Margate and hears what Mary Portas has to say

Latest News on Mary Portas in Margate

It was a great event and inspiring as I'm in the process of creating a business plan and investigating funding to start up a relevant business there. Plans for for what I want the business to be are currently secret but more to come on that over the coming weeks.

I was delighted that it was made easy for me to attend by choosing an event that the whole family could go to so I didn't feel awkward or need to arrange childcare support. This is something which is key to my philosophy in setting up a new business.

Why is Margate involved?

"Margate has been chosen as one of the first 12 towns in the UK to become one of the so-called Portas Pilot Towns. It will receive £100k of government money." 

It was encouraging to see a reasonably good turnout and to feel a buzz about the place. I put my name down at various stands in the hope that someone will be in touch shortly.

The local Town Crier called for everyone to post their ideas on Post-It notes at the back of the old shop. Some great ideas there so let's see what happens.

Concerns about the project already being reported

Some local people and businesses are allegedly voicing their concern over the contracts imposed on them by the television company creating a documentary with Mary Portas. 

This issue wasn't raised by anyone I spoke to at the event. My experience so far has been positive, open and supportive. 

However, it is wise to be aware. Read the following to find out more on the issue:

East Kent Mum makes new friends

I managed to make lots of new contacts and promised Lynda and Steve from Never Mind the Cupcakes that I would mention them in my blog. I look forward to getting to know Lynda and Steve over the coming months and sample some of their magic Margate cake creations!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Keep your family safe in East Kent

All emergency & non-urgent services information for East Kent in one place!


FREE fire safety advice and FREE smoke alarms
Kent Fire and Rescue Service offers free fire safety advice. Call the community safety team on 0800 923 7000 for more information.

East Kent Mum says that she contacted the local Fire Service and was amazed by the free and friendly service she received. We discussed an emergency escape route should there ever be a fire. And, as we didn’t have any smoke alarms, the fire service fitted 3 alarms for free!


Find your local neighbourhood officer

Are you or a family member suffering Domestic Abuse?
There’s lots of help and support in East Kent. Please contact someone for help.


In an emergency phone 999 or 112.

East Kent Mum says she had to use the ambulance service when her blood pressure became high enough to be of concern by the midwife. Fantastic service and East Kent Mum was at QEQM hospital delivering baby no. 2 in no time!

Find other local services, such as NHS Direct, local minor injury units, sexual health etc

About NHS Eastern and Coastal services


East Kent Mum says East Kent is full of beautiful beaches. But, the sea can be dangerous and it’s important our children are fully informed in sea and beach safety.

In an emergency, dial 999 or 112.

See the RNLI’s webpage on beach and sea safety

East Kent Mum says remember to apply a high factor sunscreen and wear sun hats on the beach. Cool winds in East Kent can be deceptive!

A website full of safety advice and interactive games for children by the RNLI.

Find your nearest RNLI lifeboat station

The RNLI is an independent charity and does not receive any money from the UK government. The lifeboat crews and lifeguards are volunteers. You can donate:

East Kent Mum says to look out for charity events as our lifeboat stations need all the support they can get.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Whitstable Toddle Waddle for Meningitis Trust

East Kent Mums and their children walked the Whitstable Toddle Waddle in aid of Meningitis Trust.
We made the Whitstable Times and other local media. Check the story out:

What is Meningitis?
It's important for parents and carers to know the symptoms. To find out more visit The Meningitis Trust.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

What to do this Bank Holiday

Pick of events in East Kent for families this bank holiday. Including: Canterbury, Whitstable, Margate, Herne Bay, Faversham, Ramsgate, Dover.


1. Turner Exhibition, Turner Contemporary, Margate.
Cost: FREE
Date: All weekend open 10am-6pm

East Kent Mum’s seen it with her kids. Here’s a quick activity to do as you go round. Find the following in Turner’s paintings: a whale, a dolphin, a cave, a storm, a dog, a ship, a fire, some sheep, a rainbow.

2. Turner Contemporary Family Workshop, Turner Contemporary, Margate.
Cost: £2 per child (under 3s and adults FREE)
Date: Sunday 8th May open 1pm-4pm

East Kent Mum likes this regular Sunday workshop for children.

3. Easy Monday Sonic Play, Turner Contemporary, Margate. 
Cost: £2 per child (under threes and accompanying adults FREE)
Date: Monday 7th May open 1pm-4pm

4. Welcome to the Jungle, Powell-Cotton Museum, Quex House, Birchington.
Cost: Various including £20 for a family ticket.
Date: Monday 7th May from 2pm-3.30pm

5. Walk along Margate Harbour Arm, Margate beach and the Old Town

A stone’s throw from the Turner Contemporary, it’s great fun to wander along the Harbour Arm to admire the sea views, watch artists at work and grab a drink in BeBeached Café. Children will enjoy the freedom of playing on the beach before looking at some of the lovely independent and vintage shops over the road.


1. May Day Celebrations, Whitstable Castle.
Cost: Donation only.
Date: Monday 7th May from 11am - 4.30pm

East Kent Mum went for the first time last year and had a fun time! Don’t forget to let the kids have fun in the Castle playground – a free activity all year round.

 2. Watch Morris Dancing, Dead Horse, In and around Whitstable
Date: Monday 7th May from 10am

3. Whitstable Artists Exhibition, Horsebridge Centre.
Date: All Weekend from 10am-6pm

East Kent Mum is a Friend of the Horsebridge.

      4. Whitstable Museum and Gallery
Date: All weekend from 10am-4pm (Phone to check opening times.)
Cost: £3 per adult, Up to two children free and £1 thereafter.

       East Kent Mum loves Whitstable Museum, especially on a rainy day. She uses her  Resident’s Card to get in for free. See if you’re eligible and apply for your card:

5. Have fun on Whitstable Beach
Walk, play, paddle, picnic, see the beach huts, admire the views and watch the sunsets, get a drink in
The Neptune Pub or a coffee in The Windy Corner.
Date: All weekend and costs nothing (unless you buy a pint!)

East Kent Mum informs you that she has already swum in the sea this spring so no excuses for not paddling!

     6. Whitstable Harbour
Watch the boats, see the fish market, enjoy the atmosphere and eat Whelks, Cockles & Oysters.

  7. Walk along the highstreet, famous for its independent shops.

Get sunhats and sun suits for the kids from children’s boutique Peekaboo.
Get gorgeous toys from Arsenic & Lace.
Get pretty much anything you could possibly want from Georges.
Grab an ice-cream from Sundae-Sundae or a cupcake from What’s Up Cupcake?
 Grab a coffee in the family friendly café Elliots.


11. Canterbury Heritage Museum
Dates: All weekend from 10am-5pm.
Cost: Various including Adults £8, Children £1.50

East Kent Mum went last weekend. Interactive, interesting and fun! She met Bagpuss too. She used her Resident’s Card so got in for free. See if you’re eligible and apply for your card:

12.  Howlett’s Wild Animal Park, Bekesborne, Canterbury.
All Weekend from 9:30am-6pm (last admission 4:30pm)
Cost: Adult £23:95, Child: £18:95. Under threes FREE.
25% off when you buy online.\
        East Kent Mum and family have a passport (pay once and go free the rest of the year). The focus is on conservation and education.

13.   Cycle The Crab and Winkle Way, Canterbury to Whitstable.

To hire bikes visit:

14.   Canterbury Cathedral – An example of stunning medieval architecture.
Date: All weekend but contact them in advance for service times etc.

5.  Waterstone’s Bookshop

East Kent Mum finds this a handy place to calm children down. Relaxed atmosphere and staff happy for you to play in the children’s area and explore the different kids’ books.

6.  Explore the beautiful woods around Canterbury.
Blean Woods
Date: All weekend. 
Cost: FREE (Part of the Woodland Trust)

Druidstone Park
Date: All weekend. Cost: Adults £4.50, Children £5 (under 3’s free)

East Kent Mum says thanks to @genderneutraltoys for the tweet to me @eastkentmum. I hope you still get to see the blue bells!


11.   Seal and Wildlife Trips, Sea Searcher Boat Trips, Ramsgate Royal Harbour
Dates: Saturday 5th May (9am-10:30am) and Sunday 6th May (9:30am-11:00am)
Cost: £20 per person

East Kent Mum has never done this but would love to!


1. Pat-a-lamb day, Mount Ephraim Gardens, HernhillDates: 11:00am-5:00pm


1. Herne Bay Museum, William Street.

East Kent Mum says to use your Resident’s Card so got in for free. See if your eligible and apply for your card:

2. Reculver Towers, Reculver Country Park.Cost: FREEBeautiful coastal views, walks and countryside to explore. The bonus is a chance to see the twin 12th century towers of the ruined church.

East Kent Mum loves walking in Reculver Country Park with her family. The pub there serves reasonable food and the staff are helpful and friendly.

3.   Herne MillDates: Sunday 6th May and Monday 7th May 2pm-5pm (last admission 4:30pm)Membership costs: Adults £2.50 per year and Children £1 for the year.


1. Heritage train journeys, East Kent Railway, Shepherdswell. 
Dates: Sunday 6th May leaves at 11:30am,12:45pm, 2:15pm and 3:30pm
Cost: Various. Family ticket available for £

East Kent Mum hasn’t done this yet but knows families who have. Mums have commented on: the visitor centre, the little café, the gentle woodland walks and the excitement children get riding on the trains.

2. Dover Castle, Castle Hill.
Dates: All Weekend 10:00am-6:00pm
Cost: Various. Family ticket available for £42.90.

3. Dover Museum
Dates: All weekend.Cost: Adult £3.50, Child: £2.25; Family ticket £10.

4. Enjoy Cream Teas, Shelley’s Tea Rooms, St. Margaret’s Bay.Dates: All Weekend (Unsure of opening times.)

Cost: Reasonably priced.

East Kent Mum hasn’t had a Cream Tea here for a long while but recently enjoyed a Cream Tea in  sister-café, Shelley’s Tea Room in Chilham.


1. The Historic Dockyard, Chatham.80 acres of historic buildings, museum, gallery and historic warships.Dates: All weekend from 10am-6pm,