The Kent Website since 1999
You've landed on the Yourcounty Kent Life feature, it's aim is to provide an introduction and review to this attraction and add a little value through our local knowledge and user feedback. The contributions of our audience are particularly important to the success of the website so we welcome your comments, our contact details are at the foot of the page. Visit our Discover Kent pages If you'd like to see more attractions in the Maidstone area and across Kent.
Previously known as the Museum of Kent Life this attraction and heritage farm is based on the Sandling Farm which stood on the site for over 500 years, formerly being part of the Allington Estate or Cobtree Estate. Following the death of the estate's last owner Sir Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake in 1966 the farm was left to the people of Maidstone. In 1983 Maidstone Borough Council and KCC created The Museum of Kent Life, the buildings were restored and the farm brought into working order. The public were first admitted in July 1985.
Since the opening of the heritage farm the 28 acre estate has seen a programme of continual development, not only as a working farm but also as a repository for Kent's rural heritage. Traditional Kentish farm building have been saved from demolition and moved to the site, often piece by piece. The Agricultural Store, Boxley Grange Granary, Cuxton Chapel, Lenham Cottages, Petts Farmhouse, Ulcombe Village Hall and the Vale Farm Barn are some of the structures safeguarded on the site.
Lorna Woodage from Kent Life has won gold at the Beautiful South Awards for Excellence 2012-13. The awarded is run by Tourism South East and it's given for dedication to providing visitors with an outstanding experience.
Kent Life is in Lock Lane, Maidstone, near the M20 junction 6. It is the county’s premier rural heritage experience, with 28 acres of fun from hands-on activities for children to age-old farming traditions.
The centre piece of Kent Life is the farm, it does have it's own 'petting corner' but it's a real working concern and visitors can get a good look at farmyard occupants like: goats, pigs, sheep and ducks. To keep with the authenticity of the heritage concept many of the animals are the traditional local breeds (Saddleback pigs, Red Sussex cows). The farm also rehomes rescued animals from the UK and abroad including donkeys and goats. Visitors that have made friends with the animals or wish to support the work of Kent Life are able to 'Adopt an Animal' and contribute to the costs of food and all round welfare.
Whilst the heritage aspect of Kent Life is demonstrated in the farm, the buildings and gardens that have been created and relocated to Sandling are an important part of the rural history of Kent. We outline a few of the key exhibits here, for fuller details visit the website or better still the attraction itself.
As well as the static exhibits Kent Life runs a very wide range of activities, many during school holidays, some are seasonal, you'll need to check in advance if you want to know if one is likely to take place during your visit. They include: Bottle Feeding Lambs, Bouncy Castle, Face Painting, Indoor Soft Play Area, Adventure Playground, Piglet Racing, Quad Bikes and Tractor Trailer Rides.
Details correct at the time of writing but please see the website for the latest details. Seasonal variations and closures apply during December and January.
Fancy looking after farmyard animals, putting your acting skills to the test as a costumed character, or maybe caring for a medieval herb garden? Kent Life Heritage Farm Park, near Maidstone, launches a new Volunteer Scheme this week, giving everyone the chance to enjoy their passion and help make a real difference at one of the county’s best-loved attractions. In return for giving just 30 hours of your time in a calendar year, you will be given a Volunteer Pass entitling you to free access to all of Kent Life’s fantastic events, which include the annual Hops ‘n’ Harvest Beer Festival, Christmas on the Home Front, and the hugely popular Bonfire and Fireworks Spectacular. The Volunteer Pass will also give you 20% off refreshments at Dotty’s Tearoom. More details from firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you'd like to send us your feedback or recommend Kent Life email us at email@example.com. Where possible we'll publish comments below. Please refer to our disclaimer, Yourcounty does not have any responsibility for the content of external websites.
"The wartime Christmas was a big hit for all the family, I'd recommend it warmly although we are not sure if it's a regular event or just a one off. " Helen, Bruges.
Something for everyone
Kent is as beautiful as it is diverse, within its boundaries there exists a rich range of things to do and places to see. Outstanding natural beauty, a rich history, sites of world wide cultural and religious importance, sensational beaches, ancient woodlands, the list is endless. The point being; if you are looking for a day out Kent can offer something to suit every pocket and taste.
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