Situated in the heart of the Garden of England, Dartford is a historic town with a vibrant spirit. Though small in size, this Kentish gem packs in plenty of culture, nature and fun – perfect for a charming day out! Follow along as we dive into everything this underrated destination has to offer.
A Glimpse into Dartford’s Past
With roots stretching back to the Roman era, Dartford has long played an important role in England’s story. The town grew significantly during mediaeval times when Watling Street, the Roman Road from Canterbury to London, put Dartford on the map.
Remnants from Dartford’s past are visible through landmarks like the 12th century Holy Trinity Church and mediaeval Bull Hotel. For more insights, visit the Dartford Museum to uncover over 2000 years of local history!
Understandably, Dartford is proud of its most famous native son – Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger. At the interactive Mick Jagger Centre, you can learn about his humble beginnings and early musical journey to superstardom.
Begin your Dartford day by stretching your legs in the sprawling Central Park. Enjoy leisurely strolls under the tree-lined pathways, take in the vibrant gardens and flowers in bloom, and feel your stress melt away. Early risers may catch locals teeing off for a round of golf!
Work up an appetite while exploring Dartford’s past at the Museum. Then grab a hearty brunch and coffee at one of the quintessentially British cafes downtown. The smell of bacon and brewing tea is sure to whet your appetite!
An Afternoon of Shopping and Music
After refuelling, make your way to The Orchards Shopping Centre where over 100 stores await. From high street staples like Debenhams to unique independent boutiques, the retail therapy possibilities are endless!
Once your bags are full, pop into the Mick Jagger Centre for an immersive music experience. Try your hand at playing instruments, view Jagger memorabilia, or get creative in the performing arts studios. There’s fun for aspiring musicians of all ages at this one-of-a-kind venue.
Dinner and Entertainment as the Sun Sets
As evening sets in, Dendroford’s eclectic dining scene springs to life. Take your pick from Thai, Italian, Indian, traditional pub fare and more. Locally sourced ingredients and talented chefs ensure a delicious end to your day out.
For evening entertainment, cosy pubs and bars host live bands and open mic nights. Or catch a dazzling performance at the Orchard Theatre ranging from West End musicals to avant-garde productions. The dramatic arts thrive in Dartford.
Exploring the Outdoors
Though Dartford offers plenty within its town centre, the real magic lies in the surrounding countryside. Just minutes away, the lush Dartford Heath provides miles of scenic walking trails amongst unspoiled nature.
Pack a picnic or spend a lazy afternoon fishing at the tranquil Brooklands Lake. Surrounded by weeping willows and twittering birds, you’ll feel worlds away from the town bustle. Keep an eye out for rare bird species like the Dartford warbler fluttering amongst the heather.
With so many ways to connect with nature just outside the town, it’s easy to see why Dartford made it into the top 15% of UK areas for outdoor living!
Family Friendly Activities
Dartford truly caters to all ages and interests. For the little ones, loop through Central Park’s adventure playground with slides, climbing walls and swings. Stop by one of Dartford’s libraries for kid-friendly events like storytime, crafts and more for free educational fun.
Grown-ups can sample real ales at local breweries or cosy cafes while children play. When everyone’s tuckered out, retreat to your B&B for well-des
erved rest. With so many family attractions, Dartford makes the perfect multi-generational getaway!
Festivals and Events All Year
The fun in Dartford doesn’t stop when you leave. Year-round, the town celebrates with lively cultural events suitable for all ages.
Summer brings the Outdoor Cinema in Central Park, International Comedy and Jazz Festivals, and colourful Carnival. In December, get into the festive spirit at Dartford’s Christmas markets and light switch-on, complete with music and artisan gifts. Any time of year, there’s always something exciting happening!
Easy Access from London
Only 30 minutes by train, Dartford is an easily accessible escape from the frenzy of London. Without the long journey, crowds and costs of faraway destinations, Dartford offers a refreshing daycation from the capital.
With so many attractions, extending your stay is a breeze. Choose from hotels, cosy B&Bs, or even if you decide to put down some roots ( you should consider shared ownership properties through Moat Homes if you want a great new build with a smaller outlay upfront) if Dartford’s charms have you hooked then what are you waiting for!
More Than Just a Day Trip
For such a small town, Dartford packs a surprising punch. History meets music and arts, indoors and outdoors activities abound, locally sourced cuisine flourishes – there truly is something for everyone to enjoy.
See for yourself why Dartford leaves visitors enchanted. Whether you’re local or coming from afar, get ready to explore the many treasures this Kentish town has to offer!