Diary of top events in Kent this September

Camel racing in Rolvenden

Camel racing in Rolvenden - Credit: Archant

From a new foodie fest at Leeds Castle to camel and pig racing in Rolvenden, Kent Life’s guide is the most comprehensive in the county


5 to 7 September 2014

Weald of Kent Craft & Design Show

The show is one of the biggest in the calendar for leading British craftspeople, who will be selling their hand-made wares. With family friendly workshops, live music and delicious food available, the show is a perfect day out for all. More than 200 British artisans will be displaying their inspirational work, giving visitors the ideal opportunity to buy that special someone a thoughtful gift or pick up something unique for the home or garden.

Tickets: ££7.50 (adult); £6.50 (Senior); children under 16 free if accompanied by an adult; £10 (combined Weald of Kent Craft Show and Penshurst House & Gardens)

01425 277988

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Penshurst Place & Gardens, nr Tonbridge

Satnav: TN11 8DG


Kent Life has teamed up with the organisers of the Weald of Kent Craft & Design Show to offer three lucky readers a chance to win a family ticket to this fantastic event. Set in the picturesque surrounds of Penshurst Place, visitors can spend a day exploring the best that British craftspeople have to offer.

More than 200 exhibitors will be showing why handmade is best, with beautiful and unusual gifts that you won’t find anywhere on the high street. Plus, if you’re a foodie, then The Good Food Live area is also a must-visit.

To be in with a chance of winning one of the family tickets, all you have to do is answer the question below:

Where is the Weald of Kent Craft & Design Show being held?

a) Penshurst Place

b) Your Place

c) Brandshatch Place

Jot your answer down on a postcard or on the back of an envelope and send it to Weald of Kent Craft & Design Show Competition, Kent Life, Archant Kent, 81 Station Road, Ashford TN23 1PP. Don’t forget to include your name, address and a daytime telephone number on your entry.

Alternatively, you can send your answer in by email. Please send it to editor@kent-life.co.uk, with Kent Craft & Design Show Competition in the subject line. Again, don’t forget to include your name, address and a daytime telephone number.

Closing date: 1 September 2014

The editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered in to.

Archant competition rules apply (for full terms and conditions see www.kent-life.co.uk).

2 to 6 Sep

The Perfect Murder

The first stage adaptation of the work of international crime thriller novelist Peter James comes to Canterbury. With its darkly comic and thrilling storyline, The Perfect Murder tells the tale of Victor Smiley and his wife Joan, who have been married for a long time, but their marriage has reached crisis point and Victor decides there is only one way to get Joan out of his life. Enter young detective Roy Grace, who starts to investigate his first homicide case.

Tickets: £16 to £31.50

01227 787787

The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

Satnav: CT1 2AS

3 and 4 Sep

Peppa Pig’s Big Splash

The nursery roof is leaking and Peppa and her friends need to fix it quickly. They set up a fête to raise the money for Mr Bull to do the repairs. There’s plenty of fun to be had as Peppa, George, Mummy and Daddy Pig, as well as Danny Dog, Pedro Pony and Suzy Sheep put up bunting, run stalls and organise a great day out.

Tickets: £14.50 to £16.50

0844 871 7620

Churchill Theatre, Bromley

Satnav: BR1 1HA

5 Sep

The Dualers

The ska and reggae band The Dualers will have you jumping to your feet as they run through their repertoire of toe-tapping ditties.

Tickets: £15

0844 815 9045

Mercure Great Danes Hotel, Maidstone

Satnav: ME17 1RE

5 and 8 Sep

Dawn French

Dawn French, one of the ‘Queens of British comedy’, has announced her first-ever solo tour. The award-winning actor, best-selling novelist and all-round funny lady has written a new show, based on her life and career, and consists of various delights and riches, with the odd irksome tribulation thrown in. She will be at the Assembly Hall on 5 Sep and at the Churchill Theatre on 8 Sep.

Tickets: £39.50 (Assembly Hall); £40.50 (Churchill Theatre);

01892 530613 (Assembly Hall); 0844 871 7620 (Churchill Theatre)

Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells; Churchill Theatre, Bromley

Satnav: TN1 2LU (Assembly Hall); BR1 1HA (Churchill Theatre)

5 to 26 Sep

The Beginner Gardener

Sign up for this course and you will understand how to get the best from your garden with the help of Fiona Abrahams from Hadlow College. You will get practical hands-on experience of essential gardening skills and the knowledge to make the plants in your garden thrive.

Tickets: £150

01233 643854

Godinton House, Ashford

Satnav: TN23 3BP

6 Sep

Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular

Come Fly With Me, Under My Skin, Mr Bojangles, Fly Me To The Moon, Lady Is A Tramp, That’s Amore, Mack The Knife, Sway and many more of your favourites will all be showcased in this wonderful tribute to the undisputed ‘Kings of Cool’. Also joining in the fun are The Fabulous Vegas Showgirls who add a touch of glamour to proceedings.

Tickets: £17.00 to £23.00

0844 871 3015

Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone

Satnav: CT20 2DZ

6 Sep

Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown

The lewd, crude comedian who sometimes shocks, often insults, but always entertains his audience will be coming to Kent in Sept. Definitely not for the faint-hearted. If easily offended, please stay away.

Tickets: £21

0844 871 7620

Churchill Theatre, Bromley

Satnav: BR1 1HA

7 Sep

Camel and Pig Racing Day

Hole Park will provide the backdrop for this colourful fundraising event. As well as the aforementioned camel and pig racing, there will also be Mongolian wrestling, singing and dancing. The Wild Camel Protection Foundation is staging the event to raise much-needed funds for one of the world’s most endangered animals.

Tickets: £10 (per car)

01580 241344

Hole Park House & Gardens, Rolvenden

Satnav: TN17 4JB

8 to 13 Sep

Hay Fever

Felicity Kendal stars in this Noel Coward play alongside Simon Shepherd. Hay Fever has been a favourite amongst theatregoers ever since it first dazzled London’s West End in 1925. Unconventional, risqué, and often downright rude, the Blisses are everything a respectable English family should not be. Misjudged meetings, secret seductions and scandalous revelations proliferate during one outrageous weekend in Berkshire.

Tickets: £18 to £35

01227 787787

The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

Satnav: CT1 2AS

9 Sep

The Queen Extravaganza

Hot on the heels of a recent North American tour, The Queen Extravaganza will rock 14 venues across the UK. The Queen Extravaganza is a spectacular touring show designed to take the music and live experience of rock icons Queen and bring it to generations of fans. Two of Queen’s original members - iconic drummer Roger Taylor and legendary guitarist Brian May - are the masterminds behind The Queen Extravaganza.

Tickets: £22.50 to £24.50

01892 530 613

Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells

Satnav: TN1 2LU

11 to 20 Sep

Blockbuster – The Musical

A brand-new musical, starring evergreen actor Paul Nicholas, is to have its world-premiere at Dartford’s Orchard Theatre. Featuring the classic music of Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn, the legendary song-writing duo that dominated the pop world in the 70s and 80s with hits including Tiger Feet, Can the Can, Mickey, Living Next Door To Alice and many, many more, Blockbuster - The Musical is a solid gold trip down memory lane.

Tickets: £20 to £32

01322 220000

The Orchard Theatre, Dartford

Satnav: DA1 1ED

12 and 13 Sep

Spitfire Solo

The one-man show tells the story of fictional Battle of Britain pilot Peter Walker, whose life in a retirement home is turned upside down by the arrival of an unexpected visitor. The show features some Second World War film footage as well as music of the time. Pitched as a tribute to The Few and a reminder of their sacrifice, the production is mixed with a human story and some gentle humour.

01424 440484

Ellen Terry Barn Theatre, Smallhythe Place, Tenterden

Satnav: TN30 7NG

12 to 14 Sep

Country Life at the Castle

Enjoy a slower pace of life as you unwind in the glorious Hever Castle grounds while enjoying the displays and demonstrations. Talented craftspeople will ‘set up stall’ on Half Moon Pond to show off their skills. Sample food and drink from local producers and find out about keeping hens and bees.

Tickets: From £8.70 to £39.70

01732 865224

Hever Castle, nr Edenbridge

Satnav: TN8 7NG

12 to 14 Sep

Great British Food Festival

Come and get a taste of a delicious new event for ‘foodies’ and families alike. You can see, smell and taste goods from local food and drink producers, retailers, chefs and cookery schools. With daily demonstrations, children’s activities and entertainment, there is something to suit everyone’s taste. A valid entrance ticket to Leeds Castle is required for this event.

Tickets: Contact venue

01622 765400

Leeds Castle, Maidstone

Satnav: ME17 1PL

13 Sep

Autumn Propagation

A practical session that will reveal the secrets to fill your garden with free plants. You can also take home a selection of plants from Godinton’s own borders.

Tickets: £55

01233 643854

Godinton House, Ashford

Satnav: TN23 3BP

13 Sep

Think Floyd

One of the UK’s top Pink Floyd tribute groups is coming straight from the Dark Side of the Moon and you will certainly Wish You Were Here when they take to the stage. Now in their 20th year, the incredibly talented musicians who make up Think Floyd have managed to faithfully recreate the atmosphere, visual magnitude and musical excellence of Floyd live on stage.

Tickets: £20

01982 530613

Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells

Satnav: TN1 2LU

13 and 14 Sep

Hop Festival Weekend

Relive the hopping experience at the Kent & East Sussex Railway’s Hop Festival Weekend. Former hop pickers will be reliving their memories while visitors can experience the hop picking way of life first hand. There will also be memorabilia on display together with heritage vehicles and steam driven road and model vehicles.

Live entertainment from ‘The Sideboard Men’ and Morris Dancing will add to the nostalgic atmosphere.

Tickets: £12 to £48

01580 765155

KESR, Tenterden

Satnav: TN30 6HE

16 Sep

French Dining Experience

This is the first in a series of corporate networking events that is being organised by the Heart of Kent Hospice. Come and enjoy an evening of exquisite French cuisine. Guests can indulge in a three-course meal made with only the finest of ingredients. Places are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Tickets: £25

01622 790195

Frederic Café Bistro, Maidstone

Satnav: ME14 1HP

16 to 20 Sep

To Kill A Mockingbird

Directed by Timothy Sheader, this critically acclaimed production starts its UK tour in Canterbury. Set in America’s Deep South, racial injustice envelops a small town. Through courage and compassion, lawyer Atticus Finch seeks the truth and Scout, his daughter, brings new hope to a neighbourhood in turmoil.

Tickets: £19.00 to £34.50

01227 787787

The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

Satnav: CT1 2AS

19 and 20 Sep

Flashing Eyes is a unique musical bursting with melody and nostalgia. It tells the eternal tale of love at first sight, the courtship that follows with its ups and downs, tears and laughter, and is set in 1950s Margate

Tickets: £10; £9 (concs)

01843 292795

Theatre Royal, Margate

Satnav: CT9 1PW

20 Sep

Weald of Kent Ploughing Match

Horse, tractor and people power… As well as the traditional events that include Ashford Valley and Tickham Hunt, the Bolebroke Beagles, birds of prey and a mass gathering of all the tractors which have taken part in the ploughing, there will also be a dog agility competition and a tug-of-war competition.

Tickets: £5


Gatehouse Farm, Marden

Satnav: TN12 9SG

20 to 21 Sep

Salute to the 1940s

Get whisked back in time and find that around every corner period vehicles, evacuees and people dressed in1940s attire will bring the period vividly to life. With dance troops and the best of 1940s entertainers, this is one of the finest vintage events of its kind in the country.

Tickets: From £6 to £57

01634 823800

The Historic Dockyard, Chatham

Satnav: ME4 4TE

20 to 21 September

War and the Horse

Witness the powerful imagery and confidence of the Cavalry of 1914 as they prepared to dominate the battlefields of Europe, little aware of the way in which the machine gun and barbed wire would sweep away their preconceptions. Glimpse into this world as we tell this remarkable story through re-enactment, talks, music and children’s activities.

Tickets: Up to £48.10

0870 333 1181

Dover Castle, Dover

Satnav: CT16 1HU

21 Sep

The Demelza Run

This year marks the 10th anniversary of this fundraising event for Demelza Hospice Care for Children. Returning to Leeds Castle, where the first Demelza Run was held, participants of all ages are welcome. Suitable for novice runners taking on their first 5k to experienced runners who are looking for a more challenging 10k. Register your place by visiting www.demelza.org.uk

Tickets: £15 (adults); £5 (children); £35 (family)

01795 845200

Leeds Castle, Maidstone

Satnav: ME17 1PL

21 Sep

Ruby Wax – Sane New World

The much-loved US-born comedian presents her new show, based on her book called Sane New World. The book - and production - shows us how to rewire our thinking to find calm in a frenetic world and how to become the master, not the slave, of our own minds.

Tickets: £19

0844 871 7620

Churchill Theatre, Bromley

Satnav: BR1 1HA

[+ PIC] © Steve Ullathorne

21 Sep

Classic Car show

St Christopher’s Hospice in Bromley is holding its annual Classic Car Show. The show boasts hundreds of interesting and modified vehicles. It’s a great day out for all the family, with interesting stalls, a local farmers market, beer tent and BBQ.

Tickets: £4; £12 (family); under 12s are free

020 8768 4500 (St Christopher’s Hospice)

Tripes Farm, Orpington

Satnav: BR6 7RS

22 September 2014

The loss of Hogue, Cressy and Aboukir

Three Royal Navy Cruisers (Hogue, Cressy and Aboukir) were lost in 1914, off the Dutch coast in the North Sea. The ships were manned with reservists from the Chatham Division and the 1,273 names of those lost are recorded on the Chatham Naval Memorial. This is an event to commemorate the loss of the vessels.

Tickets: Contact venue

01634 823800

The Historic Dockyard, Chatham

Satnav: ME4 4TE

23 to 27 Sep

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat

X-Factor finalist Lloyd Daniels is now part of the cast for this long-running production. The youngest contestant in the 2009 competition, Daniels got to the final five out of 250,000 entrants, and performed in front of 10 million TV viewers. Since then, he has performed to sold-out arenas on the X Factor tour and released a single, Suburban Girl.

Tickets: £10 to £25

0844 871 7620

Churchill Theatre, Bromley

Satnav: BR1 1HA

23 to 28 Sep

Festival of Flowers

This popular floral event returns to Leeds Castle this autumn. Local florists, flower societies and clubs will transform the State Rooms into works of art using flowers. A valid entrance ticket to Leeds Castle is required for this event.

Tickets: Contact venue

01622 765400

Leeds Castle, Maidstone

Satnav: ME17 1PL

26 Sep

Sir Thomas Allen

Sir Thomas Allen, a remarkable lyric baritone and internationally renowned star of some of the greatest opera houses in the world presents Schubert’s Winterreise. Pianist Joseph Middleton will accompany him.

Tickets: £16.00

01892 750665 or 01892 750845

Frant Church, Frant

Satnav: TN3 9DX

27 Sep

Grow Your Own

Make your garden, big or small, more productive and enjoy a bumper harvest of fruit, veg and cut flowers.

Tickets: £55.00

01233 643854

Godinton House, Ashford

Satnav: TN23 3BP

27 and 28 Sep

Fun Day Out With Thomas

The Kent & East Sussex Railway invites you to come and meet everyone’s favourite steam locomotive, Thomas the Tank Engine and all of his friends, including Sir Topham Hatt aka The Fat Controller. Tickets include a 70-minute train ride, the chance to enjoy “Thomas & Friends” station scenarios, as well as a fun-packed programme of children’s events.

Tickets: £15 (adult); £12.50 (child); £48 (family)

01580 765155

KESR, Tenterden

Satnav: TN30 6HE

28 Sep

Jane McDonald

A singer, TV personality and platinum-selling recording artist, Jane McDonald is on the road to publicise her latest album, The Singer of Your Song. She will be undertaking a 35-date UK tour, which includes an appearance in Kent.

Tickets: £23.40 to £39.40

01303 228600

Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone

Satnav: CT20 2DZ

30 Sep and 2 Oct

Michael McIntyre

The incredibly popular comedian returns to Margate with a ‘work-in-progress’ show for his hotly anticipated brand-new stand-up tour ‘Happy & Glorious’. His previous tour, ‘Showtime’, was one of the biggest-selling comedy tours in the world in 2012, which included a record-breaking 10-night residency at London’s O2 Arena. Can you really afford not to see this very funny chap in such an intimate setting?

Tickets: £22.50

01843 292795

Theatre Royal, Margate

Satnav: CT9 1PW

Sep to Oct

Sevenoaks Literary Celebration 2014

Lucy Hughes-Hallett, crowned winner of the 2014 Samuel Johnson Non-Fiction prize and the Costa Biography prize, will be the first speaker in the Sevenoaks Literary Celebration. Her acclaimed biography of Gabriele d’Annunzio, The Pike, tells the story of an outrageous Italian poet, seducer and adventurer a century ago. The festival will also welcome writer and actor Ian Kelly, and Liz Lochhead, Scotland’s national poet, leading biologist Professor Dave Goulson, Robert Sackville-West and many more. See also page for more information.

Tickets: Various

01732 452055 (Sevenoaks Bookshop)


Satnav: TN13


18 Nov

Royal Air Force in Concert Tour

Boasting a programme of music spanning the past five decades to match the colour, flamboyance and entertainment provided by Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines. From the Beatles to Bolero, Queen to Andrew Lloyd-Webber, big band to Puccini, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on the Royal Air Force in Concert Tour. BBC Radio 2’s Alan Dedicoat will be the evening’s compère.

Tickets: £17 to £23

01227 787787

The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

Satnav: CT1 2AS