May dates out in Kent

Westerham Fair on the Green

Westerham Fair on the Green - Credit: Archant

Kent Life’s selection of the top events around the county


1 May

Beyond the Barricade

Come celebrate 15 fantastic years of musical theatre. This production includes many hit songs from a myriad of the musicals, including Miss Saigon, The Lion King, Phantom Of The Opera, West Side Story, Jesus Christ Superstar, Blood Brothers and The Jersey Boys.

Tickets: £20.50

0844 871 3015

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Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone

Satnav: CT20 2DZ

1 May

La Bohème

Considered to be one of the most romantic operas ever written, La Bohème, tells the tragic tale of the doomed, consumptive Mimi and her love for a penniless writer.

Tickets: £24 to £35

01892 530613

Assembly Halls, Tunbridge Wells

Satnav: TN1 2LU

2 May

Let’s Hang On

Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, their music and everlasting popularity have rightly been awarded iconic status. Let’s Hang On captures the original magic and sound of the group and the time they were at the peak of their powers.

Tickets: £23.50

0844 871 3015

Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone

Satnav: CT20 2DZ

3 May

NSPCC Open Garden and Plant Fiar

The Ashford Branch of the NSPCC is holding its 11th annual Open Garden and Plant Fair at Saltwood Castle. The grounds are not normally open to the public, so this is also a rare chance to see around this romantic, medieval castle.

Tickets: £6

01293 651 840

Saltwood Castle, Hythe

Satnav: CT21 4QU

May 3

That’s Entertainment

From The Jam, featuring former The Jam bassist Bruce Foxton and Russell Hastings, will be bringing their acoustic approach to Kent this month. Bruce and Russell will be performing a selection of songs from The Jam’s extensive back catalogue and songs from Bruce’s new album Back In The Room, plus there will be a Q&A session with the audience as well.

Tickets: £25.00

01227 787787

The Kings Hall, Herne Bay

Satnav: CT6 6BA

3 May

Plant Support Workshop

From 9.30am to 3pm Viv Hunt, head gardener at Godinton House, will demonstrate various different methods of plant support in the gardens, then you can make your own willow obelisk or frame with local craftsman Alan Sage.

Tickets: £55

01233 643854

Godinton House, Ashford

Satnav: TN23 3BP

3 to 4 May

Plaxtol at War

This exhibition marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, but it will cover both the First and Second World War. The exhibition will be broken up into six broad themes: On Active Service, Bombs Away, The Home Front, Keeping the Home Fires Burning, Digging for Victory, and Growing up in the Shadow of War.

Tickets: Free from

Plaxtol Memorial Hall, Plaxtol

Satnav: TN13 0QD

3 to 4 May

My First Ballet: Coppélia

This is a wonderful reinvention of Ronald Hynd’s classic for children. Let them get their first introduction to the dance form by taking them to see this wonderful reinvention of Ronald Hynd’s classic for children.

Tickets: £8 to £26

01892 530613

Assembly Halls, Tunbridge Wells

Satnav: TN1 2LU

4 May

Beating the Bounds

The town of Westerham will be Beating the Bounds, complete with a family trail, activities on the Green and a mapped 12-mile scenic route for more enthusiastic walkers. The Family Friendly Trail will have plenty to interest younger participants, and for more serious walkers, the route stretches in four three-mile sections and passes Sir Winston Churchill’s home, Chartwell.

Tickets: Free


Satnav: TN16

4 May

Bluebell Walk

Come join the Heart of Kent Hospice for its 27th Bluebell Walk, a six-mile circular route through the Heart of Kent’s beautiful countryside when the bluebells should be at their best. Entry fee includes some hearty grub as well. Please make sure you register in advance of the day. Go to for more info.

Tickets: £10 per adult, £3 per child, £25 per family (entrance fee)

01622 790195

Harrietsham Village Hall, Maidstone

Satnav: ME17 4HN

5 May

Kent Seaside Brocante

This year’s Brocante, one of East Kent’s major antiques, collectables and crafts fairs, will feature more than 100 stalls selling vintage clothing, furniture and homewares, musical and military memorabilia, toys, and jewellery, as well as local arts and crafts. Valuers from The Canterbury Auction Galleries will also be on hand to advise visitors about their collectables and how to convert these into cash at auction.

Tickets: Free

01304 362363

Walmer Green, Walmer

Satnav: CT14 7DY

5 May

Triathlon Challenge

Entries into this year’s competition can be made by teams of three, one team member to swim 400 metres, one to cycle 25km and one to run 5km. The fastest team over the Triathlon Sprint distance will be awarded the Harwoods Cup. Get sponsored for your efforts and raise money for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance’s new night flying service

07549 949 615 (competitor enquiry line)

Tonbridge School, Tonbridge

Satnav: TN9 1JP

6 to 10 May

Swan Lake

Matthew Bourne’s triumphant modern re-interpretation and multi-award-winning version of Swan Lake, firmly recognised as a modern-day classic, is perhaps best known for replacing the traditional female corps de ballet with a male ensemble.

Tickets: £17.50 to £40

01227 787787

The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

Satnav: CT1 2AS

9 May

The Ballad of Martha Brown

1856 and our tale forces its way out of the deepest, darkest Dorset mud. It is a story of jealousy and passion; it is about an ordinary woman and her ordinary husband, a murder and a hanging. Using Brechtian techniques and featuring cabaret music inspired by Kurt Weill, The Ballad of Martha Brown is presented in the Angel Exit theatre company’s rich and varied visual style.

Tickets: £12; £10 (concessions); £8 (friends); £6 (schools)

01843 292795

Theatre Royal, Margate

Satnav: CT9 1PW

10 and 11 May

Medway Horticultural Fair

Grab some tips and tricks from the experts. Hadlow College staff and students will be staging floristry demonstrations, and there will also be an opportunity to learn about the college courses, including agriculture, horticulture, floristry, equine management, fisheries, countryside and environment, forestry and arboriculture

Tickets: Free

0500 551434Cozenton Park, Rainham

Satnav: ME8 7EG

13 May

Robert Cray Band

Legendary guitarist and singer-songwriter Robert Cray has released a new album this year, which he is supporting by embarking on an extensive tour of the UK. The five-times Grammy Award winner and his band will be supported by Azadeh.


01892 530613

Assembly Halls, Tunbridge Wells

Satnav: TN1 2LU

13 to 15 May

The Actor’s Lament

© Chris Blott

Steven Berkoff, Jay Benedict and Andree Bernard star in this comedy about the bizarre lives of actors and the many fights, frustrations and madnesses they are prone to. Lift the curtain and peek backstage into the bizarre and often hilarious world of theatre.

Tickets: £20; £15 (concs) £10 (schools)

Theatre Royal, Margate

Satnav: CT9 1PW

14 May

Get Your Bake On!

TV’s baking maestro Paul Hollywood brings his first-ever live show to the stages of the UK. He will demonstrate recipes, reveal some of the secrets of being a TV chef and take the audience on a journey through his life in baking. The show will culminate with four lucky randomly chosen audience members coming up on stage to bake with the man himself.

Tickets: £28.50

01843 292795

Margate Winter Gardens, Margate

Satnav: CT9 1HX

17 to 18 May 2014

1940s Weekend

© Lewis J Brockway

Experience life in the 1940s as the clock is turned back to wartime Britain. Enjoy flying displays by iconic wartime planes; singing by polished professionals, who will deliver an authentic sound of the time. Vehicles and costumes from the period will be on view. Steam trains will be running all weekend, and train ticket gains entry to the event and includes unlimited train travel.

Tickets: Contact venue

01580 765155

Kent & East Sussex Railway, Tenterden

Satnav: TN30 6HE

17 May

Charity Fair

Westerham Green is the venue for a selection of stalls and attractions which, this year, will be placed around a fairground organ. Hourly Punch & Judy shows.

Tickets: Free

Westerham Green, Westerham

Satnav: TN16

22 May

Django á la Creole

This immensely talented quartet features New Orleans clarinet maestro Evan Christopher, New Orleans guitarist Don Vappie, Dave Kelbie on guitar, and Paris-based Sebastian Girardot on bass.

Tickets: £15

01892 750845 or 01892 750665

Frant Church, nr Tunbridge Wells

Satnav: TN3 9DX

23 May

Inspired by Italy, Sourced in England Gourmet Night

Join us to celebrate some of the best Italian-inspired food and wine. Skilled chefs will be drawing on all of their experience to create a mouth-watering gourmet menu, carefully matched to some of the county’s finest wines. All ingredients, of course, will be sourced locally.

Tickets: £75.00

0845 072 7426

Chilston Park Hotel, Lenham

Satnav: ME17 2BE

23 to 25 May

Garden Design Exhibition

Come and see an exhibition of work by Hadlow College final year Garden Design and (University of Greenwich) Landscape Architecture BA (Hons) degree students. The display will include garden design artwork and models, plus supporting reports and further work from the three-year full-time/four-year part-time courses.

Tickets: Free

01732 850551

Design Studios, Hadlow College, Tonbridge

Satnav: TN11 0AL

24 to 25 May

NGS Open Gardens Weekend

For one weekend the private gardens of Canterbury Cathedral will be open to view as part of the National Garden Scheme. This year, as well as the gardens, for this one weekend only, the Bastian Chapel will be open for viewing to ticket holders.

Tickets: Contact venue

01227 762862

Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury

Satnav: CT1 2EH

24 to 26 May

40th Anniversary Gala Weekend

© Hugh Nightingale

Be part of the celebrations to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the reopening of the Kent & East Sussex Railway. The three-day gala will feature featuring six members of the “home” steam fleet, as well as a welcome return appearance by Sentinal 0-4-0 vertical boilered tank locomotive ‘Gervase’. This will be your only chance to see this unique loco in the South of England this year.

Tickets: £11 to £45

01580 765155

Kent & East Sussex Railway, Tenterden

Satnav: TN30 6HE

25 May

The Little Mermaid

Join Ballet Theatre UK on this dramatic retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy story. A kind-hearted mermaid rescues a prince during a storm at sea and embarks on a journey that takes her far from her home beneath the waves. Determined to pursue her love, she makes a bargain with an evil Sea Witch, but at what cost?

Tickets: £16; £14 (concessions); £12 (friends)

01843 292795

Theatre Royal, Margate

Satnav: CT9 1PW

26 May

Edenbridge Fun Day

Grand Prix racing comes to Edenbridge. Well, John Surtees, the only man to win world motor racing titles on both four wheels and two, will be offering is support at the fun day this year. Along side all the expected fun, there will be a special parade of some of John’s rarely seen cars and bikes, which will be followed by a parade of many other classic cars.


Satnav: TN8

26 May

Margate Meltdown

© Ace Café Archive London

The most recently established of Ace Café London’s free-to-attend major ride outs. Departing from the iconic London venue, participants can enjoy a great ride down to the seaside. Once there, Margate’s seafront and harbour will be given over to motorcycles and scooters, club and trade stands, and a stage with live entertainment, featuring the semi-acoustic sounds of The Elbeats, together with rockin’ DJs Bill & George Guntrip.

Tickets: Free

020 8961 1000

London to Margate

Satnav: NW10 7UD (Ace Café London)

27 May to 1 Jun

Jousting with the Knights

The Knights of Royal England will return on horseback ready to entertain with an action-packed week of medieval activities and entertainment. Watch displays of spectacular action, daredevil stunts, medieval weaponry, falls, fights and galloping horses.

Tickets: Contact venue

01622 765400

Leeds Castle, BVBVB

Satnav: ME17 1PL

27 to 31 May

42nd Street

Get your tickets to see this inspiring tale of small town girl Peggy Sawyer’s rise from lowly chorus girl to Broadway star. The show is packed with bona fide classic hits, including Shuffle Off To Buffalo, We’re In The Money and the title number 42nd Street.

Tickets: £14 (advance); £12 (concs); £16 (on the door); £14 (concs)

01843 292795

Margate Winter Gardens, Margate

Satnav: CT9 1HX

27 to 31 May

Last of the Duty Free

Last of the Duty Free will reunite Keith Barron, Gwen Taylor and Neil Stacy to play-out the next instalment in the tale of sun, sangria and saucy goings-on. Following on from a TV series that regularly topped the UK audience ratings, this production offers a welcome return for a group of beloved characters.

Tickets: £10 to £25

0844 871 7620

Churchill Theatre, Bromley

Satnav: BR1 1HA

31 May and 1 Jun

UK Motorhome & Caravan Summer Show

Caravans and motorhomes to buy, plus a huge selection of trade stands offering motorhome and caravan spares and accessories for sale.

Tickets: £5 (day ticket); £45 (weekend camping)

0871 2307145

Kent County Showground, Detling

Satnav: ME14 3JF