The best of secret Kent – our travel guide to the county’s most unusual attractions

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Kents Unusual Attractions

Kent has many renowned places of interest. From castles and historic residences to beaches and nature reserves, visitors are never far from a good day out. But if you are searching for the more unusual of the county’s attractions, we’ve put together a few that may whet your appetite.

The Shell Grotto, Margate

In 1835, a series of underground rooms and passageways covered by shells was discovered in Margate. An estimated 4.6 million shells line the walls and ceilings, arranged in intricate mosaics depicting gods and goddesses, trees of life and other patterns, but its origins and purpose are entirely unknown. The grotto is open at weekends during winter and every day during summer.

Big Cat Sanctuary, Smarden

Although Kent is home to some relatively well known zoos, not many people are aware that it also boasts a big cat sanctuary, which is home to tigers, snow leopards, lions, pumas and more. Although it’s not routinely open to the public, you can arrange to take part in photographic workshops, ranger experiences and overnight safari experiences.

Teapot Island, Yalding

One of the county’s more bizarre attractions is Teapot Island, set up by a husband and wife duo. It houses no fewer than 8,000 teapots of all shapes and sizes, from daleks to Winston Churchill – but it’s not just the pottery boasts famous faces. Visitors to the attraction have included Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, and actor Timothy Spall. The site also has a café specialising in cream teas with homemade scones and jam. It’s open daily from 10am.

Chislehurst Caves, Chislehurst

Beneath the woodland and houses of Chislehurst are miles of underground passages where chalk was once mined. Visitors can carry their hurricane lamps through the labyrinth as a guide tells stories of Druids, Romans and Saxons. You can see where mushrooms were grown here in the 20s and hear about how the caves became a subterranean town, protecting citizens during the Blitz. The attraction is open year round.

Dog Collar Museum, Leeds Castle

Located at Leeds Castle, the Dog Collar Museum celebrates the neckwear of man’s best friend. Far from being the mundane necessity they now are, dog collars of ages past sported spikes, velvet, and even coats of arms. The collection of over 100 collars from five centuries of dog ownership, and can be found opposite the castle’s Fairfax Restaurant. It’s open daily from 10am.

Discover the above attractions and more during a stay in Kent. With a range of luxury rooms available as well as a fine dining restaurant, the Marquis is a comfortable and elegant place to relax after a day out exploring. Contact us on 01304 873410 to make a reservation.