Greener BeeGreen HolidaysMay Day bank holiday 2017 events and things to do in Kent

The month of May brings bank holidays, with workers having two three day weekends to look forward to.

May Day is always on the first Monday in May, which means it will be on Monday, May 1 in 2017.

The early May bank holiday is usually celebrated with may pole dancing and spring activities, and there are plenty of things to do in Kent this year.

Here’s our roundup of May Day 2017 things to do in Kent

Belmont House and Gardens Spring Fair

Come along to Belmont House to enjoy the May Day Bank holiday and get advice about how to get your garden looking good for the season. Buy a unique hand-made gift at the craft marquee whilst enjoying delicious locally made food available throughout the day.

With a superb collection of crafters and artisans, you can expect to find some unique, quality handmade gifts. Locally produced food will also be available during the day.

The Medieval Society will also be running ‘Have a Go Archery’.

When: May 1, 11am-4pm

Cost: £3 per person and free for children under 16. Normal house tour admission prices apply

Read more: 12 things you didn’t know happened in Kent

Canterbury Tales – Mystical Beasts

Beasts 1 Parent Image

Come to Canterbury this May Day for a Medieval Story Garden Special, including a Mystical Beasts Hunt and Knight School. If you’ve ever fancied becoming an archer like Robin Hood, you’ll really love the Longbow Demonstrations.

When: May 1

Cost: From £9.95 for adults and £7.95 for children

Click here to book

Chiddingstone Literary Festival

The second annual Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival will be held over the May Day bank holiday weekend.

Visitors can look forward to three days of fascinating talks and performances from celebrated authors, poets, actors and theatrical groups.

Dates: April 29 – May 1

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Doddington Place and Gardens

Celebrate the outdoors over the spring bank holiday by picking up a bow and having a go at some archery.

You can experience the thrill of a ‘Hunger Games’ style of life, by sampling the arts of archery and falconery.

Birds of prey will also be flying in spectacular demonstrations, with hawks, owls and falcons.

Dates: April 29 – May 1, 11am-5pm

Cost: £7 for adults and £2 for children

Hever Castle – May Day Festival

May Day Festival

Celebrate May Day at Hever Castle with a weekend of fun family activities and traditional May Day customs

Join the Lord and Lady of the May on the Castle forecourt and see the crowning of the May Queen. Visitors are invited to dance around the Maypole with brightly coloured ribbons intertwined. This age old custom is followed by demonstrations of May Day Dancing accompanied by 16th century music.

Meet the mythical Jack-in-the-Green and follow the Green Man from folklore in a customary May Day procession through the gardens as he wakes up the plants for summer with the help of children and their magical May bells. There’s also a May Day trail through the Castle.

When: April 29 – May 1

Cost: Castle and Gardens entry £16.90 for adults, £14.20 for senior citizens and £9.50 for children.

Gardens only ticket £14.20 for adults, £12.70 for senior citizens and £9 for children.

Kent and East Sussex Railway – Bricks Britannia

Bricks Britannia is opening at Tenterden Town Station on April 1

An exciting exhibition is coming to a heritage railway in Kent – and it’s certainly going to be a sight to behold

Bricks Britania exhibition will open at the Kent and East Sussex Railway at Tenterden Town Station to chart the history of Britain through lego models.

It will tell the story of our country from the Neolithic Stonehenge through to the supersonic age of Concorde with more than 30 models.

The centre piece of the exhibition will be an eight-metre long model of the Flying Scotsman, the world’s most famous locomotive.

Families will also be able to take advantage of workshops where you can build your own Lego steam locomotive and Pullman carriages.

The Kent and East Sussex Railway begins at Tenterden Town Station and stops at Rolvenden, Wittersham Road, Northiam Station and Bodiam Station, and you can hop on and off at each station to explore the area.

Dates: Bricks Britannia runs until April 4

Cost: Advance tickets cost £16.20 for adults and £10.80 for children, and they will allow you to marvel at the exhibition as well as travel on the heritage trains.

Click here to book

Kent Life May Day Celebrations

You can watch the May Pole and Morris Dancing throughout the day, as well as join in the annual parade and crowning ceremony of the May King, Queen, Princes and Princesses.

Kids can also have fun with the animals in the cuddle corner and have donkey rides.

When: May 1

Cost: £9.95 for adults and £7.95 for children

Penshurst Place May Bank Holiday Weekend

Refresh your woodcraft and outdoor skills this May Bank Holiday with Camp Wilderness, who will be camped deep within the Woodland Trail waiting to greet you with crackling fires, camping hacks and a host of bushcraftskills to teach in time for your summer adventures.

When: April 30 – May 1

Cost: £11 for adults and £6.50 for children

Read more: 13 of the best sandy beaches in Kent

Sweeps Festival in Rochester

The festival is held every year

Medway’s annual Sweeps Festival recreates the joy and laughter enjoyed by the chimney sweeps on May Day; the one time of the year the sweeps could leave the soot behind and have some fun. Their fun included the Jack-in-the-Green ceremony, a seven-foot character that they used to waken at dawn on Blue Bell Hill, Chatham.

When: April 29 – May 1

Theatre Royal Margate – Looping the Loop

Looping the Loop takes over the Theatre Royal and puts creative activity in every corner you can find.

Think Scooby Doo, exploring, investigating, what can you find, and can you solve the mystery? Come at any time during the event and join a timed tour, lasting around an hour, to sample a whole heap of wondrous fun.

When: May 1, 1pm-5pm

Cost: £5 per person

Read more: These Kent parks are among the best in the country

Weald of Kent Handmade Fair at Penshurst Place

Browse stalls of handmade homeware, jewellery and toiletries, plus clothing, furniture and an impressive range of artisan food from small producers across the country.

When: April 29 – May 1

Tickets available from

Beating the Bounds in Westerham

The Westerham Society and Westerham Town Partnership will welcome families, groups, friends and visitors to explore wonderful countryside and join the community for a Maypole Dance by the children of Churchill School.

Walks begin at 8pm, and there will be with pizzas from Federicci, entertainment and refreshments on The Green in the afternoon.

When: May 1 from 8am

Read more: How to get 55 days off work with your 25 days holiday

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