Five ideas for the May bank holiday weekend

Stuck for how to spend the long bank holiday weekend? Here are some May Day festivities happening that are worth making a trip to…

Pashley Manor Gardens Ticehurst


Now is the ideal time of spring to enjoy 30,000 tulips, from palest pink to nearly black, create dazzling mantles of colour in every flower bed, pot and border at Pashley Manor Gardens in Ticehurst. With over 100 varieties of tulip on show, representatives will be on site throughout the festival with a display of 2,000 cut tulips and to offer advice on growing your own. Open every day during the weekend from 11am to 5pm.

Weald of Kent Craft and Design Show

ICH Weald of Kent


Discover vintage crafts, candles, handmade ornaments and beautiful jewellery, alongside skilled stone and wood craftsman for the first of 2016’s Weald of Kent Craft and Design Show. This prestigious event is being held at Penshurst Place over the weekend from 10am to 5pm each day.

Janet Ellis


West Kent’s first ever Literary Festival is set to take over the historic Chiddingstone Castle from Sunday May 1 to Tuesday May 3. With an extensive programme to suit all ages including a variety of talks, captivating readings and performances featuring local authors and actors such as Vita Sackville-West’s granddaughter Juliet Nicolson and former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis (pictured).

Hever Castle


Celebrate May Day with traditional celebrations and activities for all the family at Hever Castle. Join the Lord and Lady of the May on the Castle forecourt and see the crowning of the May Queen then dance around the Maypole and take part in May Day dancing accompanied by 16th century music. Gardens open at 10.30am, castle opens at 12 noon. A family ticket costs £43.60.

Sissinghurst Castle

NT/Arnhel de Serra


Venture into Sissinghurst Castle’s woodland to witness the beauty of around 126million individual bluebell flowers. Wall flowers, tulips and narcissus are ablaze in the cottage garden and along the lime walk. Enjoy the high scent and colour of the season with a guided tour of the woodland from 2pm on Saturday April 30 and Monday May 2. Afterwards, have the pleasure of treating yourself with a cream tea in the restaurant!