What You Should Know About Kent in the United Kingdom
Believe it or not, Kent is nicknamed the ‘Garden of England’ which was initially used by Henry VIII. It’s true, Kent is famous for having an abundance of hop and fruit-growing gardens amidst the iconic oast-houses with conical roofs. As if that’s not enough, Kent is said to be the oldest county in England and home to Canterbury Cathedral which is the seat of the leader of the Church of England.
But what else might you want to know about Kent?
In this article, we take a closer look at the geography and economy of this beautiful county long with some stand-out information that you might find interesting about Kent:
About Kent Origins and the Temperate Climate
In case you might be asking yourself, the name ‘Kent’ derives from a Brythonic word, kantos, that means “border” or “rim”. It also means “hook” which accurately describes the eastern part of Kent which sits on the coastline of England.
As you may know, Kent is one of the warmer counties in Britain and even recorded a record temperature of 38 degrees just ten years ago. That being said, while Kent receives warm summers, the overall climates is called temperate maritime. For this reason, temperatures are often mild and rarely below 0 degrees during winter or above 32 degrees in Summer.
Most Prominent Towns and Universities of Kent
Kent has a population of 1.7 million which is even bigger than some countries around the world. You will find many prominent towns in the county such as Darenth, Eynsford, Farningham and Dartford.
Darenth – Darenth is a village in the Dartford District and just a short distance south of Dartford Town. Located next to the M25, this is also quite an accessible town and just so you know, the parish is part of Dartford Rural.
Eynsford – Eynsford is another village in Kent, located in the Sevenoaks District. Many farms and forests surround the town which is also at the centre of three major motorways. That being said, this is still a quiet area and the motorways merely make this town more accessible rather than noisy.
Farningham – Farningham is another village in the Sevenoaks District and has a population of just 1,300 people. Located just a short distance from Swanley, this is one of the quieter towns in Kent.
Dartford – Dartford is the principle town in the Dartford District. Located just 18 miles from London, this is also a much busier town in Kent And the River Thames runs just north of the town.
Just under 17% of residents of Kent have a higher education which is less than the statistic nationwide. That is to say, most counties in the United Kingdom have a figure in excess of 20% when it comes to residents with qualifications in higher education.
And that’s just part of the story…
Kent has four different universities. The University of Greenwich has campus sites at Woolwich and Eltham, while Canterbury Christ Church University is located in East Kent. But then you also have the University of Kent and the University for Creative Arts which has three separate campuses in Kent.
Also, recent census shows that more than 40% of Kent is currently in full-time employment and unemployment is less than 3%. But more about employment in Kent in a moment.
What to Expect from the Geography of Kent
Kent is located in Southeast England and next to the southeast corner of Greater London. East Sussex and Surrey are also nearby and the infamous River Thames runs right through the centre.
Maidstone is the main county town but you will also find Darenth, Eynsford, Farningham and Dartford which have a reasonably big population.
In the surrounding areas, Kent is overflowing with valleys and ridges which are largely the result of the Wealden Dome. Just so you know, this dome was created by erosion over the past twenty million years. For this reason, you will find a mixture of clay, sand and sandstone in the region.
Either way, the county is blessed with striking features and beautiful scenery at every turn – something for which the locals are incredibly proud!
Sports Teams and Achievements in Kent
Football is the most popular sport in England and Gillingham FC is the highest ranked football team in Kent. At this time, Gillingham play in League One which is the third tier in English football.
Kent is also represented in cricket and the Kent County Cricket Club is a founding member of the County Championship (1890). Aside from the above, Canterbury Hockey Club play in the top division of the English Hockey League.
Ancient Remnants and Architecture in Kent
Indeed, Canterbury Cathedral is located in Kent and since the reformation, this is the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury. On the other hand, you will also find St Augustine’s Abbey and no less than nine Anglo-Saxon churches in the county. And then there is Rochester Cathedral – the second-oldest in England which dates back to 500AD.
Dover Castle and Richborough Castle are two magnificent examples of Norman architecture and these castles were used to defend London for hundreds of years. Similarly, Walmer Castle and Deal Castle were constructed during the Medieval period along with the impressive HM Dockyard in Chatham.
Tourism in Kent: The Fastest Growing Sector in the United Kingdom
Let’s be honest, many towns in the United Kingdom rely on tourism for a healthy economy. Kent received an incredible 65 million visits last year which was 7% more than the previous year. What’s more, outside of London, this colourful county is the third most visited destination in the United Kingdom.
Needless to say, these record numbers have meant that tourism jobs and spending in general is at a record high in the region. In fact, tourism jobs have also increased by 7% to more than 76,000 jobs which accounts for almost 11% of the total employment in Kent.
But what does this actually look like?
Well, for example, Canterbury received more than 7 million visitors last year and this was the highest visitor spend in the county at £392m.
In a recent statement, Visit Kent went on to say that tourism is the fastest growing sector in services and the collective efforts of tourism are helping Kent get ahead and prepare for the future.
Economy and Employment in Kent
Kent has a very diverse and strong economy with a long lineup of haulage and logistic companies. In the northwest, you will find many building and industrial centers. In fact, there is a large brick making facility in Sittingbourne, aircraft design centers in Rochester and shipbuilding in Swale.
However, many locals also favour the convenience of work in Greater London. You see, an excellent transport system extends from Kent all the way into London which means that locals can travel conveniently to the city.
As already mentioned, Kent is the ‘Garden of England’ and there are many orchards and hop gardens throughout. For this reason, employment is high within these areas and Kent is actually the centre for hazelnut production in the United Kingdom.
At the same time, there has been a reduction in the numbers of people working within the agriculture industry in recent years. It’s not clear why this is happening but recent consensus has indicated a distinct drop in such numbers.
As you can imagine, Kent is quite a large and beautiful county in which a strong economy and population continue to prosper. With many different geographical features, stunning scenery is common and the many universities make this a popular destination for students in particular.
Either way, this southern county is thriving in recent years and there is every reason to suggest that Kent will continue to prosper for many years to come.
Cliffe at Hoo
New Ash Green
St Marys Island