things to do in ashford

Last Updated on: 20th May 2024, 12:24 pm

Welcome to Ashford, a charming town nestled in the heart of Kent, England. Whether you’re seeking thrilling activities or relaxing attractions, Ashford offers an array of options to suit every taste and preference. From its rich cultural heritage to its stunning natural landscapes, Ashford has something for everyone to enjoy.

When it comes to things to do in Ashford, you’ll never be short of options. Immerse yourself in the vibrant local scene with a variety of activities and events. From exploring historic sites to indulging in leisurely sightseeing, Ashford has it all. Spend quality time with your loved ones at family-friendly attractions, or embark on adventurous day trips to uncover the beauty of the surrounding countryside.

Looking for ways to keep the little ones entertained? Ashford offers a host of activities designed just for kids. Discover interactive museums, captivating exhibitions, and exciting entertainment venues that will inspire their imaginations. And when the sun goes down, Ashford comes alive with a vibrant nightlife, offering a range of entertainment options for adults to enjoy.

What sets Ashford apart is its stunning natural beauty. Explore the lush parks and gardens that dot the town, offering peaceful retreats and scenic spots for relaxation. Take a leisurely stroll through the vast green spaces or enjoy a picnic amidst beautiful landscapes. For wildlife enthusiasts, nature reserves near Ashford provide the perfect opportunity to observe diverse flora and fauna up close.

Discover Ashford’s hidden gems for a unique and memorable experience. Indulge in the local cuisine at charming cafes, traditional pubs, and fine dining restaurants. Shop till you drop at the renowned Ashford Designer Outlet, where you’ll find an extensive range of designer brands at unbeatable prices. With a bustling shopping scene and a plethora of entertainment options, Ashford ensures that every moment spent here is filled with delight.

As you plan your visit to Ashford, prepare to be captivated by its charm and allure. Whether you’re seeking cultural immersion, outdoor adventures, or simply a relaxing getaway, Ashford has it all. Explore, discover, and create lasting memories in this enchanting town.

Things to Do in Ashford

Explore Ashford’s Parks and Gardens

Ashford boasts several beautiful parks and gardens that are perfect for enjoying the outdoors. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll, a family picnic, or a chance to immerse yourself in nature, there’s something for everyone in Ashford. These parks and gardens offer a tranquil escape from the bustling town, allowing visitors to relax and rejuvenate amidst picturesque surroundings.

1. Victoria Park

Victoria Park, the largest park in Ashford, is a true gem for nature lovers. This expansive green space is adorned with beautiful flowers, majestic trees, and a historic fountain. The park’s well-maintained pathways invite visitors to take leisurely walks, while the lush green lawns are perfect for picnics or simply basking in the sunlight.

Victoria Park’s proximity to the River Stour also offers the opportunity for riverside walks, where you can enjoy the soothing sounds of flowing water. Remember to bring your camera along, as there are plenty of picturesque spots to capture lasting memories.

2. Godinton House & Gardens

For a blend of history and natural beauty, pay a visit to Godinton House & Gardens. This Jacobean house is surrounded by stunning gardens that boast a variety of flora and fauna. From vibrant blooms to tranquil ponds, the gardens at Godinton House are a delight to explore. Additionally, the venue hosts a packed events program, including garden tours, craft fairs, and outdoor theater performances. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the gardens and experience the enchanting ambiance of this historic estate.

3. Wye National Nature Reserve

For those seeking a deeper connection with nature, a visit to Wye National Nature Reserve is a must. Set in the heart of the Kent Downs, this nature reserve offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and opportunities for wildlife spotting. Explore the well-marked walking trails and keep an eye out for a variety of bird species, butterflies, and wildflowers. Whether you’re a seasoned nature enthusiast or simply enjoy the tranquility of the outdoors, Wye National Nature Reserve provides an immersive nature experience.

4. Willesborough Windmill

Step back in time at Willesborough Windmill, a lovingly restored windmill that offers tours and a museum. Discover the fascinating history of milling and gain insight into the importance of wind power in the region. The museum showcases antique tools and artifacts, providing a glimpse into the mill’s rich past. Explore the grounds surrounding the windmill and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Willesborough Windmill is a unique attraction in Ashford and a testament to the town’s heritage.

These parks and gardens in Ashford offer a multitude of outdoor activities, making them ideal destinations for individuals, families, and nature enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking to take a leisurely stroll, have a picnic, or immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, Ashford’s parks and gardens provide the perfect setting for outdoor adventures.

parks and gardens in ashford

Park/Garden Description Highlights
Victoria Park The largest park in Ashford with picturesque scenery and a historic fountain Riverside walks, lush green lawns, and beautiful floral displays
Godinton House & Gardens A Jacobean house with stunning gardens and a packed events program Flower-filled gardens, tranquil ponds, and fascinating events
Wye National Nature Reserve A nature reserve with stunning views and opportunities for wildlife spotting Well-marked walking trails, diverse bird species, and colorful wildflowers
Willesborough Windmill A restored windmill offering tours and a museum showcasing milling history Panoramic views, antique artifacts, and a glimpse into the town’s heritage

Discover Ashford’s Cultural and Historic Sites

Ashford, a town rich in history and culture, is home to a variety of cultural and historic sites that provide a glimpse into the past and present. Whether you have a penchant for medieval churches, designer shopping, or interactive experiences with birds of prey, Ashford has something to offer every visitor.

“Ashford, a town rich in history and culture, is home to a variety of cultural and historic sites.”

1. St. Mary the Virgin Church

One of Ashford’s standout historic sites is St. Mary the Virgin Church. Located in the town center, this medieval church showcases impressive architecture and houses a collection of historic artifacts, including stained glass windows and intricately carved stone features.

2. Ashford Designer Outlet

If you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, Ashford Designer Outlet is a must-visit destination. With over 70 designer stores offering discounts on popular brands, you can indulge in a shopping spree while enjoying the charming surroundings.

3. The Hawking Centre

For a unique and interactive experience, head to The Hawking Centre. This center offers the opportunity to learn about and interact with a variety of birds of prey, including majestic eagles and graceful falcons. It’s a great place to get up close and personal with these fascinating creatures.

4.Ashford Borough Museum

Take a journey through Ashford’s history at the Ashford Borough Museum. This museum showcases the fascinating heritage of the area through exhibitions and displays. From archaeological artifacts to local artwork, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of Ashford’s cultural roots.

5. Brabourne Vineyard

For wine enthusiasts, a visit to Brabourne Vineyard is a must. This picturesque vineyard offers tours and tastings, allowing you to sample their delicious wines while enjoying the beautiful surroundings. It’s a perfect combination of history, nature, and indulgence.

These cultural and historic sites in Ashford provide a unique blend of heritage, entertainment, and enrichment. Whether you’re exploring the medieval beauty of St. Mary the Virgin Church, treating yourself to some retail therapy at Ashford Designer Outlet, or immersing yourself in Ashford’s history at Ashford Borough Museum, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to delve into the town’s fascinating past and vibrant present.

Enjoy Ashford’s Food and Drink Scene

Ashford is home to a thriving food and drink scene, with a variety of restaurants, pubs, and cafes to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a cozy cafe, a traditional pub, or a modern brewery, Ashford has something to satisfy every palate.

food and drink ashford

If you’re a fan of craft beer and delicious food, look no further than The Curious Brewery. This stylish venue offers a range of unique brews alongside a menu of delectable dishes. It’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a leisurely meal.

If you’re in search of an authentic English pub experience, The Old Mill and The Swan & Dog are must-visit destinations. These historic pubs serve up traditional English cuisine, hearty roasts, and a selection of fine ales. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you savor the flavors of the past.

For pizza lovers and craft beer enthusiasts, The Tap Room is an ideal choice. This craft beer pub specializes in wood-fired pizzas that pair perfectly with their extensive beer selection. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.

If you’re craving affordable meals and a dose of history, The County Hotel is the place to go. As a Wetherspoons pub, it combines a historic setting with a menu of classic pub fare at wallet-friendly prices. It’s a great spot to gather with friends and enjoy a budget-friendly meal.

These establishments in Ashford offer a range of dining experiences, showcasing both local and international cuisine. Whether you’re seeking a casual lunch spot or a gourmet dinner destination, Ashford has something to satisfy every taste.

Explore Ashford’s Surrounding Nature and Wildlife

Ashford, located in the heart of Kent in England, is fortunate to be surrounded by an abundance of beautiful nature and wildlife areas, offering visitors a chance to connect with the great outdoors. Whether you’re seeking thrilling outdoor adventures or a tranquil escape in nature, Ashford has an array of options to satisfy your cravings for exploration and wildlife encounters.

1. Port Lympne Safari Park

Experience the wonders of the animal kingdom at Port Lympne Safari Park, home to over 700 endangered animals. Embark on an unforgettable safari tour through the scenic English countryside and witness majestic creatures up close. From lions and tigers to rhinos and giraffes, this safari park promises an immersive wildlife experience like no other. Get ready to capture amazing photographs and create memories that will last a lifetime.

2. Kent Downs National Landscape

Step into a realm of breathtaking landscapes and picturesque villages in the Kent Downs National Landscape, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Immerse yourself in the serenity of rolling hills, lush meadows, and ancient woodlands as you explore this stunning countryside.

Whether you prefer leisurely walks, hikes, or cycling adventures, there are plenty of trails to suit all levels of fitness. Discover hidden gems, encounter local wildlife, and marvel at the harmonious blend of nature and heritage. The Kent Downs will leave you in awe of its natural wonders.

3. Wye National Nature Reserve

If you have an affinity for hiking and wildlife spotting, the Wye National Nature Reserve is a must-visit destination. Lace up your boots and embark on an adventure through this captivating reserve, which offers miles of scenic trails amidst diverse habitats. Keep your eyes peeled for unique bird species, butterflies, and other wildlife that call this reserve home. Immerse yourself in nature, breathe in the fresh air, and let the tranquility of this haven rejuvenate your spirit.

Nature Reserve/Wildlife Area Highlights
Port Lympne Safari Park Over 700 endangered animals, exhilarating safari experiences
Kent Downs National Landscape Breathtaking landscapes, charming villages, scenic trails
Wye National Nature Reserve Hiking opportunities, wildlife spotting, serene natural beauty

Embark on a journey of discovery and immerse yourself in Ashford’s surrounding nature and wildlife. Whether you choose the thrill of a safari, the tranquility of the countryside, or the exploration of nature reserves, you’ll be captivated by the beauty and biodiversity that Ashford has to offer.

safari park ashford

Experience the wonders of the animal kingdom at Port Lympne Safari Park, home to over 700 endangered animals.

Experience Ashford’s Shopping and Entertainment

Ashford, located in the heart of Kent, offers a vibrant shopping and entertainment scene that caters to all tastes and preferences. Whether you’re a fashion enthusiast, a foodie, or simply looking for a memorable night out, Ashford has something to offer.

1. Shop ’til you drop at Ashford Designer Outlet

A highlight of the shopping experience in Ashford is the renowned Ashford Designer Outlet. With over 70 designer stores, this shopping destination offers a wide range of brands at discounted prices. From high-end fashion to homewares and accessories, you’ll find everything you need and more. Indulge in a day of retail therapy and discover the latest trends at this must-visit shopping hub.

2. Enjoy a night on the town

When the sun sets, Ashford comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. From cozy pubs to trendy bars and clubs, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Experience the local nightlife and unwind with friends as you sample craft beers, signature cocktails, and delicious food. Whether you prefer a laid-back atmosphere or a lively dance floor, Ashford has a venue to suit your tastes.

3. Treat your taste buds

As you explore Ashford, don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in the diverse culinary offerings. From quaint cafes and international restaurants to traditional English pubs, there’s something to satisfy every palate. Sample local delicacies, savor multi-cultural dishes, or simply enjoy a pint of locally brewed beer. Ashford’s dining scene ensures that every meal is a memorable experience.

4. Experience The Curious Brewery

For beer enthusiasts, a visit to The Curious Brewery is a must. This unique brewery offers a range of carefully crafted brews, made with passion and expertise. Immerse yourself in the beer-making process with an informative brewery tour, followed by a tasting session. Relax in the inviting atmosphere and create lasting memories with friends or family.

5. Unwind at The County Hotel

Situated in the heart of Ashford, The County Hotel is a lively destination that offers affordable meals and a welcoming ambiance. Join the locals and travelers alike who gather here for a delicious meal and a good time. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a hearty breakfast, a leisurely lunch, or a lively evening out, The County Hotel caters to all your dining and entertainment needs.

With its shopping, entertainment, and dining options, Ashford promises visitors a memorable experience that combines quality retail therapy, good food, and enjoyable entertainment. Whether you’re a fashion lover, a food enthusiast, or simply looking for a lively night out, Ashford has it all.


Ashford, England, offers a diverse range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re exploring the beautiful parks and gardens, discovering the rich cultural and historic sites, or indulging in the vibrant food and drink scene, there is something to suit every taste and interest in this charming town.

For nature lovers, Ashford’s parks, gardens, and nature reserves provide picturesque settings for leisurely walks, picnics, and wildlife spotting. History enthusiasts will be captivated by the town’s medieval church, museums, and heritage sites, offering a glimpse into Ashford’s past. Foodies will delight in the variety of restaurants, pubs, and cafes, where they can savor both local and international cuisine.

With its convenient location in the heart of Kent, Ashford is the perfect base for exploring the surrounding areas, such as the Kent Downs National Landscape, with its stunning landscapes and charming villages. And for those looking for some retail therapy and entertainment, the Ashford Designer Outlet and the vibrant nightlife scene offer a wealth of options.

Plan your visit to Ashford, England, and immerse yourself in its charm and beauty. Whether you’re planning a day trip or a longer stay, Ashford’s attractions and experiences will leave you with lasting memories. Don’t miss the chance to explore this vibrant town and all it has to offer.


What cultural and historic sites can I visit in Ashford?

Ashford is home to St. Mary the Virgin Church, Ashford Borough Museum, and Brabourne Vineyard, among other cultural and historic sites.

Where can I find good places to eat and drink in Ashford?

Ashford offers a range of restaurants, pubs, and cafes, including The Curious Brewery, The Old Mill, and The Tap Room, where you can enjoy delicious food and drinks.

Are there any nature reserves or wildlife areas near Ashford?

Yes, there are nature reserves and wildlife areas near Ashford, such as Wye National Nature Reserve and Port Lympne Safari Park.

What shopping and entertainment options are available in Ashford?

Ashford is known for its shopping options, including the Ashford Designer Outlet. There are also pubs and breweries, like The Curious Brewery, for entertainment.