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Things to Do in South East England - page 3

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Kent & East Sussex Railway

Opened in 1900 as the first light railway in England, the historic Kent and East Sussex Railway now operates a 10.5 miles (17 kilometer) route between Tenterden and Bodiam. Riding aboard one of the 20th-century steam or heritage diesel trains is one of the most traditional ways to appreciate the English countryside, including the Rother Valley and Wittersham.

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Tenterden

First making a name for itself as a wool trading and shipbuilding center in the 13th century, the historic village of Tenterden is today best known as the starting point of the Kent & East Sussex Railway. Here, visitors can take a ride on one of England’s best preserved steam heritage railways—but not before exploring Tenterden’s shops, wood-beamed cottages, and Victorian townhouses.

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Port of Southampton

The Port of Southampton is the UK's most frequented cruise port, welcoming some of the largest cruise ships in the world, including those owned by Cunard, P&O, and Royal Caribbean. The port also runs passenger ferries to the Isle of Wight and across the channel to France, as well as serves as the gateway to London and wider South East England.

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Shanklin

Shanklin is a seaside resort town on the Isle of Wight in southeast England. The town is on the east side of the island and includes a long stretch of sandy beach. This is a popular place for swimming, sunbathing, boating, and other water activities. Other activities in Shanklin include an amusement arcade, a crazy golf course, and a children's play area. There are plenty of hotels, restaurants, cafes, and pubs in the area as well. On High Street and Regent Street, you can go shopping for souvenirs, clothing, and anything you may have forgotten for your beach trip.

The Old Village is a nice area for a stroll through thatched cottages that house tea rooms and unique gift shops. Visitors can also explore nature in the wooded ravine, Shanklin Chine, where there are many animals, rare plants, and waterfalls. It covers an area of three acres and is home to around 150 varieties of plants and at least 50 species of moss and liverworts. There is also a pond and an aviary.

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Sand Bay

Sandwiched between Weston Woods and the headland at Sand Point, Sand Bay in Somerset is a sweeping sand and shingle beach backed by unspoiled dunes. A favorite for hiking, horseback riding, dog walking, and seaside strolling—as well as birdwatching at Sand Point—Sand Bay also offers vistas of the River Severn and its two suspension bridges on a clear day.

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SS Shieldhall
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Docked in Southampton, the SS Shieldhall is the one of largest working steamboats in all of the United Kingdom, and stands as a tribute to British maritime history. Here, visitors can view the unique inner workings of classic steamship machinery frozen in time, both above and below deck, learn about how most ocean-going ships worked in the 19th and 20th centuries, and take to the sea.

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Maidenhead

On the banks of the River Thames, Maidenhead is an affluent city which is home to an 18th-century bridge built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, as well as the country’s oldest soccer stadium. An ideal day-trip destination in and of itself, Maidenhead is also a jumping-off point for exploring charming villages such as Bray, Cookham, and Littlewick Green.

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Chessington World of Adventures Resort

With over 1,000 animals, an underwater SEA LIFE® center, and a vast theme park with rides suitable for all ages, Chessington World of Adventures Resort is an ideal family-friendly destination just outside of London. Catch a daily penguin talk, meet and greet meerkats, or take a ride on the rollercoasters for a fun-filled day out.

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Godshill Model Village
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An engaging and quirky attraction, Godshill Model Village features painstakingly re-created models of Godshill Old Village and Shanklin Old Village as they were in the 1920s and ‘30s. Made with great attention to detail, the models are faithful representations of two of the Isle of Wight’s most charming villages.

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Solent Sky Museum
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Including an original Spitfire, Sandringham flying boat, and 1920s seaplane, the Solent Sky Museum’s vintage collection encapsulates Southampton’s unique aviation history. A fun choice for aircraft experts and plane-crazy kids alike, the volunteer-run museum offers a personalized learning experience off the city’s beaten track.

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More Things to Do in South East England

Ascot

Ascot

A wealthy suburban town in Berkshire, Ascot is both a popular base for affluent commuters and a year-round destination for horse racing fans. Though well-liked for its proximity to LEGOLAND®, London, and Windsor Castle, Ascot is best known for the Ascot Racecourse, site of the annual Royal Ascot and other annual horse racing events which draw crowds of rich and famous spectators.

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Oxford Town Hall

Oxford Town Hall

First built in 1897, Oxford Town Hall is a glorious structure in the heart of the city that’s an ever-popular destination for weddings and events. Besides a café and gift shop, it’s also home to the Micro-Museum, a temporary replacement for the Museum of Oxford, which is scheduled to reopen in the town hall in summer 2020.

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Port of Dover

Port of Dover

Established by King James I in 1606, the Port of Dover in Kent remains one of country’s busiest and most important transit hubs. The closest port to France—located 21 miles (34 kilometers) across the English Channel—Dover in southeast England is frequented by ferries, cruise ships, and an array of cargo services.

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Rye

Rye

Numerous historic attractions, unique handmade ceramics, and some of the country’s most picturesque and best-preserved medieval streets make Rye a quintessential English destination. In this town long favored by writers and artists, climb the clock tower of the local church, enjoy a pint in a former smuggler’s tavern, and more.

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The Look Out Discovery Centre

The Look Out Discovery Centre

Inspire young minds and have a fun, as well as educational, day out at the Look Out Discovery Centre. Hands-on science and nature exhibits and shows teach kids all about the way the world works. Children can learn from more than 90 activities, from launching a hydrogen rocket to playing with boats or building a house.

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Sissinghurst Castle

Sissinghurst Castle

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Starting life as a moated manor house in the 13th century, Sissinghurst Castle boasts a long and illustrious history, hosting royals like Queen Mary Tudor and Queen Elizabeth I over the years, as well as being used as a war prison in the 1700s.

Today, the imposing castle is best known for the spectacular Sissinghurst Gardens, the inspired creation of 20th-century owner and poet Vita Sackville-West. Spread over 450 acres, the breathtaking parklands include colorful flower gardens, an aromatic herb garden, a bird hide, an orchard and a number of scenic walkways.

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