insideKENT Magazine Issue 49 - April 2016 - Page 91

VISITKENT Quex Park Burrowed in Birchington-on-Sea lies a hidden world of adventure, nature and excitement for all the family. Quex Park combines the great outdoors with a wonderful world of history in its 250-acre country park, and is a must-see for anyone wanting a different day out in Kent. The grounds are an oasis of tranquillity that begs to be explored, with a number of unique tree specimens, a walled kitchen garden and a collection of exotic plants including cacti, succulents and pelargoniums as well as sumptuous summer fruits trees. But Quex Park is more than just a beautiful garden. The estate also invites you into the world of the inquisitive and adventurous Powell-Cotton family. Its original owner, John Powell, bought the house in the 1700s and generations of family members have refurbished and added to its extraordinary collections over the years, even being rebuilt in 1813 by his nephew. To this day the estate remains in the possession of the Powell-Cotton family, and the house itself is a sight to behold as visitors gaze at the original furnishings, works of art and library. Quex House’s beautiful façade would impress most visitors alone, but behind its doors lies one of the UK’s most fascinating visitor attractions. The Powell-Cotton Museum was established in 1896 by Percy Horace Gordon Powell-Cotton to house his natural history specimens and cultural objects collected on expeditions to Asia and Africa, including the huge dioramas of exotic animals mounted against backdrops of their natural habitats. These displays are unique to the UK and continue to support the study and understanding of the zoological, cultural and ecological diversity of Africa and the Indian sub -continent. Displays also include collections of ethnographic objects, European and oriental ceramics and the family’s taste for decorative art pieces from China and Japan. Little ones will love the museum’s latest addition, Gallery Six, where they can handle and play with fascinating artefacts such as preserved specimens, snake skins, and musical instruments. Kids can also go wild elsewhere on the estate at Jungle Jims play centre or try paintballing, laser or archery at the Activity Centre. If the artwork of the house and museum inspire you, then head to Quex’s craft village. After a day of discovery and fun activities you can fill your appetites at the Quex Barn indoor farmers’ market and restaurant, or sample the delights of Mama Feelgood’s Café. Check out some of the amazing spring and summer events coming up at Quex: Museum at Night Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th May 2016 Quex Park invites you spend 24 hours in the museum! Enjoy a unconventional family night in where you and the kids can camp out in the museum, play games in the gardens, take part in a torchlight trail, enjoy some craft activity and finish it all off with a light breakfast on Sunday morning. Call 01843 842168 for further details. What's hiding in our Gardens? Tuesday 31st May Get the kids to indulge their love for nature this May half term by exploring Quex Park’s beautiful gardens. They can increase their knowledge by identifying creepy crawlies and can make a bee 91 hotel to take home. Places are limited, so make sure you book early to avoid disappointment call 01843 842168. Gears of Change & Fought for Freedom Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th June 2016 Have a love for classic cars? You’ll love them even more at this World War tribute event which combines both a classic car show with a military show. You’ll get the chance to visit the genuine NAFFI wagon, visit trenches, and see reenactments and ‘live battles’ as well as being able to view vehicles and memorabilia. Live music from the 40s through to the 70s will also be played. Call 07969 058951 for further details. Summer Prom Sunday 3rd July 2016 Make the most of those bright evenings by listening to a full evening programme of popular and classical music in the park’s gorgeous gardens while nibbling on a delicious picnic. Call 01843 482004 for more information.