Gourmet plans to increase 'Garden of England' tourism

Chapel Down Winery Vine, Kent Credit: Visit Kent

Kent and Essex have been awarded a major government grant to attract more tourists to the counties.

Tourism teams have been working together to promote the areas' gardens and food producers in a new scheme called "Gardens and Gourmets". The money has been awarded by the Discover England Fund, set up to ensure England stays competitive in the rapidly growing tourism industry.

We are thrilled that our bid has been successful, and that we have the chance to start celebrating our and our partner regions’ outstanding international gardens, outdoor spaces, and local food and drink offers. Kent, The Garden of England, with its outstanding gardens, food and drink, inspires much of England’s identity, whilst our communities give our nation its heart and soul. England has more than 3,600 historic parks and gardens, and delicious local produce, and our goal is to inspire international visitors to go out and explore these regions by arming them with information that only locals would know."

– Sandra Matthews-Marsh MBE, Chief Executive, Visit Kent

Essex has many wonderful attractions including some remarkable gardens and outdoor spaces, and this will give us the opportunity to promote them whilst changing the perception of Essex. We look forward to working with partners within our own destination but also with other destinations from which I am sure we can learn a lot from.”

– Lisa Bone, Strategic Tourism Manager, Visit Essex