Sittingbourne, which is east of Gillingham, has a long established history as a market town and hosts a weekly Friday market at the Forum Shopping Centre car park selling everyday goods at reasonable prices. Currently in the midst of a regeneration programme, the commuter town is full of cafés, pubs and restaurants offering good food and drink and a pleasant atmosphere including The Vineyard, The Tudor Rose and The Billet.
For the freshest food and drink straight from the Kent fields, try Chilton Manor Farm, a family-run farm and shop on the outskirts of Sittingbourne. As well as selling seasonally grown fruit and veg, the farm also offers Pick Your Own where you can go and select your own strawberries, cherries, gooseberries and blackcurrants straight from the soil.
Sittingbourne, which owes its name to the fact there is a small stream or “bourne” running underground part of the town, also has a rich history in paper making, brick making and barge building and recently received an investment of £2million to regenerate the creek and create Milton Creek Country Park. Near to the creek is the historic Sittingbourne and Kemsley Light Railway, which uses the original locomotives, coaches and wagons over a section of the paper mill railway network between Sittingbourne Viaduct station and Kemsley Down at the working paper mill from March until the end of September.