Ancient Kent market town Sittingbourne, on the North Kent Coast, actually has Roman settlement roots, but is most famous for its Victorian industrial heyday. Today, Sittingbourne is popular for its greyhound racing track, Sittingbourne Greyhounds, where you can watch races throughout the week and if you put some money on one of the dogs you stand a chance of winning.
If you want to learn more about Sittingbourne's varied history you should head to the Sittingbourne Heritage Museum. This museum specialises in showing how the town has changed throughout the years, so you can compare the old with the new. You can also go for a walk around Doddington Place Gardens or take a ride on the Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway.
You can have a great day out at Sittingbourne Greyhounds, which holds regular races as well as special events so you should always be able to catch a race. You can place a bet on any of the dogs at one of the onsite bookies, or you can just watch the race without betting. There are a number of different race distances, from 265m to 708m, and the Central Park Stadium, where Sittingbourne Greyhounds is based, can seat over 4,000 visitors.
If you're driving to Sittingbourne Greyhounds you'll be pleased to know that the stadium is just 2 miles from the town centre. Finding somewhere to park your car is easy as well - Sittingbourne Greyhounds car park can hold up to 1,000 cars, although there's on-street car parking available near the race track as well.
During your day at Sittingbourne Greyhounds you can grab a bite to eat from the fast-food cafeteria or the Raceview Restaurant, and there are a quite a few bars placed around the stadium serving a wide range of drinks. You can book a table at the Raceview Restaurant all through the week, whether there are races on or not, and they usually have special offers on so you can save some money. You can find other race tracks and entertainment venues in Sittingbourne on iknow-kent now.
The Sittingbourne Heritage Museum is one of the great attractions in Sittingbourne and is suitable for the whole family. There are some fascinating exhibitions at the museum - you can see some genuine roman artefacts recovered from the area, information on Sittingbourne's old industries and you can step back in time by visiting the museum's 1940s style shop. Admission to the museum is free and you can pick up souvenirs of your visit from the museum gift shop.
There are quite a few parks and gardens in Sittingbourne but you won't get any better than Doddington Place Gardens. This expertly planted garden has been featured in many magazines, on TV and in films and makes for a relaxing day out. You can explore the sunken garden, the rock garden, the woodland garden & the pond garden and there are a few walking routes for you to take around the gardens. Each of the gardens changes with the seasons, so there's always something new to see.
If you're after heritage attractions in Sittingbourne you should buy tickets for a ride on the Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway, a heritage steam train. The railway was once the main method of transport in Sittingbourne, transporting all of the raw materials that the town produced. The railway operates seasonal opening hours and you can buy tickets from their official site.
There are quite a lot of outdoor activities in Sittingbourne that you can try out, such as golfing. The Sittingbourne & Milton Regis Golf Club is based on Wormsdale Road, just 4 miles from Sittingbourne town centre. The club was established in 1929 and is still going strong today thanks to its challenging 18 hole course. You can buy new golfing equipment and accessories from their pro shop, and if you feel like you need some training there are lessons available.
Sittingbourne is conveniently located just off the M2, with theA2 and the A249 running right through the town, so getting there by car is really easy. The two closest towns to Sittingbourne are Maidstone, just over 10 miles from Sittingbourne, and Gillingham, only 9 miles away.
Sittingbourne Railway Station is located right in the town centre, so if you're staying in the area you won't have a long walk to your accommodation. You can get Sittingbourne trains direct to London from Sittingbourne all through the week, as well as trains to other nearby stations.
French Market image contributed by Penny Mayes. Holy Trinity Church image contributed by Penny Mayes. The Bargee image contributed by Colin Smith. All images are copyrighted but licensed for further reuse under the Creative Commons License.