The birthplace of music legend Mick Jagger is also known for its old churches and huge modern shopping mall.
As a town with religious and cultural importance, Dartford has many charming churches and museums. Its most famous tourist attraction, however, is the Bluewater Shopping Centre, one of the largest malls in Europe.
Catch a bus from Dartford center to reach the Bluewater mall east of town. Browse more than 300 stores then enjoy the mall’s many attractions. Play mini golf and ride pedalos on a man-made lake at the Pirate Cove Adventure Park. Parents can take a break at the Bluewater mall’s day spa.
Head back in to Dartford to visit The Mick Jagger Centre, which hosts community arts performances and live music concerts. The famous Rolling Stones lead singer was born in Dartford and used to sing in the local church choir. Enjoy a day out at the 26-acre (10-hectare) Central Park, just south of Dartford center. Admire the colorful flowerbeds that bloom in spring and relax by the River Darent, which runs through the park.
Learn about the town’s origins at the Dartford Borough Museum on the edge of Central Park.
Uncover the religious and historic sides of Dartford. The most well known of the town’s churches is the Holy Trinity, which was built in 1080. Find blue plaques scattered around the town that celebrate historic events and people. See the inn where famous novelist Jane Austen stayed in the early 19th century.
Visit the Manor Gate House north of Dartford. The manor was built in 1541 by King Henry VIII for his personal use and lies just south of the River Thames. Cross the river on one of Europe’s largest cable-supported bridges, The Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. On the north side, locate the Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve to take scenic walks and spot birds and other wildlife. At the end of your day of sight seeing, attend a play or musical at The Orchard Theatre.
Dartford is located on the banks of the River Darent in the northwest region of Kent. Take a 40-minute train ride from the center of London to discover the town’s many charms.