18 miles south-east of Central London lies Dartford, the principal town in the Borough of Dartford. Londoners always assume that, because Dartford is in Kent, it is many miles away. Since it’s located on the border, however, you only have to take a half hour long train ride to get there.
Dartford has a lot going for it, including an Olympic judo centre, the UK’s biggest shopping centre in close proximity, and a sizeable wildlife area. Dartford, incidentally, also produced a sizeable number of world-renowned musicians and artists. Keep reading to learn more about what makes this special town so famous.
Near the town centre of Dartford lies Central Park, a versatile outdoor community space that hosts the annual Dartford Festival in July. This beautiful attraction has formal gardens, playgrounds for children, a skatepark, and fresh-air fitness equipment. It also has ornamental displays of more than 45,000 plant species.
To the south-west of Central Park in Dartford Heath, a haven for fauna and flora alike. Here, you’ll find birds, insects, critters, as well as an abundance of flowers, including honeysuckle and foxglove. Dartford Heath covers a whopping 361 acres and has 4 accessible and conveniently located car parks.
To the west of Dartford is Bluewater, one of the most exquisite shopping centres in entire Europe that have won many international awards since it opened 12 years ago. Located in Bluewater are John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, and House of Fraser. Between these stores are three shopping malls that are filled with lifestyle and family stores, restaurants, and a 13-screen cinema.
Here, you will also find the Rose Gallery, which consists of a collection of high-street retailers and fashion retailers. To complete this picture of shopping and lifestyle perfection, Bluewater also has a boating lake, golf course, and a discovery trail.
One of the most notable things Dartford is famous for is that it’s the birthplace of Rolling Stones members Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The Mick Jagger Centre at the Dartford Grammar School is a platform for Dartford-based music and arts. HRH Duke of Kent, Mick Jagger, and Jerry Hall opened the facility in 1998.
The Mick Jagger Centre consists of two halls, both equipped with sound and lighting equipment, a professional recording studio, as well as rehearsal rooms. Here, you’ll also find a Music Technology Suite, a visual arts suite, and a dance drama room.
This 1000-seater theatre is the epitome of local and international entertainment, complete with a circle restaurant. Here, you can see productions with the likes of The Wizard of Oz and Fame the Musical.
Dartford is famous for having the first modern museum in the country. The Dartford Museum is estimated to attract around 8,000 visitors per year. Exhibits of this museum include finding from Anglo-Saxon cemeteries and objects from the Victorian and Edwardian eras. In the museum, there is also a well-known display of the Dartford Warbler, one of two bird species that were named after a British Town.