FAMILY VALUE Penshurst Place has ‘exceptional understanding’ of the market PHOTO: Paul Barsby

PENSHURST PLACE and Gardens have been named the best tourist attraction for families in Kent.

The stately home secured the Happy Family Award in the first Visit Kent tourism awards, and now goes forward to the national finals.

The medieval manor house, which dates back to the 14th century, was presented with the gong at a gala ceremony at the Theatre Royal in London on November 24.

The awards were introduced this year to -recognise venues that give visitors outstanding experiences, including exceptional standards of customer service.

More than 100 attractions put their names forward for the awards, across seven categories, and 22 of them were shortlisted and then put to a public vote.

Penshurst was nominated by Visit Hertfordshire, and beat Diggerland in Strood and Nethergong Family Camping in Canterbury in the competition.

Lucy McLeod, Head of Marketing & Events at Penshurst Place, said: “We are delighted to have won the Happy Family Award. We aim to give families a space to spend quality time together and create long-lasting memories, so we are honoured that the public voted for us.

“I’d like to say thank you to everyone who took the time to cast their vote. We really appreciate your support.”

The Judges from Visit Kent and Visit Hertfordshire commented: “Penshurst Place demonstrated an exceptional understanding of the family market through their event programme, which takes on a different theme each year.

“All family events have an educational element and are included in the standard entry ticket to ensure it’s affordable for families.”

Historical Penshurst Place, the home of Viscount De L’Isle, offers a wide range of such family activities, including crafts, bug hunts, falconry displays and historical re-enactments.

The large adventure playground is also a huge draw for children, as is the woodland trail and the 11 acres of walled gardens.