Rankins Farm is close to a range of museums that offer some insight into life in Kent through the ages, as well as a range of artefacts and artworks from other cultures.
Maidstone Museum, situated just five miles from the farm, houses an impressive collection of ancient Egyptian objects, Anglo-Saxon jewellery, Japanese art and more, totalling more than 600,000 artefacts. Highlights include a Solomon Island canoe and a wonderfully preserved Egyptian mummy, while many elements of the collection tell the story of Maidstone dating back to its Bronze Age residents.
Tyrwhitt-Drake Museum of Carriages
Home to a unique collection of horse-drawn carriages, this small museum in Maidstone was opened in 1946, a gift from the eccentric Sir Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake. It opens Friday-Sunday afternoons and features an array of sleighs, sedan chairs, carriages and even an original ice cream cart. Guided tours are available.
Once the property of the Tyrwhitt-Drake family, Kent Life is an outdoor museum that brings the Kent of the past alive to locals and tourists alike. Visitors can meet traditional farmyard animals, explore the vintage village, which has been restored to its Victorian grandeur, and see the last remaining coal-fired oast house in the country, where hops are still dried and packed for beer production.
Historic Dockyard Chatham
The Historic Dockyard at Chatham is an exciting place to discover Kent’s maritime history. Among its best attractions are three warships from different periods, each with a connection to the dockyard, and which offer a glimpse into life aboard a seafaring vessel. There’s also an operational ropeyard, and a collection of models and artefacts that document Chatham’s key role in some of Britain’s major conflicts.