The 24 Thanet venues taking part in this year’s Kent Big Weekend

The Open Top Bus takes part in this year's event Photo Stagecoach

A total of 24 Thanet venues and attractions are offering free tickets as part of the annual Kent Big Weekend event.

The event is organised by Visit Kent and offers the public the chance to visit some of the county’s best attractions – and it’s free.

The Kent Big Weekend is a countywide affair and takes place during English Tourism Week. This year Saturday and Sunday, April 6-7 are the dates for the diary. The ballot opens tomorrow ( Thursday, February 21) and will close on Sunday, March 17.

With the largest ever number of attractions in Thanet taking part, this is an opportunity for residents to discover the wealth of things to do on their doorstep.

Of the 24 isle attractions taking part, there are four businesses joining the event for the time:

  • Stagecoach Open Top Bus – Tickets for their Open Top Bus service
  • Westwood Cross – £10 Westwood Cross Gift Card
  • The Bay Tree – Complimentary glass of prosecco per diner when purchasing main course from A La Carte menu
  • Rotten Ramsgate Tours – historical murder walking tour around Ramsgate

Crampton Tower Museum in Broadstairs is taking part again and is the only venue that has participated in the Kent Big Weekend every year since the initiative began, in 2006. Back then just ten of Thanet’s attractions took part.

Cllr Ash Ashbee, Cabinet Member for Coastal Development said: “The Kent Big Weekend is a fantastic opportunity for people to get out and make the most of the great attractions we have in the area. I would definitely encourage everyone to put their name into the ballot. There is so much to see and do here. This is reflected in the size of Thanet’s tourism economy which is worth £319m – it has grown by 9%. Having a thriving tourism offer in Thanet is vital for this growth. Our ambition is to continue to attract new and returning visitors by demonstrating that there are always reasons to keep coming to Thanet.”

Winners will receive two tickets per household, allocated by random ballot. Family tickets will also be available for some attractions. Successful entrants will be notified on Monday, March 18.

Find out more about the Thanet venues taking part in the Kent Big Weekend and their offer at: www.visitthanet.co.uk/kentbigweekend

To register for free tickets, go to www.kentbigweekend.co.uk, from tomorrow.

Thanet venues taking part:

The Bay Tree Hotel, Broadstairs

Crampton Tower Museum, Broadstairs

Dickens House Museum, Broadstairs

Drapers Windmill, Margate

Dreamland, Margate

Gadd’s Ramsgate Brewery, Broadstairs

Hornby Visitor Centre, Margate

Jungle Jim’s, Birchington

Margate Museum, Margate

Minster Abbey, Minster

Open Top Bus, between The Boating Pool, Ramsgate and Stone Bay, Broadstairs

Powell-Cotton Museum, Quex House and Gardens, Birchington

Pugin’s Church and St. Augustine: Shrine and Visitor Centre, Ramsgate

RAF Manston History Museum, Manston

Ramsgate Blitz Walks, Ramsgate

Ramsgate Leisure Centre, Ramsgate

Ramsgate Tunnels, Ramsgate

Real Life Games, Ramsgate

Rotten Ramsgate Tours, Ramsgate

Shell Grotto, Margate

Theatre Royal Margate – Ghost the musical

Tudor House, Margate

Turner Contemporary, Margate

Westwood Cross Shopping Centre, Broadstairs