Record-breaking interest in Kent Big Weekend 2017 as more than 180,000 applications made...but tickets are still up for grabs

PUBLISHED: 13:18 08 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:18 08 March 2017

Hever Castle

Hever Castle

(c) ValeryEgorov

Between March 9 and 27, Kent residents who registered for the Big Weekend ballot before it closed on March 3 can log back in and check the website for last minute offers

A record number of applications have been received for this year’s Kent Big Weekend - but tickets are still up for grabs.

A total of 184,143 applications were made on for this year’s event, which takes place across April 1 and 2, with the website receiving more than 796,000 page views during the registration period.

More than 22,000 pairs of tickets were donated by 116 attractions across Kent.

There are, however, still chances to win unclaimed or returned tickets.

Between March 9 and 27, Kent residents who registered for the Big Weekend ballot before it closed on March 3 can log back in and check the website for last minute offers.

Any returned or unclaimed tickets will be made available on a first come first served basis, so punters are encouraged to keep checking.

This spring marks the Kent Big Weekend’s 11th year, and it has proven to be the most popular yet, breaking all previous records for ballot applications.

Last year 122,243 applications were made.

Once again, animals and wildlife proved to be the biggest draw on the website, with Wingham Wildlife Park, Howletts Wild Animal Park, Port Lympne Reserve and the Rare Breeds Centre taking the top four most popular choices of the ballot, receiving a combined number of over 40,000 applications.

Bids to Hever Castle and Gardens took the final spot of the top five, receiving some 6,319 entries.

Other goodies up for grabs included tours and tastings at some of the country’s top vineyards, light railway adventures, sports lessons and museum entry, ensuring that there is something for all the family to enjoy.

Visit Kent Head of Marketing, Sinead Hanna, said: “We’re overwhelmed by the huge support we’ve had from so many attractions across Kent, and the enthusiastic response from Kent residents who have been delighted to see the return of the Big Weekend this spring.

“The fact that we have once again broken all previous records for participation, tickets offered and applications is certainly a great cause for celebration.

“Every year brings along new and exciting opportunities for our residents to experience Kent’s exceptional range of days out.

“We look forward to seeing everyone sharing #kentbigweekend17 over the first weekend in April – don’t forget your cameras.”

There will also be a selfie competition running across social media throughout the weekend, where ticket holders can share a selfie of themselves enjoying the #kentbigweekend17 and using #kbwselfie on Twitter for the chance to win a fantastic prize.

The Kent Big Weekend is part of English Tourism Week, which highlights tourism as one of the fastest growing sectors in the national economy.

Attractions have also donated extra tickets to the Family Holiday Association charity, which helps struggling families to enjoy a day out for free.

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