The Garden of England

Image of Explore Kent mobile device screens

The Garden of England

Kent is known as the Garden of England for good reason – it’s a county rich with hop gardens, orchards and countryside brimming with nature.

It’s also a county keen to use its natural and cultural assets to support healthier lifestyles and wellbeing through promotion of walking and other activities in its towns and countryside.

As specialists in engagement websites for health and wellbeing, we were commissioned by Kent County Council to design and develop a new website to help people explore the rich and diverse range of activities on offer in the county.

Photo of high street in KentPhoto of high street in KentPhoto of high street in Kent

A Rich Directory of Things to Enjoy

We worked in close collaboration with the Council’s team to design and plan a directory website that maximises ease of use and encourages people to jump into exploring the activities, experiences and destinations on offer.

Activities can be things like walking, cycling and pony-trekking, whereas experiences might be a foraging tour or mindful coaching, and destinations anything from an ancient woodland to explore through to an outdoor gym.

We created a bright and vibrant look and feel that builds on the strong brand foundations of Explore Kent and integrated awe-inspiring photography and attractive card grid presentation.

Maximising Engagement

Screenshot images of Explore Kent website

Maximising Engagement

A clean design direction was chosen in order to bring the amazing bredth of content to the fore. The choice of pared back presentation is reflected in the website’s activity search filter feature which makes identifying and refining things of interest as quick and straightforward as possible.

We also worked with the Council’s team to carefully consider key calls to action and language on the website to make navigation and key features easy to understand and interact with.

The Homepage’s ’Featured Inspirations’ slider showcases exciting activities for different interests and abilities. The slider makes the most of the inspiring photography available and selecting any activity takes the user to further information – for example Paddleboarding around Kent’s Beaches and Rivers.

Walking for Health, Walking for Enjoyment

Images showing Explore Kent website on multiple devices

Walking for Health, Walking for Enjoyment

There’s also curated collections of themed walks that maximise engagement with visitors and residents alike. Steam enthusiasts will love Kent’s ’Rail Trails’ routes and book-loving audiences can explore the Literary Walks around Kent.

For up to the moment promotion of topical and seasonal activities, the Council can use an integrated Explore Kent blog to promote handpicked collections, such as walks picked to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee that take in a range of places with royal connections.

Another key aspect of the project was our development of a ’like’ feature which enables users to save things of interest to review later and share them with friends and family at the touch of a button.

The website also supports the Council’s active travel strategy through promotion of active travel to places of interest and the Kent Connected App Journey Planner.

Image of custom iconography undertaken for Explore Kent and Kent Downs AONB
Image of custom iconography undertaken for Explore Kent and Kent Downs AONB

Project Outcomes

The finished website is an enticing feast of activities, experiences and destinations and is a valuable new tool in the Council’s armoury to encourage the enjoyment of healthy lifestyles around Kent.

It’s also a fantastic showcase for the county as an exciting destination for tourists with experiences and destinations to suit all tastes and interests.