Kent is known as the "Garden of England" because of its agricultural influence, extensive orchards and hop-gardens. Distinctive oast houses are common in the countryside, although many have been converted into residential dwellings.
As a seaside resort, the village is a notable tourist and retirement destination. The village's Minnis Bay is a family beach with attractions such as sailing, windsurfing, a paddling pool and coastal walking routes. Its three smaller beaches are surrounded by chalk cliffs, cliff stacks and caves.
The village was first recorded in 1240. Its parish church, All Saints, dates to the 13th century and its churchyard is the burial place of the 19th-century Pre-Raphaelite artist, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Quex Park, a local 19th-century manor house, is home to the Powell Cotton Museum of stuffed exotic animals and a twelve-bell tower built for change ringing.
Rod Hull (born 13 August 1935 on the Isle of Sheppey, died 18 March 1999) was a popular entertainer on British television in the 1970s and 1980s. He rarely appeared without Emu, a mute, highly aggressive arm-length puppet.