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Visiting the Friars

Set in the heart Of Kent, The Friars is an ancient religious house of the Order of Carmelites dating back to the 13th century. Over the centuries and in recent years The Friars has become, through popular support, a great centre of pilgrimage and a place of ecumenical activity.

When the friars returned to Aylesford in 1949, it was never the intention that it should become a place of pilgrimage. However, as soon as they arrived, so the people began to come to pray and to help with the enormous task of rebuilding and restoring the Priory. 

Today, many thousands come on organised pilgrimages or alone, some for a time of retreat or relaxation, some for business meetings or conferences and some simply to soak in the spectacular atmosphere and grounds covering over 40 acres. Some simply wander in from the road and are taken into the unique atmosphere of prayer. The Friars is great for walking with lots of paths and trails to follow throughout the grounds. Come and enjoy a peaceful walk in the peace garden, or walk down the Rosary Way or the Avenue. Relax and take in the flow of the nearby Medway River. Bring the kids to feed the ducks and play in the vast fields. And when all the activity is over and you’re hungry, pop into the Tea Room for delicious home-made snacks. Or why not try the Pilgrims’ Hall  where you can treat yourself to a sumptuous meal made from scratch with local produce by our expert chefs. 

During weekends in summer, thousands of pilgrims fill the main piazza in prayer and song, but other times The Friars becomes a sanctuary for quiet reflection and somewhere for families to enjoy a picnic in the leafy surroundings by a lake. Aylesford Priory has a resident community of friars, but you’ll also find a working pottery and upholstery, seasonal fayres, a popular Tea Room, a Gift Shop, great accommodation, conference rooms and even classic car shows.

The Friars receives over 200,000 visitors a year and is open all year round.

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Our Spiritual Life

Spirituality is an important part of the work we do here in the Priory

Opening Times

The Friars is open 365 days a year and entry is free.

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How to find us

View our map and guide on finding us by road or train.

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Map of the grounds

Discover all there is to see and do at The Friars.

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Get in contact

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Historic, picturesque, relaxing, peaceful