Places to Visit

Here you will find just some of the many wonderful places in this part of Kent - just click on the title to go to the website in a pop-up window.

The local villages of Tenterden and Cranbrook, (both 10 mins away), are good for shopping and browsing.

Tenterden has a steam railway that’s run by local enthusiasts, and you can travel in style, waving all the way, to Rolvenden, Northiam and then onto Bodiam Castle.

Tenterden is the larger of the 2, has lots of eating places, an Italian, a Chinese, an Indian, and a Turkish restaurant. There are also several Bistro's, a few pubs and an hotel. I can recommend the Italian, Prezzo's. Its reasonably priced and good food. 01580 764769.

Rye and Winchelsea are both lovely. They were both very important Ports in the Middle Ages, but gradually the coast line changed and both towns were left miles inland. They are beautiful, full of historic buildings and colourful histories. Rye in particular is famous for its Smugglers. The roads near the church are all cobbled. which is not particularly easy to walk on. You can get great views from the church tower. Look up more at :- http://www.ryesussex.co.uk/pages/parish.asp There are great fish restaurants, antique shops, potteries, art shops and tea shops.

Leeds Castle is billed as "The most beautiful castle in the world." The setting, the Peacocks, and the lake are lovely, but the best thing there for me is the Maze and Grotto. Quite expensive though. http://www.leeds-castle.com

Canterbury is slightly further away, 1 hour's driving. It has a beautiful old town centre and of course the Cathedral.

Hastings - Is well worth visiting, but be careful not to miss the best bits. Don't go with the expectation of seeing the Hastings depicted in Foyle's War! The main part of Hastings is large and not exceptional. There was a pier, but it got burnt down a couple of years ago! However if you seek out the Old Town & the beach, you will see Hastings at its idiosyncratic best. The fishermen still land their boats on the beach, and then sell their fish at nearby fishmongers. Hastings is famous for the large black wooden buildings that stand on the beach, where they dry their nets. You can always sit down on the beach, (which is pebbled), and have some fish & chips, (a typical English pastime). At this end of the town there is a venicular railway where you can take a short ride up the cliffs. The Old Town has some lovely buildings and interesting shops and on the beach, right in the middle of the fishing huts, is the new Jerwood Gallery. Marvellous architecture, interesting collection of paintings and a very good restaurant/cafe. Well worth a visit. One of the most interesting, (and not at all well advertised), things to do in Hastings, is a visit the Hastings Museum http://www.hmag.org.uk/ on the western side of the town. It has the most fantastic Indian room/building that is entirely covered in intricate carvings of animals. No two are alike, and in the centre of the room is a magnificent candelabra. Housed in the building are a collection of treasures and curiosities.

 

Local Eating and Drinking

  • The Bull, Benenden does good pub grub and real ales (01580 240054).
  • The Woodcock, Iden Green (01580 240 054),  nice country pub, 1 mile down our lane, a really lovely walk in the evening if you are up for it, and they serve very good pub food.
  • The 3 Chimneys. 5 miles away near Biddenden, 01580 291472, you will need to book.
  • The Great House. 4ish miles away near Hawkhurst & probably best to book. It's a French Bistro/pub/restaurant. 01580 753119.

If you want something a little more upmarket, you are in luck! There are 3 x 1 star Michelin Star restaurants in the area.

  • Apicius, 23 Stone Street. Cranbrook. Tel 01580 714666)
  • West House, 28 High Street, Biddenden. 01580 291341)
  • The Curlew, Junction Road Bodiam. 01580 861394

They all have websites. They are all really local, the furthest one being 7 miles away.
In recent years local vineyards have flourished and 2 of them have won prestigious awards. Namely:

Both do tastings and guided tours.

Sissinghurst Castle

​A garden, in a ruin, in a farm. Sissinghurst Castle is a ruin of an Elizabethan manor house gently seated in the beautiful Weald of Kent.

Great Dixter

Great Dixter was the family home of gardener and gardening writer Christopher Lloyd – it was the focus of his energy and enthusiasm and fuelled over 40 years of books and articles.

Bodiam Castle

This fairytale castle is one of Britain's most romantic and picturesque, set in the heart of 1066 country. With spiral staircases, battlements and a portcullis, 14th-century Bodiam Castle is the real thing.

Pashley Manor

​Pashley Manor is a quintessential English garden located on the Sussex and Kent border in the heart of South East England’s garden country offering a sumptuous blend of romantic landscaping, imaginative plantings and fine old trees.

Scotney Castle

One of England's most romantic gardens designed in the Picturesque style around the ruins of a 14th-century moated castle, set in a beautiful wooded estate.

Batemans

Jacobean house, home of Rudyard Kipling. "That's She! The Only She! Make an honest woman of her - quick!" was how Rudyard Kipling and his wife, Carrie, felt the first time they saw Bateman's.