Kent Cottages

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    Kent
    Known as the Garden of England, the county of Kent is most famously portrayed as a landscape of oast houses and fruit orchards. With an amazingly varied coastline stretching from Dartford and the Thames estuary round eastwards along the shoreline with the North Sea and on to the southern extremities of Romney Marsh and the English Channel, Kent is one of the ‘home counties’. Surrounded by Surrey, Greater London, East Sussex and Essex, the county also has a nominal border with France – somewhat of a technical boundary, created as it was by the construction of the Channel Tunnel.

    The proximity of the county to the continent has meant that it has been of strategic importance for many centuries – and never more so that during the Second World War, when it was on the front line of the Battle of Britain. The iconic White Cliffs of Dover are the quintessential welcoming sight for the English as they return home, and in fine weather the cliffs can be clearly seen from the French coastline.

    Things to do in Kent
    Known for centuries for its orchards and hop gardens, the economy of Kent has historically been linked to agriculture, although there is now an increasing dependence on tourism and manufacturing industries. But fruit is still of great significance in the county; Brogdale Farm is the home of the National Fruit Collection, and offers visitors the chance to sample apple varieties that would have once been familiar to King Henry VIII, and nuts and plums of equal historic horticultural importance – with nearly four thousand fruit varieties represented. The iconic oast houses were once seen as a working-holiday venue for thousands of Londoners, who travelled to Kent each Summer to help with the hop harvest; many of the oast houses are now preserved as the most beautiful of country homes.

    This varied rural county is also of great interest to nature-lovers. The Kent countryside includes some of the most ancient woodlands in England. The Kent Downs cover 878 sq km – almost a quarter of the county – from the chalky white cliffs of Dover up to the London-Surrey borders. The dramatic, remote and often barren landscape of Romney Marsh and Dungeness contrasts with the lush features of the High Weald, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), with its green rolling hills and pretty flower meadows.

    Kent has been the inspiration for a number of notable writers and artists. J M Turner spent part of his childhood in Margate, and the scenery has been preserved as a focal point in many of his most famous seascapes; Rochester, Chatham and the Cliff marshes are all familiar to readers of the great Charles Dickens, and even further back in time, Chaucer based his Canterbury Tales on the religious role of the town during the 1380s.

    Top Destinations

    Canterbury – University town and cathedral city, Canterbury is a delightful place to explore on foot. The cathedral is the oldest in England, but the ancient ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey and St Martin’s church are also significant, as they form Canterbury’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. A boat trip along the River Stour is a popular way of seeing the city from a different perspective, and allows visitors to enjoy both the architectural magnificence together with some of its wonderful natural wildlife.

    Whitstable – This popular seaside town is home to an annual Oyster Festival each July, and to a first class local brewery. A particularly notable feature of the town is ‘The Street’ – a natural strip of shingle on a clay bank, which runs out to sea at right angles to the coast for a distance of about half a mile; this is a last remnant of the land to the north of Whitstable that has been lost over the centuries to coastal erosion. Due to Whitstable’s highly successful shellfish industry, the Victorian railway service - the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway (C&WR) was soon nicknamed ‘the Crab and Winkle Railway’; although the local line closed in 1953, much of the route is now open as a footpath and cycleway.

    Sissinghurst – The National Trust gardens of Sissinghurst Castle, near Cranbrook, were once the domain of the writers Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West. Now the gardens, set against the ruins of an impressive Elizabethan house, offer visitors long views across the fields and meadows of the Kentish countryside; the grounds themselves were developed during the 1930s, based on a concept of creating a garden comprising of individual, separate areas or ‘rooms’, utilising different and often contrasting colours or themes; they include the world-famous ‘White Garden’ created by Sackville-West.

    Royal Tunbridge Wells – Just 30 miles from London, yet surrounded by glorious Kent countryside, Royal Tunbridge Wells was once a Georgian spa town, and still retains much of its gentile ambiance, with fine shops and tea rooms, as well as a plethora of stately homes, castles and gardens close to hand.

    Margate – In addition to the ‘bucket and spade’ appeal of this archetypal seaside destination, Margate is enjoying a renaissance, with its Old Town packed with interesting galleries, quirky shops and trendy new cafés and coffee bars. A landmark art gallery, the Turner Contemporary, recently opened in the town centre, to celebrate the artist’s association with Margate.

    Ramsgate – With an extensive maritime history, and the country’s only ‘Royal Harbour’, Ramsgate offers visitors a glittering waterfront. ‘The Grange’ – the so-called ‘first modern house in Britain’ – was built in the town by Augustus Pugin in 1843, and has recently been restored by the Landmark Trust. It is open to the public each Wednesday afternoon.

    Sevenoaks – Although known to many as a commuter town, Sevenoaks is also the location of one of the finest – and largest - country houses in England. Set in a magnificent deer park, Knole House is reputed to be a ‘calendar house’ – having 365 rooms, 52 staircases, 12 entrances and seven courtyards. The house, and 43 acres of the grounds, are now owned by the National Trust, and open to visitors.


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    photo of Whit's End , Whitstable, near Tankerton, Kent
    Whit’s End is a detached holiday property less than a mile from Whitstable’s shops, restaurants and seafront. Stroll to the harbour for oysters, or in the opposite direction to Tankerton Slopes, rolling down to a ...
    Bedrooms: 2
    Sleeps Max: 6
    Guide Price: £££
    Pets: pets allowed

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    photo of Church Barn - Le Grande , Aylesford, Kent, Maidstone
    These stylishly renovated, adjoining holiday barns (refs PPPC and PNNF) lie on the edge of a very pretty village on the River Medway set in a conservation area. From Church Barn La Grande’s garden, you can see the church ...
    Bedrooms: 3
    Sleeps Max: 7
    Guide Price: £££
    Pets: dog friendly

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    photo of Hope Cottage , Hythe, near Folkestone, Kent
    Hope Cottage is a delightful terraced Victorian house located just minutes from the coast. Decorated and furnished to a very good standard this holiday property is a great base for families, couples and small groups of ...
    Bedrooms: 2
    Sleeps Max: 4
    Guide Price: £££
    Pets: pet friendly

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    photo of Shoreleave , Hythe, Kent, Folkestone
    Located in a quiet residential street in the heart of the historic Cinque Port town of Hythe, this comfortable first floor apartment in a Victorian villa is just 200 yards from the beach and seafront promenade. Offering ...
    Bedrooms: 2
    Sleeps Max: 5
    Guide Price: £££

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    photo of Belmont Cottage , Sheerness, Isle of Sheppey, Kent, Whitstable
    Belmont Cottage is a charming, two bedroomed property, located on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent. Decorated and furnished to a good standard, this property is in a great location to explore all that the island and Kent have ...
    Bedrooms: 2
    Sleeps Max: 4
    Guide Price: £££
    Pets: pets allowed

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    photo of The Buttery , Maidstone, Kent
    Ground floor: Living room/dining area/kitchen area. First floor: 3 bedrooms: 2 double, 1 bunk (2ft 6in for children). Bathroom with toilet. ...
    Bedrooms: 3
    Sleeps Max: 6
    Guide Price: £££
    Pets: pets allowed

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    photo of Malt Cottage , Biddenden, Kent, Ashford
    Adjoining the owner’s period country property, located just a few minutes walk from the historic village of Biddenden, which lies in the heart of the Kent countryside and offers easy access to an abundance of castles, ...
    Bedrooms: 1
    Sleeps Max: 2
    Guide Price: £££
    Pets: pets allowed

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    photo of The Longbarn Huntbourne , St Michaels, near Tenterden, Kent, Ashford
    Originally thatched, this thoughtfully converted, detached longbarn with local oak timbers, close to the owner’s home, has its roots in Saxon times, with a Flemish wool washing pond behind it. Still a working sheep farm, ...
    Bedrooms: 2
    Sleeps Max: 4
    Guide Price: £££
    Pets: pets allowed

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    photo of Raspberry Cottage , Ripple, near Deal, Kent
    This very pretty pink attached thatched holiday cottage dating from 1564 overlooks rolling countryside with distant views of the sea. Just a short drive from the seaside town of Deal complete with seafront, pier and ...
    Bedrooms: 2
    Sleeps Max: 5
    Guide Price: £££

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    photo of Quintessential Cottages , 2 and 3 Coppin Street, Deal, Kent
    Quintessential Cottages Quintessential Cottages is a small privately-owned business with a very simple goal. Our aim is that a short stay in one of our 5-star luxury holiday cottages should provide you with the ...
    Bedrooms: 2
    Sleeps Max: 4
    Guide Price: £££

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