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.


    Recently updated properties

    photo of Bow Cottage , Fordwich, near Canterbury, Kent
    Bow Cottage lies in the ancient town of Fordwich, known as the smallest town in Great Britain and is a comfortable terraced holiday cottage which has been renovated to a very good standard, retaining stone clad walls. The ...
    Bedrooms: 2
    Sleeps Max: 3
    Guide Price: £££
    Pets: dog friendly

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    photo of The Coach House , Sandwich Bay, near Sandwich, Kent, Deal
    The Coach House and Coachman’s Cottage are two stunning luxury properties located on a private estate in Sandwich Bay, Kent. The normal admission charge for visitors will be waived for all guests staying here, so you can ...
    Bedrooms: 4
    Sleeps Max: 8
    Guide Price: £££

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    photo of Willow Tree House , Staple, near Wingham, Kent, Canterbury
    Valid from: 05/11/2019 to: 09/11/2019 Save over £20 for a 4 holiday vacation starting Tuesday, 5th of November
    Save over £20 for a 4 holiday vacation starting Tuesday, 5th of November
    Willow Tree House is a unique countryside retreat with plenty of space, walks from the doorstop and a host of things to do close by to keep all the family entertained. Willow Tree House is centred on Dovecote, built for ...
    Bedrooms: 3
    Sleeps Max: 6
    Guide Price: £££

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    photo of Brittons Hill Cottage , Kenardington, near Ashford, Kent
    This delightful, chocolate box, thatched cottage is over 350 years old and dates back to the 15th-century and is surrounded by beautiful Kent countryside. Perfect for exploring rural Kent, Brittons Hill Cottage is a ...
    Bedrooms: 3
    Sleeps Max: 6
    Guide Price: £££
    Pets: dog friendly

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    photo of Coombe Wood Coach House , Hawkinge, near Folkestone, Kent
    A stunning property, with a private hot tub, set in a secluded rural location within the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Overloooking the Alkham Valley, it is located on a 50-acre working farm, with horses, ...
    Bedrooms: 5
    Sleeps Max: 9
    Guide Price: £££
    Pets: dog friendly

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    photo of Pax , St. Margarets at Cliffe, near Dover, Kent
    This spacious, first floor, two bedroomed apartment is located above an accountants, in the heart of St Margaret’s at Cliffe, in Kent. Decorated and furnished to a good standard, this property is in a great location to ...
    Bedrooms: 2
    Sleeps Max: 4
    Guide Price: £££

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