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 Ziggy's Place , Hythe , Kent, Folkestone
    Beautifully renovated, this spacious property has two bedrooms, a comfortable living room with wood burner and open plan kitchen with dining area, the property also boasts a large private and enclosed lawned garden with ...
    Bedrooms: 2
    Sleeps Max: 4
    Guide Price: £££
    Pets: dog friendly

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    photo of The Thatched Barn , Smarden, Kent, Ashford
    Thoughtfully converted to a high standard, this stunning, thatched 17th-century barn has a plethora of beams and vaulted entrance hall. Standing detached, it is ideally situated on the edge of the picturesque village of ...
    Bedrooms: 4
    Sleeps Max: 11
    Guide Price: £££
    Pets: dog friendly

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    photo of South Stable Cottage , Hastingleigh, near Ashford, Kent
    Situated on the edge of the village of Hastingleigh and in the owners’ grounds, this comfortably furnished, semi-detached holiday barn is nestled in the tranquil countryside of the Kent Downs. Ideal walking territory and ...
    Bedrooms: 2
    Sleeps Max: 4
    Guide Price: £££
    Pets: pets allowed

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    photo of Saddlers Cottage , Alkham, near Dover, Kent
    All on the ground floor:Living room: With Freeview TV and DVD player.Dining room.Kitchen: With electric cooker, microwave, fridge and washing machine.Bedroom: With kingsize bed and en-suite with shower cubicle and toilet. ...
    Bedrooms: 1
    Sleeps Max: 2
    Guide Price: £££
    Pets: dog friendly

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    photo of Seashells , Seasalter, near Whitstable, Kent
    Seashells holiday property enjoys a coastal position and is located in Seasalter, near Whitstable. Situated just 50 yards from the beach, this spacious, detached, family friendly property boasts sea views from several ...
    Bedrooms: 3
    Sleeps Max: 6
    Guide Price: £££

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    photo of Shingle Cottage , Whistable, Kent, Whitstable
    This terraced holiday cottage is a short walk from the beach and town centre, with its bohemian charm, independent gift shops, art galleries and delicatessens. Stroll along to the harbour where you can observe as the daily ...
    Bedrooms: 2
    Sleeps Max: 4
    Guide Price: £££

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    photo of Cliff Top Villa , Capel le Ferne, near Folkestone, Kent
    Cliff Top Villa, as the name suggests, is located on the top of the cliff in the popular village of Capel Le Ferne, near Folkestone, boasting breathtaking, panoramic sea views and views to France. This detached villa has ...
    Bedrooms: 5
    Sleeps Max: 9
    Guide Price: £££

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    photo of The Old Dairy , Cowden, near Edenbridge, Sussex, Uckfield
    Set within wonderful countryside, The Old Dairy has been renovated to a very good standard with exposed oak beams, oak floor, and oak staircase. A listed property, The Old Dairy adjoins another barn conversion, and is ...
    Bedrooms: 1
    Sleeps Max: 2
    Guide Price: £££

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    photo of Maplehurst Barn Stables , Staplehurst, near Maidstone, Kent
    In the ‘Garden of England’, where the apple orchards blossom, on the outskirts of the pretty Kentish Wealden village of Staplehurst, lies this single-storey barn with level access. It adjoins the owner’s home and is ...
    Bedrooms: 1
    Sleeps Max: 2
    Guide Price: £££

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    photo of A Bit On The Side , Nonington, near Canterbury, Kent, Deal
    A Bit on the Side is a quaint, comfortable one-bedroom annexe adjacent to the owners’ home. Nestling within countryside, it makes a perfect, relaxing holiday getaway for any couple, and offers quality furnishings and ...
    Bedrooms: 1
    Sleeps Max: 2
    Guide Price: £££

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