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 The Chicken Shed , Bilsington, near Ashford, Kent
    All on the ground floor.Living room: With Freeview TV, DVD player and wooden floor.Kitchen/dining room: With electric oven, electric hob, microwave, fridge, freezer and wooden floor.Bedroom 1: With double bed.Bedroom 2: ...
    Bedrooms: 3
    Sleeps Max: 6
    Guide Price: £££
    Pets: dog friendly

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    photo of Fig Cottage , East Brabourne, near Ashford, Kent
    Nestling at the foot of the North Downs is Fig Cottage, a detached, listed former farm building. It resides within the owner’s 8-acre grounds and small holding, including a vineyard which guests are free to enjoy. This ...
    Bedrooms: 2
    Sleeps Max: 4
    Guide Price: £££

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    photo of Wysteria Cottage , Pembury, near Tunbridge Wells, Kent
    A pretty converted coach house in the grounds of the owners’ Georgian house, with its own small garden. An excellent holiday retreat in the Weald of Kent, near the spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells. A narrow road leads ...
    Bedrooms: 2
    Sleeps Max: 4
    Guide Price: £££

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    photo of The Stable At Lower Barn Farm , Bodiam, near Battle, Sussex
    All on the ground floor.Open plan living space: With flagstone floor.Living area: With wood burner, 32' Freeview TV and DVD player.Dining area.Kitchen area: With electric oven, electric hob, combi microwave/oven/grill, ...
    Bedrooms: 1
    Sleeps Max: 2
    Guide Price: £££
    Pets: pet friendly

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    photo of Rolls Cottage , Whitstable, Kent
    Valid from: 14/09/2020 to: 18/09/2020 Save 3% for a 4 holiday break in September
    Save 3% for a 4 holiday break in September
    Close to the beach, restaurants, quirky shops and art galleries is this stylishly renovated end of terrace holiday cottage with the added bonus of an attractive, enclosed, paved garden; ideal for summer barbecues. It also ...
    Bedrooms: 3
    Sleeps Max: 6
    Guide Price: £££
    Pets: pet friendly

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    photo of The Stables , Shatterling, near Canterbury , Kent
    The Stables provides a period setting with 21st century amenities. The interior has been thoughtfully decorated and furnished with style and comfort in mind using beautiful English oak, heritage and eco products to attain ...
    Bedrooms: 1
    Sleeps Max: 2
    Guide Price: £££

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