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Kent. A week in a 'cottage' (last minute) August.- Base ourselves where?(16 Posts)
Foregone the villa in Spain this year... we're thinking a cottage in Kent, last minute. We will be DH and I plus 18/20 DSs (who aren't party boys).
What we like: Castles/old cities/cathedrals/coast/ amazing gardens, not in that order. Fine to do a few real walks. Will have a car, okay to do drives.
Where should we base ourselves?
What shouldn't we 'miss'?
Dover Castle is pretty cool. Not only do you get a medieval castle, they also have underground passages that were significant in world war 2. Parts of Deal is quaint with a smaller, victoriana castle, Walmer Castle.
Sandwich is pretty with Salutation Gardens with the couple from gogglebox.
If you are staying in the Canterbury area you are about an hour’s drive from Sissinghurst Gardens and also Scotney Castle, both of which are lovely gardens.
I’d say Canterbury area - you can easily get to places others have suggested from there and the city has plenty of history, a cathedral and is great for shops. Whitstable is not too far from it. Broadstairs is an easy drive from it too for a nice beach and the very popular family-friendly Folk Week from 9-16 August. Towards Maidstone, Leeds Castle has beautiful gardens to meander around on a nice day, plus Go Ape and segway for the teens - though they can be pricey (check out deals online beforehand). Have fun.
Stay in Birchington (or near), beautiful sandy beach there at Minnis Bay.
Drivable from there, Canterbury Cathedral obvs.
Powell Cotton Museum and Quex Park, lots to do and great food in Quex Barn.
Whitstable for a day, walk on the beach and visit The Old Neptune, there’s more good restaurants than bad in whitstable so eat dinner there too.
Walk from Minnis Bay to Reculver Towers along the sea wall.
The Sportsman for dinner (if you can get in!) and have a walk along the coast at Seasalter towards Faversham.
Dover, Walmer and Deal castles all worth visiting.
Sandwich nice to visit and go to Richborough Roman Fort whilst you’re in the area.
Hever and Leeds Castle both drivable but a bit further, well worth visiting though.
Folkestone and the Creative Quarter nice, maybe Rocksalt for dinner.
Margate not to everyone’s taste but there’s quirky shops, good restaurants and The Turner Contemporary.
Whitstable is beautiful. Minis Bay
Oh also, if you’re that way inclined, Chapel Down Winery in Tenterden is worth a wine tasting and tour of the vineyards. Fascinating, and the best wine, fizz and gin
Oh and the beaches in Kent are gorgeous. Minnis Bay as I already mentioned but not much further on than that is Pegwell Bay country park near Ramsgate, beautiful for walks and full of bird life. Botany Bay, Joss Bay, Viking Bay, Dumpton Gap, Dymchurch, Greatstone. The list goes on. And finally, one of my most favourite places in the whole world, Dungeness. But random I know, bleak and wild but stunning and if you like wild life and conservation, it’s the place to go. Ok, I’ll shut up now
For gardens yes Sissinghurst and Great Dixter. Devil’s Dyke has some good walks (and pubs) nearby. I was in Canterbury not long ago; it’s interesting. Check out Cosmo China if you go; business set up by several of Oliver Postgate’s daughters, so you can get some really cute crockery & some jewellery even with Bagpuss, Clangers, Noggin the Nog etc. themes.
I agree with loads of places mentioned already, esp. Dover Castle, but will add Bedgbury Pinetum for some good cycling trails.
It’s a fair way over but Chichester cathedral is great, with its Chagall window etc. Rochester’s is a real hotchpotch of styles but Chatham Dockyard is usually a good day out so you could swing by and have look if you visited the latter.
Dover literally has the castle and the cliffs, nothing else. Better to base yourselves somewhere more interesting/pretty and have a day trip there than vice versa. Canterbury sounds like it fits what you're looking for.
Thanks very much for all your suggestions. I've printed off a map and am writing them up right now. We've found a great apartment in the middle of Canterbury to stay in, too!
Which area could we drive through to see oast houses? We're driving from Southampton and can amble there. I might include Sissinghurst on the way.
All around the A21 mainly. The Whitbread Hop Farm is biggest collection of oasts in the world; don’t think it’s much of a special place to visit but they do have some cool escape rooms there. Places like Paddock Wood, Brenchley etc. have oast houses.
You could always stop for lunch in Chichester if you’re coming from Southampton, or Lewes. Seaford/ Seven Sisters Country Park is also nice. Good path to bike down.
Tenterden is also lovely to visit and you can get the steam railway to Bodiam Castle.