Weald of Kent
One can drive to the vast Kent-countryside in less than 2 hours from our home. We decided it was time to explore Kent – the Weald of Kent to be exact – over 3 days. Per Wikipedia, weald is “Old English in origin, signifies woodland, and still applies today: scattered farms and villages [portray] the Weald’s past.” Indeed, the countryside is wide open with grand views, narrow roads/lanes, food sparse and usually served up in the village pub, and famed with some great National Trust treasures. A few nights in Kent change your perspective on the UK especially when the frame of reference is London!
We stayed in an Oast, essentially a “building designed for kilning (drying) hops as part of the brewing process.” Bishopsdale Oast, Biddenden (where we stayed, no link as we don’t recommend you stay here) was a square constructed oast converted into a 4 bedroom B&B. The grounds were pretty, the garden had lovely patches of wild flowers, an apple orchard, a small pond with lilies, roses and was situated next to a wheat field.
National Trust properties abound in Kent. We visited two: Sissinghurst castle and gardens and Bodiam castle. Mote park, Maidstone has a great kids play area, offers row boats to hire, and has abundant green space. Ignore the Maidstone mall/shopping area! The prettiest town, by far, was Tenterden. Stop at the Nutmeg Deli/Coffee for a great coffee. (Some say they are best in the UK, not sure about that claim.) Nutmeg is rated the #1 restaurant in Tenterden. Finally, the Pantiles in Royal Tunbridge Wells is well worth a stroll/stopover. Have a look at the architecture from centuries ago.
The video montage above and photos below tell the story better than words.
All Flickr photos from the Kent, UK holiday.