FOCUS ON: Kent Holiday Parks
Kent is traditionally known as the ‘Garden of England’, a landscape historically full of hop farms and apple and pear orchards. Within easy reach of both London and France, it occupies a unique space in South East England. Oast houses dot the landscape, which are almost entirely exclusive to Kent.
Accommodation in Kent
We have two fantastic 5 star graded holiday parks for you to consider staying at. Both have received the highest rating for quality and accommodation, and both are family/independently owned and run. From each, you can explore both Kent and its surrounding counties which offer much in terms of heritage sites, horticultural delights and hidden gems.
Broadhembury offers both family friendly and adult only accommodation in two separate areas. Based in the heart of Kent, outside Ashford, they are perfectly positioned for countryside pursuits as well as trips to the coast or even a day trip to London. They can accommodate caravans, tents and motorhomes as well as having some luxurious glamping options. You can also visit France via either the train from the Folkestone terminal or the boat from Dover. Either option is available as a day trip, enabling you to get back to Broadhembury the same day.
Tanner Farm Touring Caravan and Camping Park is a peaceful and picturesque 5 star, award winning park. It is surrounded by woodland, farmland and apple orchards, with many beautiful walks direct from the park. The layout ensures that you aren’t crammed in as the 120 pitches are spaciously set within 15 acres of the 36 acre park. Even when the site is full it doesn’t feel crowded. The spacious pitches are large enough to accommodate caravans with awnings, motorhomes and all modern style tents while the wide, open green spaces in the middle away from the caravan and tent pitches, allow children of all ages to play safely, without impacting on the haven of peace and quiet.
Hidden Gems In Kent
Godinton House, Ashford
While many will visit Sissinghurst Castle Garden for their horticultural fix, we suggest Godinton House instead. Just a few miles from Ashford, it is set in spectacular parkland that will take your breath away as you approach via the long and winding driveway.
The house dates back to the 14th century and is open on limited days, but the gardens are open Tuesday – Sunday. The gardens are famous for the Delphinium Festival (normally May/June), the parkland, the walled garden and glasshouses. The Gardeners are all super friendly and always happy to share their knowledge.
The 12 acre garden is perfect for a leisurely stroll and it’s fairly flat. There are various areas to explore, including the Italian garden, the rose garden and the lily pond. If you are a Historic Houses member, entry is free. The perfect time for a stroll is in the late afternoon when it is quieter. Refreshments are available and parking is free.
The tree lined High Street of Tenterden frames the beautiful architecture that lines the route down to the coast. It is stunning and much loved by locals. Not part of the tourist trail as such, it very much has a local feel. You’ll find independent shops, friendly little cafes and historic pubs. Well worth a visit. You could also visit the smaller National Trust property, Smallhythe Place, while you’re there.
This 16th century house is the former home of Victorian actress Dame Ellen Terry and is now a museum of her life, complete with beautiful gardens and the fantastic Barn Theatre.
Perhaps not the most obvious place to visit, but well loved by locals, is Dungeness. While there are other local beaches that attract more attention, this area is desolate to say the least. However, it’s also a spectacular ecological site and houses the largest shingle beach in the UK.
The elephant in the room is… the nuclear power station! In fact not one, but two! They are within a wildlife sanctuary designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and birds flourish in the warmer water created by the station’s outflow.
The most famous house in Dungeness is Prospect Cottage, which was purchased by the film producer and artist Derek Jarman in the 1980s. He turned the Victorian fishing hut into a thoroughly unique home, along with a very unusual garden.
Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest
Bedgebury is home to the largest pinetum in the world. It is globally recognised for species conservation, scientific advancement and the understanding of conifers. It provides a stunning environment (a Grade II listed landscape) for walking, picnics and photo opportunities!
There are miles of family cycling and mountain-biking paths, running and walking trails and you might also spot a Gruffalo hiding in the woods! Loved by locals, it is perfect for all levels of fitness and horticultural knowledge!
Shelly’s Tea Rooms, Chilham
Positioned in the chocolate box village of Chilham, Shelly’s Tea Room offers traditional cream teas. Not only are they famous locally, but you’ll be able to sit outside in the summer, watching the world go by in this pretty village.
You’ll be perfectly positioned to soak up the atmosphere in the square and wander the lanes of the village. It’s not a huge village, so you won’t be wandering for hours. It’s just a perfect pitstop in the Kentish countryside! And, it’s not far from Canterbury if you wanted to join the tourist trail at Canterbury Cathedral.
Water Lane Walled Garden, Hawkhurst
Originally known as The Walled Garden, it has recently changed hands and re-opened in 2021 as the ‘Water Lane Walled Garden’. A hidden gem down the lanes outside Hawkhurst, it’s a challenging location to find, but once you get there, it is well worth it!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our whistlestop tour of some slightly quieter places to visit in Kent! If you’re looking for 5 star rated, independent holiday parks, Best of British have many locations in England, Scotland and Wales. We cater for families, tranquil adult only breaks and holidays with your canine companion!