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Cottages in Kent, the Garden of England

Written by Rebecca Pead on

Cottages in Kent, the Garden of England

Kent has been known as the Garden of England for over 400 years, and sometimes it seems as if the whole county must groan underneath the weight of all the produce that is grown there. Kent is brimming with orchards, hop gardens and vineyards, and is famous for the quality of what is grown. The strawberries at Wimbledon are exclusively from Kent, and the growing conditions in the county are said to be as good as some of the best wine regions of mainland Europe, including the French Champagne region.

So why not spend some time in the garden? There are some great holiday cottages waiting for you:

Lime Trees is one of those cottages in Kent that takes full advantage of its natural surroundings. Flowers bloom in great profusion outside the cottage, and beyond them is two acres of glorious garden in an AONB. There are many lovely footpaths in the vicinity, and several National Trust properties nearby for you to visit.

As its name suggests, The Hop Barn in Staplehurst was once a building used in one of Kent’s main industries – the cultivation of hops. Now it has been sympathetically converted into a superb holiday cottage. The original wooden beams are still exposed, but the facilities are definitely modern.

The Mews is a cottage that is ideal if you’re looking for calm and relaxation. It’s in the small village of Goudhurst, a place that is well served with restaurants and artisan bakers, and the cottage itself has a wonderful vaulted ceiling that gives it a feeling of great space.

Bill’s Old Tractor Shed is one of the most unusually named cottages in Kent. While the name conjures up images of a dark and greasy building, nothing could be further from the truth. With an open-plan interior that has extremely modern design, this is ideal if you want to experience country living with every convenience.

If you’re looking for unusual cottages in Kent then The Upper Mill in Hythe really stands out. It’s attached to the water mill, which still has its own water wheel. The acre of grounds that surround it contains a millpond and a rowing boat, while the corn mill can be seen from the cottage. Inside, a spiral staircase threads through the three floors which are stylishly furnished. Away from the cottage Hythe is on the coast so you can be at the beach within a few minutes.

Pebblesea in Whitstable is a three-storey terraced cottage which, as you might expect, has great views out to sea. The wooden floors and light walls give the whole property an airy feel and it’s extremely well located to enjoy Whitstable town centre as well as the nearby beach.

In the heart of rural Kent is Barn Cottage in Sandhurst. This really is garden of England country, with a nearby vineyard to visit that produces a range of quality wines, plus Sandhurst beer, made using their own hop varieties. Barn Cottage has been compared to the Tardis – like many cottages in Kent it seems to be far more spacious than the exterior would allow. Four bedrooms and large living areas make this a suitable place for parties of up to eight people.

Lanary Oast House is definitely one of the most unique holiday cottages in Kent, if not the country. The large hop kiln (or oast) attached to the property gives it a wonderfully rustic look, and inside makes for a fascinating living space. It’s in the heart of walking country, and also has great rail access if you fancy a quick trip to London or Paris via the Eurostar.

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Rebecca Pead

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