Focus on Kent and Sussex
Published: Wednesday 6th Jun 2018
Written by: Leah Smith
Be inspired by these truly local gems...
From the iconic White Cliffs of Dover to the famed neon lights of Brighton, the beautiful counties of Kent and Sussex are idyllic for making stories in the sun. Whether you’re looking to explore Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty teeming with wildlife, discover the heritage of castle-strewn lands, or lose yourself in a novel on breathtaking Blue Flag Beaches, our truly local team have put together a little list of memory-making days out to help you make the most of your time together.
Wonders in the wild
Connect with mother nature
Basking under the south-eastern sun of our beautiful ‘Garden of England’ lies the award-winning Howletts Wildlife Park – 90 acres of land that’s home to over four hundred species of fine animals. Discover the largest herd of African Elephants on the British Isles, the stunning beauty of two gracious snow leopards, and troops of breathtaking gorillas as they roam their open enclosures. A truly local day out in Kent, this conservation-led wildlife park is the perfect day out for nature lovers.
Relax in Rye
Nestled along the south coast of Sussex, Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is full of breathtaking seascapes and picture-perfect landmarks. A mosaic of coastal habitats, from its shingle beaches to saline lagoons, this spot by the sea is a natural habitat for wildlife. A bird watcher’s delight, the reeds and salt marshes host hundreds of nesting terns, while several other breeds come by the tranquil shoreline to feed. Let your worries ebb away with a peaceful walk around the woodland grounds of Camber Castle, or head just across the River Rother, and spend pleasant sun-filled days building sandcastles by the sea.
Shoreside sunny days
The Blue Flags of Kent
Named as having some of the best beaches in all of Britain, the Kent region of Thanet is an excellent place to head for your sun-and-sandals holiday. Ten beaches across the region have achieved either the internationally-prestigious Blue Flag award or the British mark-of-quality Seaside Award. Let the golden sands of Viking Bay soothe your mind, enjoy shoreside rides in the resort town of Margate, or wander the heritage-rich Ramsgate Royal Harbour. The golden sands of the south-east are waiting to be explored.
The bright lights of Brighton’s culture-filled, bohemian streets have made it an essential Sussex destination. One of the UK’s favourite seaside resorts, this vibey city comes to life in the summer, with unique beachside bars, tantalising local restaurants, and the iconic pier illuminating its stony shores at night. Perfect for families, it’s a place packed with rides and amusements, while the promenade front blossoms to the live tunes of the local talent. If you’re looking for something with a slower pace, the tranquil, pebbled beaches of Eastbourne are just a short drive away for a day at the beach in quieter surroundings.
Dine like a local
The Wine Garden of England
From sparkling whites to smooth reds, the grapes of Kent are some of the most diverse and exciting in Europe. Championing the county’s wine industry, Biddenden Vineyards have been producing award-winning vintages since the 1960s. With an invitation to stroll the flourishing vineyards, sample the latest yield, and indulge in locally-made cakes, this day of fine tipples is the ideal day trip for groups of friends and couples looking to tempt their taste buds.
Michelin stars in the south-east
Nestled in the mystic wilds of High Weald, The West House Restaurant serves Michelin-star meals in a 16th-century weaver’s cottage. In menus that fuse seasonal and local ingredients to create mouthwatering dishes, this contemporary kitchen is a must for lovers of simple foods with complex flavours. Or dine in the rugged marshes of Whitstable, where The Sportsman Inn has held a Michelin star since 2008 and creates beautiful dishes with fresh shellfish from the Thames Estuary and vegetables grown on-site, picked just moments before cooking.
Whether you’re escaping the city for a rural retreat or searching for the bright lights of a summer city break, make memories in the fantastic setting of the south-east. Sink your toes into golden sands, discover enchanting wilds, or treat your senses within a vibrant metropolis. Whatever inspires you, do it somewhere truly spectacular this year. With incredible cottages across Kent and Sussex, discover our inspirations today.