Home to 240km of varied coastline, historic towns, trendy seaside towns and more medieval pubs than you can drink up, there’s more to Kent than you might think. Aside from beaches (take your pick of sand, pebble or stone), mighty cathedrals and whimsical castles, the lush Garden of England has gained traction among foodies for its natural bounty, with chefs flocking to the county to plunder its fresh seafood, salt marsh lamb, plump vegetables and red fruits. Plus, with a long history of brewing beer (Faversham-based Shepherd Neame is Britain’s oldest brewery, dating back over 300 years), Kent’s vineyards now craft wines that give the best from neighboring France a race for their money. So whether you spend your Kentish nights in a fire-warmed shepherd’s hut, a grand mansion or a medieval pub, be sure to have a drink of something local and toast the Kentish microclimate.
The best hotels in Kent are:
Nestled in the folds of the Kent Downs, with its rambling gardens bisected by the babbling Nailbourne Brook, Pig at Bridge Place’s bucolic setting belies its proximity to London (56 minutes by train to nearby Canterbury). Yet the rural charms of this Kentish Pig, a Grade II* listed 17th century mansion set in 10 acres of water meadows near the sleepy village of Bridge, pack a surprisingly sultry punch: the large pad was a notorious nightclub in the 1960s, hosting the likes of Led Zeppelin and The Kinks. This decadent past has been preserved in the form of intimate rooms daubed with dark hues, lit by flickering open fires and dotted with plush velvet sofas and oil portraits of voluptuous women.
Whether you sleep in one of the seven bedrooms in the main house, the 12 bedrooms in the coach house, the two family lodges, the two-story Barn Suite or the seven Hop Pickers huts, you will find Pig interiors, pantries and Bramley toiletries. Good news for foodies: the Bridge Arms, a six-minute walk from the hotel, has just won a Michelin star.
Price: From £225 room only
What better way to instill a sense of adventure in your children than sleeping among tigers and waking up to the call of howler monkeys? And you don’t even have to leave our emerald shores to enjoy such an exotic adventure – just visit the Aspinall Foundation’s 600-acre Port Lympne Wildlife Reserve, Kent’s home to over 700 animals. rare and endangered. The choice of accommodation options is almost as diverse as its furry residents, ranging from plush rooms in the Grade II listed Port Lympne house and chic private lodges to eight-person safari tents and transparent bubbles for two.
Price: From £199 for a camping pod
Often overlooked in favor of boho Whitstable, arty Margate and genteel Broadstairs, Ramsgate is a classic British seaside town that offers something it doesn’t: a stylish boutique hotel with an excellent restaurant. The Albion House Hotel is set in a sensitively restored Grade II listed clifftop house (architecture enthusiasts should know this is one of Ramsgate’s 900 listed buildings) and offers 14 rooms and a lively bar and restaurant. The property is awash with original Georgian and Regency features, complemented by heritage paint colors and sea views, and even has a bedroom that Princess Victoria recuperated in 1835. The best dog is the suite with wrap-around balcony, which rightly lays claim to being Kent’s finest sea view hotel room.
Price: From £110, bed and breakfast
Neighbourhood: The Kent Downs
Arguably the prettiest of Champneys six spa resorts, Eastwell Manor is set on 62 acres of private land in the Kent Downs. The original mansion was home to Prince Alfred in the late 1800s, whose mother, Queen Victoria, visited regularly. Completely refurbished under the ownership of Champneys, the hotel has 76 sumptuous rooms and suites spread across the Manor House and Mews Cottages, as well as two heated shepherd’s huts nestled in the gardens. The spa, one of the best in Kent, is complemented by an outdoor swimming pool with views of the Downs. Other facilities include two restaurants, a nine-hole golf course and a falconry center.
Price: From £150 room only
You don’t have to be a story borer to enjoy crossing a ditch and climbing a 16etower of the last century to admire the so-called “most beautiful castle in the world” from the comfort of your suite. Spend a night at Leeds Castle, the former home of six of England’s medieval queens, as well as Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, and you’ll enjoy exclusive after-hours access. opening to the 500 acres of park and castle gardens. Maiden’s Tower’s five bedrooms raise the luxury bar, while Stable Courtyard’s 17 sophisticated rooms offer views of the gardens and lake. Alternatively, opt for one of the seven charming self-contained cottages dotted around the estate or spend the night under striped canvas in a medieval glamping tent.
Price: From £125, B&B, in the stable yard
Literally in the shadow of Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury Cathedral Lodge claims an unbeatable location in this compact city rich in history. Built with materials from Kent and designed in a contemporary, ‘love it or hate it’ Marmite style to reflect the cathedral’s Gothic architecture, most of the Lodge’s 34 rooms offer sweeping views of its neighbor ( access to which is included in the price of the room). Excellent breakfasts served in the refectory restaurant, whose tables spill out into the Campanile’s pretty garden in summer, a welcoming library and a soundtrack of church bells and birdsong make it an incomparable urban refuge.
Price: From £107, bed and breakfast
The Milk House is the pub we all want our local to be: a 16eA century-old mansion with original wooden beams, a Tudor fireplace and a large garden, it serves Kentish ales, ales and wines, as well as excellent local cuisine. You can sample crowd-pleasing classics in the cozy pub, garden or terrace, hot pizzas from the outdoor pizza oven or more refined options in the restaurant before retiring to one of the four guest rooms. ‘stage. These stylish, if not plush, rooms offer treats like free-standing tubs, four-poster beds, and full-size Romney Marsh Wools toiletries. Situated on the edge of Kent’s lush High Weald, Milk House is just two minutes’ drive from Sissinghurst Castle and its beautiful gardens.
Price: Doubles from £95
Just over an hour by train from London, the small village of Wye nevertheless seems a thousand miles from the capital, with its pretty setting on the banks of the Great Stour River in the Kent Downs AONB. The Wife of Bath sits in the heart of the village in a Grade II listed building which is made up of exposed beams, wobbly floors and floor to ceiling windows complemented by contemporary art and mid-century furniture. An intimate restaurant with five Instagram-worthy bedrooms (three in the main house and two in a garden cottage), the Wife of Bath is your ticket to romance. Start with cocktails in the small bar, linger over a candlelit dinner of exquisitely cooked Kentish produce and luxuriate in bed with a breakfast basket delivered to your room.
Price: From £100, bed and breakfast
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