The ‘Perfick’ way to fall in love with the Garden of England
Imagine it now, the breeze in your hair, steam engines chugging through the lush countryside, oast houses nestled by vineyards and haunted villages ready to welcome you in.
Yes, you’ve arrived into “Darling Buds of May” country, in the beautiful Kent countryside in the southeast of England.
So, climb on board the “sharra-bang” (charabanc) we’re taking you on a tour of some of Kent’s most charming towns and villages.
The Map & Route
Although there are 10 destinations on this circular road trip, the distance from Headcorn picking up all these picturesque locations and back is only around 38 miles (62 km).
However, you may want to detour off along the way.
When strolling around this lovely bustling village, you really feel that it has its community at heart and blends effortlessly with its historical past.
Half-timbered cloth halls are standing shoulder to shoulder in the High Street. Family-run independent stores and the traditional butchers and bakers, serving the same loyal locals for years.
A little history
The next stop is Pluckley, and I love this pretty tiny village, it just feels like you have stepped back in time. If it wasn’t for a couple of modern-day vehicles, you might believe that you had strolled onto a movie set, and quite literally.
It’s here within the tranquil village of Pluckley that the heart-warming TV series “Darling Buds of May” was filmed. With the stars David Jason and Catherine Zeta-Jones, yes, it is ‘Perfick’.
Escape for a few days
Are you looking for that ‘perfick’ holiday hideaway to relax in while you discover the Garden of England?
After a day exploring the Kent coast and its many historic castles enjoy one of the handpicked properties and unique retreats at Holiday Cottages.
The bustling town of Tenterden has a larger community than some of the other places we visited; however, it is equally as charming.
All through the main High Street are antique shops, boutiques, coffee shops and beautiful character buildings. It is also in this delightful town that you’ll discover the nostalgic Kent and East Sussex Railway.
This heritage steam railway is kept running by enthusiasts and lovers of all things locomotive.
Hop on board, and you can visit the 14th-century moated Bodiam Castle, run by The National Trust. Which is just five stops along the line.
Where to stay in Tenterden
- The Woolpack Hotel - Located in the centre of Tenterden, this historic inn offers delightful rooms within traditional surroundings. A delicious full English breakfast is included in the price.
If you’re curious about English wines
A tour and tasting at Chapel Down Vineyard in Kent, England
Map out your route
Whether you’re planning a road trip, plotting a hiking route or cycling one of UK’s scenic trails, there’s nothing quite like using a tactile paper map.
The Ordnance Survey folk are here to help, with maps, guides, gadgets and more. Take a browse through their vast array of maps and grab your ideal companion for your adventure.
Never one to pass up an opportunity to take a stroll around an ancient churchyard. Gary and I had a little wander and found some touching Commonwealth war graves.
Benenden has a lovely village feel with quaint, picturesque homes surrounding the green. One of which was an old converted school. Then a short walk further on and there are tea rooms and little stores vying for your custom.
Cranbrook has some really attractive features, black and white half-timbered homes, beautiful English country gardens and a very interesting local church.
Within the church’s tower is a clock mechanism, which was installed in 1855 and was the prototype for ‘Big Ben’ in London.
Where to stay in Cranbrook
Quaint little homes with white picket fences around their front gardens, overflowing with rambling roses and colourful window boxes.
Even though the village is small, there is always a place for the local store, as this is so often the hub of a community.
Our Kent road trips
Our YouTube video of our Kent road trip
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