Antiques, boutiques, steam trains & a splash of the English bubbles
18th century Town Hall
Tenterden in the heart of the Kent countryside has everything an old Kentish town should have.
The village green, heritage locomotives, tea rooms and heaps of character.
The Vine pub
It’s one of those towns that you just want to jump out of your car and go and discover, and in the ‘Garden of England’ why wouldn’t you?
A little history
You would never believe today that Tenterden was once only a couple of miles from the sea. The hamlet of Small Hythe just down the road had a harbour and Tenterden became a Cinque Port, (now the sea is 13 miles away).
Tenterden town sign
Cinque Ports was a charter established pre-Royal Navy in 13th-century, to recruit mariners. Tenterden was a Limb of Rye and Tenterden townsfolk would have been enlisted to fulfil Rye’s quota for the Crown.
Tenterden Cinque Port
During the 14th-century Tenterden was also known for its wool industry. Still, today, if you tour around the county of Kent you’ll see half-timbered cloth houses, dotted around the countryside.
Strolling the Town
Tenterden is such a pleasure to wander around. The tree-lined road that runs through the centre shields all the little stores and coffee shops and bathes them in dappled light.
Quaint little stores
It almost feels like you’ve stepped back in time, white weatherboarded homes, Dickensian style shopfronts and ladies strolling around with wicker baskets.
Welcoming colourful stores and restaurants
There are so many charming antique shops, you just want to go in and mooch around them all. I loved the old-fashioned jewellers, it’s great to see all these independent shops still around.
Antiques and collectables
Visit some of Kent’s coastal towns?
Holding on to its charm
A modern-day society like any town always creeps in. However, in Tenterden, it feels like it blends in so well with the picturesque architecture, the older style shopfronts and half-timbered restaurants.
Barry Jones Florists
With little alleyways leading off the High Street, you find yourself becoming quite inquisitive. You get the sense that there is a feeling of pride within Tenterden, beautifully kept homes and welcoming restaurants.
Tree-lined High Street
Tenterden also has plenty of tea rooms and coffee shops for those weary travellers. Or if you fancy something a little stronger, it has its fair share of inns and pubs.
Half-timbered Lemon Tree Restaurant
While strolling through Tenterden, the graceful St. Mildred’s Church will so often be in view. Just a couple of steps back from the High Street and an air of serenity descends around the Medieval church.
St Mildred's Church
A peaceful lane by the Church
The main building of this beautiful church was built during the 13th & 14th centuries. However, the tower which was constructed in 1461 is made from local stone.
Discover more of the Great British Isles, why not jump in a car and tour the country at your own pace. You can do it all on a road trip, SIXT car hire cover all budgets and allow you to pick up and drop off at different destinations.
To really feel like you have stepped back in time, wander down to the Kent and East Sussex Railway. This nostalgic steam railway is kept running by enthusiasts and lovers of all things locomotive.
Steam railway station signal box
The original line through Tenterden Town was only open for around 50 years from 1903 until 1954. It wasn’t until 1974 that the Kent and East Sussex Railway decided to give this nostalgic track a new lease of life.
Today you can hop on the beloved steam train, with its historic carriages, and travel the 11.5 miles (18.5km) across the beautiful Kent countryside.
There are 5 stops along the way, which takes around 50 minutes, it’s such a pleasurable way to travel.
You can buy your tickets in advance for your trip down memory lane from the Kent and East Sussex Railway.
Visit to Bodiam Castle
If time doesn’t permit the train journey to Bodiam, you can just purchase a platform pass for £1. This allows you plenty of access by the locomotives. Along with the nostalgic platform and also into some of the old buildings.
The ‘Norwegian’ locomotive
Chapel Down Vineyard
If you’ve chosen to visit Tenterden in Kent, then you may have heard of Chapel Down vineyards. This delightful winery is located just 2 miles from Tenterden town and set in such lush, peaceful surroundings.
Chapel Down Vineyard entrance
Chapel Down’s speciality is sparkling wines and is now starting to give France a run for their money. Due to the location in the southeast of England, every year our climate gets slightly warmer.
So great news for the lover of the bubbles.
Grapes capturing the full sun
Bacchus vines nearly ready for harvesting
If you’re curious about English wines
Take a look at our post on our tour and tasting at Chapel Down. You can read all about our personal experience on one of their guided tours. It was so informative and relaxed, and I loved the fact they didn’t pressure you into purchasing their products.
Inspired to visit Tenterden?
Enjoy an overnight stay in one of Tenterden’s local inns and spend a full day discovering the town and surrounding countryside.
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