Ashford & Tenterden
This is Kent's enticing blend of ancient and modern at its very best. Here international rail links, thriving market towns and world-class chefs meet history-rich villages, idyllic countryside and superb local vineyards.
Don’t miss a visit to the recently expanded Ashford Designer Outlet where you can pick up discounted designer labels througout the 75 stores. And when you’re done with the shopping there’s also 14 restaurants and places to eat to choose from. Close by you’ll find the Curious Brewery, home to the beer and cider arm of Chapel Down, England’s leading winemaker. Book a tour, stop for lunch and stock up in the shop. Pop along to Ashford Picturehouse, an art cinema with bar and eating facilities is a new addition to the town centre.
Godinton House is one of Kent’s finest historic estates and don’t miss Hole Park Estate, awash with Spring and Autum colour. And if you’re staying, treat yourself to some country house luxury at Eastwell Manor, a Champneys Spa hotel.You’ll come away refreshed, pampered and relaxed. Ashford International Hotel, the London Beach Hotel and a choice of two Holiday Inns add to the mix, there’s something for all tastes and budgets here.
All around Ashford lies bewitching heritage Kent. A centuries-old landscape that's also home to world-class vineyards such as Chapel Down Winery. Drop by for a tour and tutored tasting.
Nearby Tenterden, the Jewel of the Weald, is an appealing town with a tree-lined green and a wealth of independent shops and architectural rarities. Steam along on the Kent & East Sussex Railway, head for 16th-century Smallhythe Place, or make for delightful and photogenic Stocks Windmill.
Nearby book in for an exclusive experience among 40 big cats at the Wildlife Heritage Foundation or, for a hands on animal experience, visit the beautiful 100 acre farm at the Rare Breeds Centre. Train enthusiasts head for the Ashford Borough Museum, where visitors can explore Ashford's fascinating railway heritage and history. There’s also a pop-up model railway exhibition in the town.
Timeless villages are everywhere, all with a delightful scattering of welcoming B&B’s. Walkers love historic Wye,home to the New Flying Horse inn. Fifteenth-century Chilham often doubles as a movie set. Pluckley is quintessential Kent: ITV's The Darling Buds of May was filmed here; it also offers a feast of local produce at Elvey Farm. Rolvenden is home to Lutyens-designed Great Maytham Hall. Biddenden features gorgeous Kentish half-timbered buildings and take a tour at Biddenden Vineyards, while you're there.
Hike it off on stunning trails: the North Downs Way, Pilgrims Way, Greensand Way and Saxon Shore Way wind beside landscapes that are packed with Kentish apples, pears and cherries, peppered with nature reserves (the SSSIs of Hothfield Heathlands and Orlestone Forest), and dotted with ancient woodland - such as Henry VIII's old hunting ground, Kings Wood at Challock.
For inspiration of how to spend a break in Ashford and Tenterden click here...
Discover more about the area at www.experienceashfordandtenterden.co.uk