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The finer things

Josh Carter
23rd November 2021

Whether you’ve been a lockdown saver, want to explore the best Kent has to offer and do it in style, or just wish to treat yourself now we’re sans-restrictions, we’ve rounded up a whole host of experiences, days outs and overnight stays so we can pamper ourselves over the coming months. Step into some luxury with exclusive behind the scenes looks at the animal kingdom, take time for yourself with some treatments in the countryside, or perhaps indulge in a drip of Kent’s exceptional wine.

Gusbourne Estate

With England’s wine scene continually pushing boundaries and its global reputation soaring, Kent’s vineyards are quite possibly the best location for a luxurious day for you and your guests wishing to sample the finer things, either personal or professional. A day for instance at Gusbourne Estate is one which means a tour wandering and learning about the vines around you, the winemaking process and suitably complimented by a three course lunch – just remember to visit the gift shop after and take a taste of Kent home with you for those chilly evenings, or to convince your colleagues that you next work event needs to be there!

Original Cottages Kent & Sussex

Here at Visit Kent, we certainly don’t condone driving after enjoying a drink or two, but we certainly do condone spending a night or two at some of Kent’s most beautiful country retreats thanks to Original Cottages Kent. Sleeping in is no hard task as the properties range from country barns to lodges and cottages, with a few handily located moments from Gusbourne! But it’s not just south west Kent that you can rest your head in true Kentish opulence, as Original Cottages has homes from home in Whitstable, to seaside havens overlooking the channel in St Margarets Bay.

Howletts & Port Lympne (Aspinall Foundation)

Coming face to face with exotic wildlife such as gorillas, tapirs and roaming giraffes to zebras may well sound like you’ve ventured across the globe, but Howletts & Port Lympne wildlife parks are right here in Kent. With standard entry, you can witness the conservation work and at Port Lympne take a safari to get as close to South American, Asian and African animals you can get in England. To add that extra something to your day, book onto an animal encounter at either of the parks where you’ll learn about, get up close to and even feed the likes of rhinos, lions and anteaters.

P&O Ferries

With international travel looking evermore accommodating, your relatives or friends might be making the journey from the continent to spend time with you right here in Kent. While it may not be the quickest way to travel the Channel, crossing with P&O Ferries is certainly the grandest. As you are peacefully skipping over the waves, for an added sense of tranquillity head into the Club Lounge, where you can sit back and enjoy a wide selection of fresh drinks and food, which happen to also be all inclusive with your CL ticket! When you roll into Dover with the waves, don’t miss the view of the magnificent White Cliffs who greet you.

Dover and its Port

A destination in its own right with the Castle and the White Cliffs, Dover is one of the key transiting points of England, welcoming visitors from across the world. However, it’s not just the ferries which travellers take, as the Port of Dover is a key departure and arrival point for cruises across the world. With visitors arriving for a day or two to explore the local area, the train to London or short hop to Canterbury is not the only option, as Dover’s local area has a plethora of heralded icons, untouched gems including Fan Bay Deep Shelter and The Pines Garden, as well as newly opened beachfront and harbour area to enjoy a classic fish and chips.

Alex Hare Photography

One of Kent’s best landscape photographers, has opened his expertise to people wishing to better understand their camera and their abilities to take a magnificent shot. Suiting a wide range of people with courses that last a few hours to some lasting a week, Alex’s skills will be passed on to you at stunning locations across Kent through carefully selected cultural, historical and culinary highlights. Suiting a wide range of individuals, groups and families, each skill level is catered for from basic understanding to advanced. Keep an eye on his tour page here as more workshops will be appearing in the near future.

Abode Canterbury

Being one of Canterbury’s premier hotels, the Abode is a gemstone in the cobbles of the city. Its location in the centre of town means it is an ideal base for exploring the likes of the Foundry, the Cathedral and further afield with both Southeastern stations Canterbury West & East nearby. After a day out, the hotel’s stunning rooms from the downright Comfortable to the Fabulous mean you can rest your head in luxury, with the higher end rooms having lounge areas and super king beds. Downstairs in the County restaurant, your tastebuds can be tantalised by European cuisine complimented with fine regional produce, before retiring to the Champagne bar no less!

The Spring Rooms

Sitting at the edge of The Pantiles, is Tunbridge Wells’ warmest and most welcoming wellness space. Offering a range of treatments and therapies such as osteopathy, acupuncture, reflexology, massage, pre & post pregnancy treatments, The Spring Rooms is the place you’ll just want to be to rehabilitate both your mind and body. With a number of therapists at the Spring Rooms each holding a in depth understanding of their respective fields, your treatment will always be bespoke and aligned to you. We’ve certainly heard a lot around the benefits of a holistic approach to life, benefitting us both mentally and physically, it’s never too late to start bringing some wellness to your day.

Tunbridge Wells Borough

Feeling relaxed, but equally perhaps energised to get out and venture into the area around The Spring Rooms? With Royal Tunbridge Wells on the doorstep, there’s so much to seek out that can continue your time of luxury. Spa’s may well be the epitome of Tunbridge Wells, but it’s the shopping and rafts of independent restaurants that make the town. For instance in The Pantiles, find your next piece of kitchen technology, or sample a handmade cake in the foodie shops and produce outlets to support local businesses get back on their feet, and take home something individual.

Hever Castle

Staying in a castle’s buildings and grounds in Kent… Do we need to say anything further? If we do, Hever Castle Estate’s 28 bedrooms in the Astor and Anne Boleyn Wing’s are directly connected to the castle and can be booked by even non-royalty, so you can truly feel like a guest of Henry VIII. Each en-suite is sumptuously outfitted and benefits from breakfast included, both full English and Continental, and Castle & Gardens entry. For those even more opulent stays, make your base the Medley Court property which is a luxurious four bedroom ‘five star gold’ rated property on the Astor Wing of the castle. The only question will be which season to visit – whether it be the colourful autumnal splendour or winter cosiness…

Canterbury Cathedral Lodge and Canterbury Cathedral

If resting your head like a royal doesn’t quite cut it, how about in the grounds of possibly the world’s most recognisable cathedral? As we’re writing about spending your time well in Kent, take a night or two in one of the Canterbury Cathedral Lodge’s exquisite bedrooms. Each room has an en-suite, with many of them overlooking the cathedral itself and through the trees into the grounds. If the view itself doesn’t wake you up, head down to the Refectory Restaurant for a full English breakfast to really get yourself awake, before you head out into the city of Canterbury and its lovely lanes.

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