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Union Mill, Cranbrook

Leeds Castle


Oast houses at Sissinghurst Castle & Gardens

Where is the Weald of Kent?

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The Weald of Kent is an area in the county of Kent (the so-called ‘Garden of England’). The name ‘weald’ is Old English in origin and signifies woodland, but today the name refers to an area of villages & towns rich in history, culture and picturesque countryside. Although the area covers the counties of Kent, East and West Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey, this website is dedicated to the beautiful Weald of Kent - a perfect destination for visitors who want to experience the real English countryside at its best. There are many things to do for visitors to the region, whether couples, friends or families, and due to the plentiful footpaths & forests, it’s especially dog-friendly. It’s the ideal place for those who want to immerse themselves in English culture, history and countryside, and it also has the added bonus of London being just a short trip away on the train for a day out in the city.

Where is good to stay?

The small medieval town of Cranbrook is known as the ‘Capital of the Weald’ and is a great base for discovering the area (it was recently voted no.3 in The Times’ Best Villages to Live in Britain), with the famous Sissinghurst Castle & Gardens just a few minutes’ drive as well as things to do in the other surrounding villages. Cranbrook is a charming town and boasts a great little high street, a Michelin-starred restaurant, the Union Mill (a working windmill) and the historical St. Dunstan's Church – once dubbed ‘the Cathedral of the Weald’.

Tunbridge Wells is also another must-see – a spa town with cobbled streets and Georgian architecture particularly in The Pantiles area. It has a plethora of cafes and restaurants and is great for shopping. It has events on throughout the year and is also home to the Assembly Hall Theatre which offers live music, plays, musicals and comedies.

However, staying in any of the many villages in the Weald of Kent would also be rewarded with their excellent b&bs, county pubs, great walks, beautiful churches and historical places of interest. Goudhurst, Hawkhurst, Brenchley, Benenden and Biddenden are just some of the pretty villages that make up the beautiful Weald of Kent.

A car is recommended to really get the best out of exploring the area, but if you like cycling you’ll love the footpaths and in particular Bedgebury Forest.

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The Weald of Kent has something to suit everyone – from ancient castles, historical manor houses, vast woodlands, Michelin-starred restaurants, typical country pubs, beautiful gardens, local vineyards and family days out. There is plenty to keep visitors entertained (including their dogs!).

You can read more about things to see & do, what’s on, food & drink and accommodation on this website, but if you’re looking for inspiration please have a look at some highlights below.

Bedgebury Pinetum and Forest
Bedgebury Pinetum & Forest

Cycling, horse-riding, long walks, adventure play and much more in this 2,600 acres of forest, one of the so-called ‘seven wonders of the Weald’.

Kent and East Sussex Railway
Kent & East Sussex Railway

Take a rise on a steam train for over ten miles from Tenterden (‘the jewel of the Weald’ through the rural countryside to Bodiam Castle.

Chiddingstone Castle
Chiddingstone Castle

This beautiful unspoilt castle is home to Egyption and Buddhist artefacts, Japanese armour and Jacobean paintings.

Rare Breeds Centre Kent
Rare Breeds Centre

Rare breeds, pig-racing, duck pond, play parks, children's barn, birds of prey and more. A fantastic family day out for those that love animals.

Cranbrook Union Mill Kent
Cranbrook Union Mill

The Union Windmill was built in 1814 and still makes flour today. It stands overlooking the historic town of Cranbrook.

Sissinghurst Castle and Gardens
Sissinghurst Castle & Gardens

The ruins of this Elizabethan manor house and its stunning gardens are a must see. It’s set in wonderful countryside and dense woodland.

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