With half term upon us, many will be wondering what to do to entertain the little ones. A week is a long time, and feels even longer in England in the autumn in the rain, so why not break it up with a trip to the garden of England – Kent.
To do what? You may well ask. Well, how about a day out on the Kent and East Sussex Railway, a night in a charming country bed and breakfast and a relaxed Sunday lunch?
The traditional village of Tenterden is located in the heart of the Weald of Kent. Its name is derived from the Old English phrase “Tenet Waraden”, meaning a clearing in the forest. The village was a major wool-trading centre in the 13th century. Despite its present-day position right in the heart of the county, back in the mid 15th century Tenterden provided ready access to the local Thanet coastline and was a major centre for shipbuilding throughout this period.
Arrive on Friday morning in time to visit the farmer’s market. This traditional market sells delicious fresh produce from the local Kent farms, including fruit, vegetables, cold meats, cheeses and freshly baked breads as well as some attractive craft works. With plenty to taste and see the little ones will be well entertained.
Check into the Little Silver Country Hotel for a luxury bed and breakfast experience. This charming country house hotel is small enough to exude cosiness from every pore yet sufficiently clean and modern to please the most discerning of guests. Dinner can be taken in the popular Oaks Restaurant, located in the hotel itself. Perfect for a relaxing meal at the end of a day of exploring this charming Kentish village.
One of the biggest draws of the area is the delightful narrow-gauge railway that runs between Tenterden and Bodiam Castle. Visitors can purchase a ticket for full-day unlimited use of the railway on a hop-on, hop-off basis, providing plenty of entertainment and the perfect vehicle for exploring the local area. The station building itself features an interesting museum documenting the line’s history and showcasing an eclectic collection of railways paraphernalia. It takes around an hour to travel from one end of the line to the other, allowing extra of course for stops at the villages en route. Bodiam lies at the far end of the line, and its old castle deserves a stop for an hour or two for some fun and exploration.
There is no shortage of restaurants in Tenterden and the surrounding area. Nearby Biddenden is home to The West House, with its well-earned Michelin stars. If you have time before or after your meal, take the time to explore the local Biddenden vineyard, which is making a name for itself by producing some delicious English wines.
Sunday lunchtime is the time when the Tenterden pubs come to life with a family atmosphere. Try The Vine for a traditional Sunday roast lunch, carefully prepared using the best local produce, before heading home with plenty of happy memories to keep the little ones going for the rest of their half-term break.