The Holt provides an excellent base for visiting the Kentish countryside ..... and beyond. Our online Google map shows some local sights, places to eat and some local walks and below we list some of our favourite place to eat and to visit
All the pubs and restaurants are popular - please make sure that you book a table in advance
Our closest pub is The Bull in Benenden (01580 240054) - just 3 minutes in the car or an easy 15 minutes walk. Benenden, TN17 4DE
Our other village pub, The Woodcock (01580 240009) is a rather longer walk (45 mins) but is a great destination, hidden in the woods, with its huge fire and friendly local atmosphere. Benenden, TN17 4HT
The Milkhouse (01580 720200) is less than a 10 minute drive to Sissinghurst and has a large garden, excellent outdoor pizza oven, and a very well run restaurant .... and is just a mile from Sissinghurst Castle. Sissinghurst, TN17 2JG
The Bull Inn at Rolvenden (01580 241212) is less than a 10 minute drive and, with its recent change of management, is proving a popular dinner venue for our guests
Water Lane is a 12 minute drive and is a beautiful, walled garden that is set up as an excellent lunch venue with seasonal food grown in the garden with seasonal cut flowers available to buy. Hawkhurst, TN18 5DH
The Swan at Chapel Down winery (01580 761616) is a 15 minute drive, has an excellent menu and serves (very!) local wines. Surprisingly good value for such excellent food and drin k. Very friendly service as well. Tenterden, TN30 7NG
Montalbano Restaurant (01580 388182) is less than a 15 minute drive and a very welcoming family run Italian restaurant in Tenerden. Tenterden, TN30 6BB
Lime Wharf Café (01797 253838) is less than a 15 minute drive in Northiam and provides a great place for lunch or afternoon tea particularly when the weather is fine. It is located with the Bodiam Boating Station so also perfect for a spell on the river. Northiam, TN31 6FE
The Ewe and Lamb (01580 241429) is less than a 15 minute drive in Rolvenden Layne. It's a welcoming family pub with enthusiastic hosts Elsie and George. Rolvenden Layne, TN17 4NP
The Small Holding (01892 890105) is about a 20 minute drive and has recently been voted as one of the best restaurants in Kent and is very well reviewed for a really special meal that uses local, quality produce. Kilndown, TN17 2SG.
Local places to visit
A few local attractions that are worth considering for a visit if time permits (and all a short drive from The Holt) are:-
Sissinghurst Castle - famous for the wonderful Vita Sackville-West gardens (National Trust property with café) - Just 10 minutes drive from the Holt
Hole Park - a little known gem with lovely and relaxing extensive gardens - less than 10 minutes drive
Great Dixter - home and gardens of the late Christopher Lloyd - our favourite gardens to visit and has a lovely outdoor café nestled in the gardens - less than 20 minutes drive
Bodiam Castle - a 'real' 14th century castle where you can relax on the vast rolling lawns of if a little more energetic climb the battlements (National Trust property with café)
Kent and East Sussex Steam Railway - a wonderful way to while away an afternoon and see some of Kent in old time style
Scotney Castle - a lovely country house, gardens and 14th century moated castle - all in a beautiful wooded estate - a great palce to wander and wonder! (National Trust property)
Smallhythe Place- Victorian actress Ellen Terry's early 16th-century house and cottage gardens (National Trust property)
Biddenden vineyard - nearly 50 years experience with 23 acres of south facing slopes with 11 different grape varieties - warm welcome, lovely shop, and free Saturday tours.
Chapel Down winery - makes lovely wines (it is rumoured with a royal connection) and has a very enjoyable walking tour around the vineyard and tasting (advanced booking essential)
Cranbrook - Our local small town where you can spend a few peaceful hours in the numerous individual shops, tea rooms and local hostelries. On the first Saturday in the month the auction can provide some great buys. There is a farmers market on the fourth Saturday of each month from 9am to midday.
Rolvenden Farmers Market is held on a Thursday morning, 10am to midday - a great chance to sample some real local produce - held in the church and church hall.
Water Lane is a 12 minute drive and is a beautiful, walled garden that is set up as an excellent lunch venue with seasonal food grown in the garden with seasonal cut flowers available to buy
Tenterden is a shopping centre as it was 50 years ago with great shops, pubs and restaurants
Staplehurst Station - not itself of great merit but if you travel outside rush-hour or at weekends you can get to the centre of London (and back) by train in under an hour each way for less than £20 per person (plus about £5 parking)
A little further away (30 minutes by car)
The wonderful town of Ryefor quaint streets, glorious fish and chips and lots of independent small shops
Batemans - the home of Rudyard Kipling (National Trust property)
Tunbridge Wells - Plenty to see and do in this thriving country town
Ashford - Normally (but not currently) stopping point for the Eurostar and off to Paris for the day or else stay in town and shop in the McArthur Glen Outlet Centre (not quite as stylish as Paris but good value!)
And if you need more ...
A great site to find out what is to be seen and to do around this area is The High Weald Project. This site includes some glorious illustrations from local Benenden artist Charlotte Molesworth as well as some great local photos and excellent information.
Benenden has its own village web site and from there you can leap off to other web sites in the village and those of other local villages.
To catch a flavour of local custom you may want to see the local Morris Dancers, Weald of Kent Morris.
Cards-by-hand is our local supplier of greetings cards and other small stationery needs .... so local in fact that we are Cards by hand!
Still looking for more??
And our favourite (bigger!) travel site is still Tripadvisor - www.tripadvisor.com - if you read through the reciews carefully it should give the a good idea of what to expect