Barnfield House Kent

Barnfield House Kent

Family-owned 5-bedroom holiday rental • Sleeps 10 • 2-acre gardens • Glorious views

Family days out in Kent & East Sussex

There are so many places to see and things to do when on holiday in Barnfield House Kent. Here are some of our favourites — ideas that will appeal to adults and kids of all ages.

Great Dixter Gardens

We’re lucky to have England’s most famous gardens within a short drive — the kind that attracts visitors from around the world. My favourite is Great Dixter Gardens an eight-mile drive away in Northian, East Sussex, known as “a place of pilgrimage for horticulturalists.  from across the world”.  Great Dixter is a riot of colour in the summer months, and is fascinating any time of the year. You can also visit the Tudor house, extensively restored by Edwin Lutyens. Allow time for a tea break in their enchanting garden cafe. And do check out their events calendar of talks, tours and workshops.

Camber Sands

Just half an hour from Barnfield House, this miles-long beach of golden sand is gorgeous in all seasons —this photo was taken on Boxing Day! We take bracing walks along the promenade, or on the beach at low tide. Kids love building sandcastles, paddling in the shallow water, and exploring the sand dunes. And there’s excellent kite surfing for the water sports enthusiast.

Bodiam Castle

The 14th Century Bodiam Castle is just what you’d imagine a medieval castle should be: four castellated towers complete with arrow slits reflected in the encircling moat, further protected by a portcullis, and in a fairytale countryside setting. One of the most photographed castles in Britain today, this National Trust site it’s only five miles from Barnfield House. Do visit!

Picturesque villages

Barnfield House is an excellent base for exploring the many beautiful villages of the Weald of Kent and East Sussex. Within walking distance of the house is Hawkhurst, with its Victorian weather-board shopping colonnade and pubs (among them the historic Oak & Ivy Inn, from where the notorious 18th Century Hawkhurst Gang ran their smuggling ring).

Cranbrook four miles away is blessed with the medieval St Dunstan’s church, 15th century cottages, a fascinating museum, and the tallest working mill in England. Glorious countryside drives from Barnfield House reveal more picturesque villages with quaint tearooms, cosy pubs, insta-perfect pastoral settings and poetic names that roll off the tongue – Biddenden, Beneden, Rovenden, Smarden, and Tenterden. Plus lots more ‘hursts’ (meaning wooded area) including Goudhurst, Lamberhurst and Ticehurst.

National Trust Attractions

We are so lucky to have an amazing selection of National Trust-run historic houses, castles and gardens within a 30-mile radius — the closest being a 10-minute drive away.  It’s worthwhile paying for a National Trust annual membership even if only staying a week in the area.

Bodiam Castle – (see above) 5 miles

Sissinghurst Castle Garden – renowned gardens created by Bloomsbury poet Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicholson. 6 miles

Scotney Castle – country house, moated castle and wooded estate. 7 miles

Batemans — Jacobean house, home of Rudyard Kipling. 8 miles.

Smallhythe Place – Victorian actress Ellen Terry’s 16th century house and cottage garden. 13 miles

Lamb House Rye – Georgian house with literary associations. 15 miles

Stoneacre — medieval yeoman’s house and garden. 17 miles

Chiidingstone Village – one of the oldest and most beautiful villages in Kent. 23 miles

Ightham Mote — 14th century moated manor house. 24 miles

Old Soar Manor — remans of a 13th Century knight’s dwelling. 24 miles

Knole — historic house and 1,000-acre wild deer park. 25 miles

Coldrum Long Barrow — created 1,000 years before Stonehenge. 25 miles

Alfriston Clergy House — medieval thatched Wealden hall-house. 27 miles

Sheffield Park & Gardens — historic parkland, woodland and landscaped gardens. 28 miles

Chartwell — family home of Sir Winston Churchill, 30 miles

South East Open Studios

There’s so much on in the Weald of Kent this month! Something not to miss is South East Open Studios (SEOS), a creative event running til the 23rd June where artists, craftspeople, printmakers and designers open their studio spaces to the public. Its your chance to meet artists up close and personal, learn about their process, passion and philosophy, and see them at work. Many will be giving demonstrations and sharing stories behind their creations, and most will be offering their works for sale (at direct-to-artist prices without gallery mark-ups).

Some 200 artists are participating this year (the 22nd year of this annual event), many of them on our doorstep. Within a few miles of Barnfield House Kent, you have the chance to see talented artists such as. Sue Scullard (wood engravings), Felicity Flutter (watercolours inspired by the sea), Nicola Colbran (wildlife oil paintings), Jackie Summerfield (ceramic wildlife sculptures), Katie Brinsley (ceramic tableware), Ali Stump (etchings), and Peter M Clarke (metal garden sculptures).

https://youtu.be/K9O1aUrTNJs Download a guide and suggested itineraries from SEOS’s informative website (http://www.seos-art.org), or create your own art trail through the enchanting countryside of Kent and East Sussex – truly the Garden of England. You could return home with a piece of art you’ll treasure for a lifetime!

Raise a glass to fine Kent wines


English Wine  Week might now be over, but who needs an excuse to  celebrate the excellent wines of Kent and East Sussex?

70 years after the first commercial vineyard was planted in Hampshire in 1952, there are well over 500 vineyards across the UK, of which over 150  — some 75% of the total acreage under vines  – are in South East England. According to WinesGB, the official website for the wines of Great Britain, a  record 3 million vines were planted in England and Wales this past year, equating to an additional 690 hectares of vineyards and a 24% increase in the overall land now under vine… much of it in Kent and Sussex.  Amazingly, this makes the UK one of the world’s fastest growing wine regions.; last year’s hot summer and bumper harvest yielded some 15.6m bottles, making 2018 the UK’s most successful vintage to date.

wine tour of Kent vineyards
JillWellington / Pixabay

With Barnfield House Kent so well placed within a short drive of some of England’s finest vineyards, we can think of no better way to spend a summer day than touring the Kent wineries, sampling award-wining sparking wines, and wending your way through glorious countryside dotted with the country’s distinctive white-cowled oast houses, medieval villages and market towns. Biddenden, Lamberhurst, Hush Heath, Chapel Down… the very names evoke a sense of the timelessness of the Kent landscape and its rich heritage.

For example, England’s leading wine producer Chapel Down near Tenterden offers guided tours (from March to November) that include a visit to the vineyards and winery followed by a tutored tasting of their award-winning range of sparkling and still wines. Hush Heath in Staplehurst offers tutored tastings in a brand new visitors centre. The family-run Biddenden Vineyard offers both private and charity tours. And just across the country line into Sussex, England’s oldest organic wine estate Seddlescomb Organic Vineyard offers guided and self-guided tours as well as a woodland walk.

Visit Kent photo of Chapel Down

To make the most of a wine-oriented day out, and enjoy the freedom to imbibe a glass or three, we suggest you leave the car behind and book a bespoke tour  organised by experts. With Vine and Country Tours, you can look forward to a mouth-wateringly memorable day out in the company of delightfully well-informed guides…and they will pick you up from the front door!.

For more information:

vineancountrytours.co.uk

chapeldown.co.uk

englishorganicwine.co.uk

biddendenvineyards.com