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Where to base ourselves

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Australia
posts: 126
reviews: 2
Where to base ourselves

We will be staying in Sittingborne visiting the village where my husband's family were born. Our plan is to base ourselves in Lewes for 3 nights but on the way to Lewes we thought we would spend 1 night visiting something things on our wish list possibly Sissinghurst Gardens/Bodiam Castle/Battle/Rye/Tenterden. I doubt if we can do all these in 1 day so any advice on 'must see" would be appreciated. Help on choosing where to stay for the 1 night would be appreciated. We will have a car but are travelling from Australia so we are not used to the roads. My husband would prefer not to be heavy traffic! We thought rather than stay in Lews for the four days we should stay over one night en route to save doubling back from Lewes.

10 replies to this topic
Albufeira, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Algarve, Faro
posts: 30,348
reviews: 20
1. Re: Where to base ourselves

"I doubt if we can do all these in 1 day "

Not a chance. There is too much to see. I lived in the area for 45 years. My preference would be Bodiam Castle then Tenterden which are close to each other. Tenterden is a nice town and has a steam railway (www.kesr.org.uk) as an attraction.

Battle is not very exciting, Rye is a pleasant place and you could fit in a couple of hours there after Tenterden. it's not far, about 18km. Sissinghurst Gardens I cannot comment on, gardens are not my thing.

Traffic is very busy on most roads in the UK and Tunbridge Wells is clogged up half the time. Why not stay in Tenterden itself? Or Rye?

Australia
posts: 126
reviews: 2
2. Re: Where to base ourselves

Thank you I will check out Tenterden. I think we would enjoy the steam railway.

Canterbury, United...
Destination Expert
for Canterbury
posts: 2,246
reviews: 160
3. Re: Where to base ourselves

+1 for Tenterden. It's a very agreeable, pretty little town with a good selection of restaurants and shops, and kind of halfway from Sittingbourne to Lewes.

After Tenterden, if you want to see Rye before Lewes, the drive along the B2080 road to Appledore and then Military Road to Rye is one of my Kent favourites. You can then pick up the main road to Lewes from Rye.

Australia
posts: 126
reviews: 2
4. Re: Where to base ourselves

This is exactly the information I was looking for. I thought we might as well see some things on our way back from Sittingbourne. Your advice re route is very much appreciated.

Manchester, UK
posts: 464
reviews: 57
5. Re: Where to base ourselves

Not far from Rye is Great Dixter Garden, which in midsummer in particular is not to be missed. Close to Sevenoaks is Ightham Mote, a National Trust moated manor house surrounded by a small but rather lovely garden, which I'm sure you would enjoy. Also in this area is Winston Churchill's home at Chartwell and Emmetts Garden (both also NT properties). Close to Tenterden is Smallhythe, the home of the actress Ellen Terry (yet another NT property); a fascinating house with again, a lovely garden surrounding it.

Kent
posts: 2,037
reviews: 12
6. Re: Where to base ourselves

Tenterden is my nearest town and a very good base to drive to all the places you want to see. There are some nice shops, three pubs and several restaurants and cafes. Parking can be a problem so make sure anywhere you stay has parking available.

tenterdentown.co.uk/visitors/places-to-stay

Sissinghurst is nice, but unless it is mid Summer when it looks lovely I think it can disappoint a bit. I don't know when you are visiting but other places less known that you could look at are Hole Park with lovely gardens and also Godinton House on the outskirts of Ashford.

www.holepark.com

http://godintonhouse.co.uk

Headcorn, United...
posts: 174
reviews: 31
7. Re: Where to base ourselves

Agree with all of the previous posters who are recommending Tenterden. It's a lovely old market town with nice restaurants and lots of good places to stay. A very convenient base for the places that you want to visit.

I don't agree with the previous comment about Sissinghurst. We live nearby and visit very frequently. The gardens are fabulous throughout all of the seasons. Go there - you will not be disappointed.

Kent
posts: 2,037
reviews: 12
8. Re: Where to base ourselves

I also live near Sissinghurst and guess I need to expand on my comment as would not want to put anyone off visiting. The OP has not said what time of year they are here and this would make a difference. I have been when it has looked stunning and the change of colour scheme in each part really came into their own but that was mid to late summer when imo it is at its best, the white garden in bloom makes a wonderful contrast to the other colours. It is beautifully designed and I cannot fault the care taken by the staff, but too early or late in the year it does lack the colour many visitors are expecting.

North, South...
posts: 317
reviews: 13
9. Re: Where to base ourselves

Is early May to early to visit Sissinghurst to really enjoy the color?

Headcorn, United...
posts: 174
reviews: 31
10. Re: Where to base ourselves

The gardens are usually full of colour in early May, particularly the Lime Walk and Delos, where you will find carpets of spring flowers. The bluebells in the woodland area should also be out then. I reckon that it's worth visiting Sissinghurst for the bluebells alone - they're breathtakingly beautiful and smell divine.

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