Cosy Christmas Cottages
For picture-perfect Christmas scenes and making festive memories, look no further than one of Kent’s cosiest cottages
Nothing says cosy quite like crackling log fires, fluffy socks and mugs of hot chocolate – and everyone knows that these winter night essentials are best appreciated in cute cottages surrounded by beautiful countryside. Whether you’re seeking a solo English escape from the city like Cameron Diaz in The Holiday, ready for rural romance with your partner, or hunting for a wholesome break with family and friends, Kent has your idyllic answer.
And what goes hand-in-hand with ‘cosy cottage’ more perfectly than… Christmas? After all, twinkling tree lights, mistletoe, a roaring fire and flickering candles make for the best yuletide backdrop as you wait for a hearty roast to cook in the oven, or arrive back from a winter ramble for a hot cup of mulled wine.
One of the best places for such winter rambles is the High Weald Area of Natural Beauty, which is home to a plethora of cute cottages that sit snuggled amongst its rolling hills. Catslide Cottage, Biddenden, available through Bloom Stays, is one such place. Step back in time through the doors of this Grade II listed Kentish Weald home – a delicious Christmas slice of Kent’s history brought to life with modern comforts in a timeless setting. Charming and cosy, Catslide Cottage, named after the sloping roof that slides from the eaves bedrooms down to ground level, is certain to be the Christmas cottage of your magical-movie inspired dreams. Set on Biddenden’s ancient main street, this cottage was once a medieval Kentish ‘Hall House’ where the farmer and his livestock happily cohabited – so if the carol singers come knocking, make sure they sing ‘Away in a Manger’. The original dwelling has been divided into two homes with Catslide Cottage now a cosy four-bedroom cottage with wonky floors and low beams ideal for hanging mistletoe. There is a huge Inglenook fireplace with a log burner, which is the sweetest glacé cherry on top of this Christmas fruitcake after a day out visiting local attractions and festive markets.
Keeping in theme with the biblical story of Christmas, a local inn that will definitely have room for you and your loved ones is The Milk House in Sissinghurst. A former coaching inn at the heart of this historic rural village, The Milk House is perfect for those looking for all the yuletide joy of a pub, restaurant and cosy cottage all rolled into one. Serving delicious local food, wine, cask ales, draught beer and cider, this is definitely a welcoming stay for those that love a Sunday roast and sumptuous sleep afterwards. Upstairs are four wonderful rooms decorated with contemporary style, four poster beds and original brick fireplaces.
For those looking for a cottage stay within close proximity to a bustling town, ideal for bespoke Christmas gift shopping plus a multitude of fabulous foodie treasures, select a stay at Salomons Estate’s holiday cottages. Only a 10-minute drive from Royal Tunbridge Wells, these self-catering homes have been freshly renovated and refurbished within the last year. Choose from The Cottage with its elegant breakfast bar and freestanding bath, The Old Gate House, with its period features and five double bedrooms, or the Garden Cottages which, in 1890, belonged to the estate’s gardeners. Enjoy all the winter beauty of the estate itself with acres of woodland and countryside to explore, plus its own fabulous dining. Especially for this time of year, Salomons are running a series of festive events and dining experiences in the lead up to Christmas. These include Christmas wreath workshops, festive afternoon teas, Santa’s Grotto, dining with Santa, a Michael Bublé experience and more.
The extensive miles of Kent’s rolling countryside eventually turns into our glorious coast, sitting magically between the two is the mysterious Romney Marsh. A haven for those seeking solitude, this is the ideal romantic Christmas retreat for couples needing some ‘just the two of us’ time amidst the peace of the countryside. One of the best cottages in which to do this is The Nest, which can be booked through Bloom Stays. A chocolate box cottage that could be straight from the scene of a Christmas card, The Nest has direct access to the beach from the end of the garden and is nestled along a private lane next to the seawall in Dymchurch. Ideally situated, guests can enjoy the wonderful beach and bracing winter strolls along the endless promenade, or take long walks out on the Romney Marsh, which is scattered with rivers, sheep and historic churches. With a host of cute coffee shops and tearooms around, you’re certain to find that festive cup of hot chocolate (complete with marshmallows and cream) while you’re out exploring too.
Further along the coast, you will find the delightful towns of Deal and Sandwich. Certain to be hosting a plethora of festive events and things to do, from carol concerts to festive sea dips, these two towns with their quaint streets and pretty architecture really are the stuff of Christmas movie magic. Discover a treasure trove of foodie hotspots, from artisan butchers and traditional pubs, to local delicatessens perfect for curating the ultimate Christmas hamper – you’ll be overjoyed at all the places you’ll find here. One of the best agencies to find your dream cosy Chrtistmas cottage in this area, is Keepers Cottages. For families and friends looking for festive fun and frivolity, a stay at Victory Cottage, Kingsdown, is the ideal cottage for Christmas camaraderie together. Sleeping eight, this fabulous holiday home has been recently renovated to create a wonderful stylish and spacious coastal retreat right on the beach. Many of the rooms have stunning sea views over the beach and distant horizon, and the garden and first-floor balcony allow guests to truly enjoy the coastal setting. The large open-plan kitchen and dining room is perfect for socialising and making festive meals, while the upstairs sitting room is ideal for sipping wine, snacking on Christmas nibbles and playing games. Victory Cottage is next to The Zetland Arms, a lovely, family friendly pub perfect for festive pints and roasts.
Just along the way in the medieval market town of Sandwich is another Keepers Cottages’ abode, which is also ideal for groups. Sleeping eight, Poplar Farm House is a beautiful Victorian detached house that has been lovingly renovated by the owners. Many period features have been retained along with high ceilings, stunning picture windows, decorative fireplaces and wooden floors. The interior is a wonderful combination of traditional and modern, with lovely colour accents and original artwork in many of the rooms.
Multigenerational family gatherings are treasured memories that happen most at this special time of year, and the perfect property for such an occasion comes in the form of another Keeper’s Cottages gem: Oldestairs House. A much loved family coastal home built in 1910, located in Kingsdown, this house sleeps ten guests comfortably in five bedrooms. The home has been fully redecorated recently with colours to match the seaside location. Enjoy spending quality time together in the sociable living space perfect for drinks and dining, head outside to the large garden together, or take a short walk to the beach for an amble along the shore.
For those looking for a more catered Christmas stay in this wonderful corner of Kent, there’s plenty of boutique bed and breakfasts and pretty pubs with rooms that meet the ‘cosy Christmas cottage’ criteria just as perfectly. Ash, near Sandwich, is home to B&B Goss Hall, a Grade II listed Georgian manor house surrounded by three-and-a-half acres of picturesque gardens, including a lake and stream. Inside, guests will be greeted with a delightful homely feel including an elegant breakfast room overlooking the front garden and fields beyond. Goss Hall is also ideal for those looking for a Christmas staycation with their pooch in tow – as dogs are welcome for £10 each per night. Your canine companion can enjoy long walks along nearby Sandwich Bay or in the surrounding countryside with its miles of footpaths.
Situated in the beautiful rural countryside between Deal and Dover, you will find the quirky, classic country inn The Lantern in Martin. An ancient inn that could be plucked from the pages of a fairy tale, The Lantern was built circa 1610; the historic building naturally lending itself to the atmospheric drinking and dining spaces on offer. Snuggle up with a Christmas cocktail by one of the three fireplaces, or enjoy a hearty meal of Kentish produce in the vaulted dining room. The owners have endeavoured to retain and enhance the inn’s period features through loving restoration and careful curation of curios, antiques and art and the result is a contemporary take on the traditional inn; a convivial place to be at this special time of year. Sitting above the inn, the apartment combines stylish decor with honest creature comforts: excellent mattresses, a luxurious bathroom and fine linen sheets. In the pretty garden outside, guests will find a luxury handcrafted Mongolian yurt. What is certain to be a very memorable Christmas stay, the yurt has been furnished with carefully curated furniture, sumptuous bedding, and a wood burner – ensuring that, although not technically a cottage, a stay here will be just as cosy.
More quirky yet cosy stays can be found in Swale. Here The Syndale Valley shelters the central part of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. One of the best bijou boltholes to explore this stunning area is Hide in the Downs, a shepherd’s hut in Doddington which can be booked through Airbnb. Nestled within 15 acres of wilderness in one of the remotest parts of the area, Hide in the Downs does exactly what it says on the tin. Offering a unique ‘hiding experience’ to escape your everyday life, this little yuletide haven is perfectly appointed to only give you and your loved ones the tranquil solace you might need at this busy time of year, while simultaneously providing the perfect location from which to explore the best of The Garden of England. A self-catered hut, it is positioned at the bottom of a wild meadow with easy access into the valley and a country pub within walking distance. Highlights include an outdoor bath and wood burner to enjoy an unspoilt starry sky and keep you extra snug – surreal Christmas memories guaranteed.
Not so far away in the hamlet of Borden, which sits amidst the countryside surrounding Sittingbourne, another quirky yet cosy stay comes in the form of Alpaca Lodge. Sleeping six, this is a great staycation option for a small family. The sitting room and bedroom is on the first floor and furnished in a contemporary style, while the shower and toilet are located on the ground floor. Step into the property and find yourself in the bright and airy sitting room with a delightful view of the gardens where you can watch the adorable alpacas quietly grazing. Here alpacas roam free, their inquisitive nature means they will follow you around and settle down with you for an evening in the communal vintage barn! You’ll also meet pigs, chickens, ducks and dogs making it the ideal Christmas farm stay to remember.
The rural marshy magic of Swale is far from limited when it comes to cosy cottages and boltholes from which to explore this unique part of Kent. Swale’s isle within an island, ‘the isle of Harty’ is connected to the Isle of Sheppey by a road causeway, and promises to be a surreal visit this festive season. Surrounded by the Swale Estuary, two nature reserves and rolling farmland, beauty and tranquillity call from all compass points here. A haven for wildlife enthusiasts, outdoor-types and foodies, some of the cosiest cottages at which to stay in Harty are Mocketts Farm Cottages. On colder days, groups and families will be just as content staying inside – with plenty of cosy couches and corners to snuggle in, plus a shared games room with a pool table, table tennis and foosball. Whether you’re looking for a quiet couple’s Christmas escape, a back-to-nature winter family break or the perfect setting for that large group festive getaway, this collection of five holiday cottages offers everything on the wish list for comfort and practicality this Christmas, including disabled and pet-friendly accommodation.
From a beautifully converted barn sleeping six, a large farmhouse sleeping eight, to a sweet lodge for three, Mocketts Farm has the hideaway to suit you this season. Just a short walk away, guests will find the rural wonder that is The Ferry House. Here, you can enjoy homegrown produce from the kitchen garden, Harty beef from the family farm, grazed on the neighbouring Emley Nature Reserve, locally sourced beer, wine and spirits, or relax in the treatment rooms with a massage.