FeaturedKent Staycation

Kent’s Hidden Escapes

From bijou boltholes to faraway farmhouses, Kent is full of secluded, off-the-beaten-track stays that are primed to become your ultimate sanctuary.

Although Kent borders the busiest city in Europe, many visitors to The Garden of England are astounded at just how secluded and tranquil our countryside is. With rolling green hills that go on for miles, sheltering serene valleys and adjoining craggy cliffs that turn into dramatic coastlines, Kent is full of blissful boltholes that make the most private, peaceful places to stay. The difficult part? Finding them. That’s why we have done it for you. So get booking and locate your map, here are just some of insideKENT’s favourite hidden escapes.

Elmley Nature Reserve

 

Elmley Nature Reserve, Sheerness

For those yearning for the beauty and tranquillity of nature, yet still delight in modern day comforts and little luxuries, Elmley Nature Reserve is certain to fulfil every desire. The only nature reserve in which guests can stay overnight in the UK, Elmley is a vast haven made up of a wilderness of lucious grassy marshland and wide open skies. Let the combination of nature and luxury craft an escape like no other, absorb it as you listen to the humming of insects, the squawks of water birds and the bristling of the long grass swaying in the breeze. Choose to enjoy Elmley’s uniqueness from the sanctuary of a calming cottage, a luxurious room in the ancient farmhouse or a cosy shepherd’s hut or cabin. This is the ideal retreat at which to laze upon a hazy summer’s day and soak up the long balmy evenings before the stars come out in the expansive skies above at night.

The Library at Elmley Nature Reserve

 

The Ferry House, Isle of Sheppey

A tranquil hideaway on The Isle of Sheppey, The Ferry House is surrounded by rolling farmland, wild meadows, protected wetland bird reserves and miles of Blue Flag coastline. Made up of a 16th-century ferry house and a collection of charming farm cottages, The Ferry House revels in its identity as an award-winning restaurant and four-star bed and breakfast which also provides luxurious spa treatments. 

Wake up to beautiful mornings that will effortlessly set a beautifully dramatic scene with shallow rolling sea mist and the calls of water birds echoing across the marshes. Four-star ensuite rooms, with relaxed rustic charm, stylish furnishings and sumptuous touches ensure the perfect hideaway for you and your partner. The Ferry House firmly believe that local is best and show this through their use of bountiful produce from their large kitchen garden, beef and game from their family farm and local estate, plus award-winning spirits distilled from their own grains. 

The Ferry House

 

Green Farm, Ashford 

A luxury 15th-century farmhouse and a boutique spa for those wanting their seclusion with a spot of extra pampering. Specialising in rural wellbeing, Green Farm is located among idyllic ancient woodland and meadow pastures. Inspired by nature and the surrounding countryside, the spa offers luxurious ESPA treatments as well as an extensive beauty menu. Set within the old part of Shadoxhurst Village, look out across the wonderful 13th-century church and acres of protected conservation land. From hot stone massages to rejuvenating facials, relaxation is certain to be achieved here no matter who you might be. The spa is also home to an indoor yoga studio, sauna and two outdoor hot tubs – one in a secluded walled garden and one overlooking lush fields and natural pond; perfect for a refreshing dip between sauna and hot tub sessions.

Green Farm

 

Romney Marsh Shepherds Huts, Aldington

One of the most idyllic ways to spend a summer’s evening is perhaps to be in only the company of your other half with no interruptions (apart from the distant sound of bleating sheep and the twit-twoo of owls in the night). Romney Marsh Shepherds Huts are a blissfully perfect way of achieving this, placed under the spectacular open skies of what Thomas Ingoldsby referred to as ‘The Fifth Continent’, couples can relish this intimate seclusion while being in the cosy comfort of a delightful shepherds’ hut with modern amenities.

Part of the Kent Downs Area of Natural Beauty, Romney Marsh has plenty for visitors to explore while they stay. With an extensive coastline not far away, a diversity of natural habitats for rare species and a rich history that comes with intriguing stories, whatever your interests, your imagination will always be stimulated during your stay here. Guests can also experience sheep farming first hand at this family farm and even purchase bespoke products made from the wool farmed here.

Romney Marsh Shepherds Huts – View inside The Lookerer

 

Luna Domes, Edenbridge

Born from the idea to help people savour a deep connection with nature while enjoying sumptuous surroundings, these geodesic domes are stylish, luxurious and perfect for an altogether different hidden escape. Inside, you’ll be greeted by an irresistibly cosy space furnished with plenty of cushions and throws, a glorious bean bag lounger, a comfy dining area, and a well-equipped kitchenette with a range of mod cons including a Nespresso coffee machine. Freshen up in your private heated bathroom with piping hot shower and spa toiletries, then wrap yourself up in a fluffy robe to watch the comings and goings of the local wildlife with an evening drink in hand as you make the most of a long summer evening. Complete with beautifully dressed ‘floating’ king-size beds, expect a dreamy sleep surrounded by the peace of the countryside as each heated dome is privately spaced amongst grass plains and woodland. One dome is dog friendly, while two domes come complete with their own wood-fired hot tubs if you’re in the mood for a stargazing soak.

Luna Domes

 

Wilderness Bed and Breakfast, Headcorn 

When envisioning a landscape that embodies quintessential Kent, most would imagine something as picture-perfect as the High Weald. Another designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this Kentish treasure represents the county’s countryside at its most idyllic. This  medieval landscape of wooded, rolling hills studded with sandstone outcrops, small, irregular-shaped fields, scattered farmsteads and ancient routeways makes for so much to take in, admire and explore with all its patchwork charm and endearing character full of enthralling originality and extraordinary beauty. An area with such vast countryside and winding roads that lead adventurers into peacefully pastoral surroundings, secluded splendour can very much be achieved here. Wilderness Bed and Breakfast is a true example of this. Nestled right in the heart of the Weald of Kent itself, this bed and breakfast on rambling grounds adorned with beautiful old buildings and orchards, offers self distancing and privacy during your stay. Operating via a self check-in with breakfast being served in your own self-contained area, this is ‘wilderness’ at its best: a secluded bliss. 

Wilderness

 

Updown Farmhouse, Deal 

Set amidst the idyllic Kent countryside between Sandwich and Deal, Updown Farmhouse is a beautiful 17th-century building which has been lovingly restored to provide five luxuriously appointed rooms, a terrace restaurant and farmhouse kitchen. The sumptuous rooms in the house all boast lovely countryside views across the treetops and down into the garden. There is also a separate Gardener’s Cottage set in the grounds, away from the main house for even more privacy. All guests are welcome to order lunch and dinner throughout the property, whether in the farmhouse kitchen, bar or outside on the heated covered terrace watching the chefs at work over the wood fired grill – a pure delight in the summertime thanks to the beautiful setting of the gardens. A hearty breakfast is served in the kitchen every morning and delicious cocktails are a speciality in the evenings. 

Updown

 

Ham Hideaway, Sandwich 

In a luscious wooded sprawling space just a stone’s throw away from the nature reserve beach of Sandwich Bay where wildlife lovers can spot rare birds, sunbathing seals and surreal sea creatures, you will find boutique glamping marvel, Ham Hideaway. Winner of the 2020 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice awards, there is not only a range of hampers and bespoke picnic and grilling options available, but also a number of options for a full catered breakfast or dinner delivered to your accommodation through their unique butler service. As well as WiFi, clean and secure bathroom facilities and ultra-comfortable beds, another high-end aspect of Ham Hideaway is the full maid service, leaving you with freshly made beds, tidied tents and gleaming fresh accommodation every evening. Nothing is too much trouble for the fantastic team here, from a full chef service to a comprehensive dog blanket option with chewy treats, just make contact and whatever your unique requirements, you are sure to be catered to. Visit the nearby medieval cinque-port town of Sandwich, with its pretty narrow streets, independent shops and restaurants or spend the day sunbathing at the peaceful pebble bay. 

Ham Hideaway

 

The Lookers Legacy, Tenterden

A beautifully renovated traditional brick Lookers Hut offering a stunning luxury hideaway set in a rural vineyard with sweeping countryside views. Tranquil yet stylish, the open-plan living area is dominated by double bi-folding doors which open onto a secluded terrace complete with hot tub and far-reaching views across the Romney Marsh. 

Furnished with luxurious touches and flooded with natural light, the cottage made for two’s cosy wood-burning stove is perfect for chilly evenings á deux… But, being pet-friendly means your four-legged loved one can come along too. 

Venturing out? Avid walkers have easy access to the Saxon Shore Way; Tenterden, historic Rye and the golden sands of Camber are also nearby, while the footpath will take you straight to the (pet-friendly) Ferry Inn, which is renowned for its seasonal Rye Bay scallops.

The Lookers Legacy

 

Stays with Keepers Cottages

Keepers Lodge, Doddington

Enjoy a relaxing break at the delightful Keepers Lodge located in the middle of Sharsted Wood, where you will be surrounded by trees and birds, peace and quiet. Although secluded, you are only a short drive from the lovely market town of Faversham, the bustling coastal town of Whitstable, and the historic City of Canterbury. Plus, if you stay from May to September, you and your family or friends can enjoy the lovely outdoor, heated and shared swimming pool to make the most of the warm weather with a BBQ and alfresco dining on the large patio. Keepers Lodge is the perfect holiday home for lovers of nature, walkers and cyclists. If the rainy British weather prevails, there is a wood burner to keep you cosy after spending your days out and about exploring this charming part of East Kent.

Keepers Lodge

 

Tuggers, Kingsdown 

A whimsical Kingsdown holiday home cleverly renovated by the current owners while retaining the charm of the property with original architectural features. They have also greatly enhanced this coastal idyll, with the addition of a log burner, cosy seating areas, snug TV room, bright and airy garden room and a secluded outside space. As you approach Tuggers from the shingle road, which leads directly onto the beach, you are led through a large wooden gate onto a private lane to ensure privacy during your stay. The owners have added a wooden boat bow to the front of the property which instantly adds to the dramatic charm and character of this property. 

Tuggers

 

The Secret Garden, Kingsdown

Tucked away in a quiet location in Kingsdown, yet minutes from the beach and village centre, The Secret Garden comes complete with a lovely walled south-facing garden which is a gorgeous spot to enjoy a summer’s day or while away a long evening. The garden is secluded and not overlooked by neighbours, making it the perfect Kentish seaside haven after a busy day sightseeing, or lounging on the beach. A pet-friendly property, this is also a wonderful stay for four-legged friends, especially as the beach is a few minutes walk away. Here you will find The Zetland Arms, a lovely beachfront pub with views of the ocean and famous White Cliffs. From the cottage you can walk along the coastal path to Deal and Walmer, or towards St Margaret’s Bay and Dover. So naturally, there are plenty of things to do, places to explore and history to discover at this heritage part of the Kent Coast.

Secret Garden

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