Around Cranbrook

Around Cranbrook

In and Around Cranbrook C H A R M I N G V I L L AG E S IN THE WEALD OF KENT Welcome to Sissinghurst Castle Garden. A celebrated Garden created by V...

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In and Around


Welcome to Sissinghurst Castle Garden. A celebrated Garden created by Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson, romantic in style and unique in atmosphere. Visit our shop and restaurant and enjoy walks around the estate. Opening 18th March - 29th October, Mon, Tues, Fri 11.00am - 6.30pm Sat, Sun 10.30am - 60.30pm The garden is at its most peaceful after 3pm. We offer a bus link service from Staplehurst Station to Sissinghurst Castle Garden 3 days a week. Call for info 01580 710700 email: [email protected]

1831 - 2006 Celebrating 175 years of Community Service GOUDHURST POST OFFICE

Award Winning Village Store. Local and Speciality Food and Drink. Off-Licence. Delicatessen. PLUS many more products & services for residents, visitors and tourists.

A HEARTY WELCOME 01580 211206

DISCOVER OTHER PLACES IN THE AREA HISTORIC HOUSES AND GARDENS Bateman’s, Burwash (01435 882302) Rudyard Kipling’s home (National Trust) Pashley Manor Gardens, Ticehurst (01580 200888) A quintessential English Country Garden MUSEUMS Woodchurch Windmill & Museum, Woodchurch, Ashford (01233 860649) Tenterden Museum, Station Road, Tenterden (01580 764310) Smallhythe Place, Smallhythe, Tenterden (01580 762334) Ellen Terry’s home and Barn Theatre (National Trust) CHURCHES All Saints Church, Tudeley (01732 357648) Stained glass windows by Marc Chagall FAMILY FUN Hop Farm Country Park, Paddock Wood (01622 872068) Farm animals and special events The Rare Breeds Centre, Woodchurch (01233 861493) Animal action and woodland adventures SPORTS Tenterden Leisure Centre, Recreation Ground Road, Tenterden(01580 765987) Swimming, tennis, squash & gym London Beach Golf Club, Ashford Rd, St Michaels, Tenterden (01580 766279) Chart Hills Golf Club, Biddenden (01580 292222) VINEYARDS Biddenden Vineyard & Cider Works (01580 291726) Chapel Down Winery, Smallhythe, Tenterden (01580 766111) FARMERS’ MARKETS Tenterden, Recreation Ground Road (01580 765111) Every 2nd Saturday 9.30am - 1pm


Cranbrook has enjoyed the status of “Capital of the Weald” since the introduction of the weaving industry in the 14th Century. Many beautiful old buildings testify to the wealth of the town where rich clothiers built St Dunstan’s Church and many fine houses including Goddard’s Green, Old Wilsley, The Old Cloth Hall and Coursehorn. Queen Elizabeth 1st stayed here in 1573 and Elizabeth Taylor, the Queen of Hollywood, lived here in the 1930’s in the grounds of the Manor House, Great Swifts in a cottage called Little Swallows. A famous equine resident was Napoleon’s horse, Jaffa, who was brought over from Belgium to Glassenbury Estate where he is buried. ACTIVITIES Weald Sports Centre, Angley Road (01580 710720) Swimming pool, tennis courts, gym and other sports facilities. Hartley Lands Farm, Swattenden Lane (01580 720319) Coarse fishing in well-stocked lakes & ponds Apple Tree Stable, Starvenden Lane, Cranbrook Common (01580 713833), Horse-riding PLACES TO VISIT Cranbrook Museum (01580 712516) the history of Cranbrook brought to life Union Windmill (01580 712256) a fine example of a working mill St Dunstan’s Church Impressively large Church known as “the Cathedral of the Weald” Golford Chapel Striking contemporary stained glass windows depicting the four seasons in the Weald FOOD & DRINK Stone Street Perfect Partners (01580 712633) Gastronomia Campo Vecchio (01580 720555) George Hotel and Brasserie (01580 713348) Apicius (01580 714666) Farmers’ Market, Vestry Hall, Every 4th Saturday 9am-12pm (01580 713843) The White Horse (01580 712615) High Street Mumtaz Mahal (01580 712068) The Crown (01580 712089) The Hill Tiffins (01580 720710) Waterloo Road The Windmill (01580 713119) Hartley Road Hartley Dyke Farm Shop, (01580 712546)


The 17th Century St Mary’s Church dominates the summit of the village while the pretty weatherboard and tile hung houses on the High Street appear to tumble down a steep hill. The views of the surrounding countryside are breathtaking. The Church tower was used as a Home Guard observation post during the Second World War. It is said that 51 Churches can be seen from the tower. In its long and colourful history Goudhurst has been variously an iron foundry, a home of Flemish weavers and a smugglers’ lair. It was in Goudhurst that the ‘Hawkhurst Gang’ were finally overpowered by a local band of militia. This delightful village with its charming duck pond has some surprises in store for keen shoppers. PLACES TO VISIT Bedgebury Pinetum & Forest (01580 211781). The largest collection of conifers on one site in the world. Excellent trails for walking and cycling. Outdoor concerts in the Summer. Paradise for nature lovers, splendid adventure playground to enchant children. Finchcock’s (01580 211702). A handsome Georgian manor containing a fascinating collection of historical keyboard instruments. Set in beautiful gardens, Finchcocks is a wonderful venue for concerts which are staged regularly. Christ Church, Kilndown (01892 890244) Spectacular Gothic revival interior FOOD & DRINK Burgess Stores High Street (01580 211206) Weeks Bakery Tea Room, High St (01580 211380) The Star & Eagle High St (01580 211512) La Zia Maria The Plain (01580 212100) The Vine, High St (01580 211261) The Chequers Tree, Cranbrook Road (01580 211358) The Peacock Inn, Goudhurst Road, Iden Green (01580 211233) The Globe & Rainbow Kilndown (01892 890803) Green Cross Inn, Station Rd (01580 211200) ACTIVITIES Bedgebury School Riding Centre (01580 211602) NEARBY ATTRACTIONS Seven Wonders of the Weald Featuring Scotney Castle, Bayham Abbey, Marle Place Gardens, Lamberhurst Vineyards, Bedgebury Pinetum, Finchcocks and Bewl Water


Sissinghurst is world famous thanks to the Castle and Garden which attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. The pretty main street of mainly weatherboard cottages is flanked by Trinity Church, a pub, and a few shops and restaurants. Just outside the village is Sissinghurst Castle and Garden (01580 710701) Little remains of the grand manor house that stood here in Tudor times when Queen Elizabeth 1st stayed in August 1573 and knighted her host, Thomas Sackville. Its colourful history included a period as a prison for French captives of the Seven Years War (during which time the House acquired the name “Castle”), as well as a Poor House in the 19th Century. It was little more than a ruin when the diplomat and diarist Harold Nicolson and his wife, novelist and poet, Vita Sackville-West bought it in 1930. Together they restored the buildings and planned and planted the magnificent gardens. Vita’s writing room, preserved as it was, overlooks the grounds from the romantic rosy bricked tower. The series of individual and original gardens provide a living memorial to the vision and devotion of the Nicolsons. There is much to delight gardeners, historians and book-lovers in this fascinating spot. FOOD & DRINK In The Street Rankins, (01580 713964) The Bull (01580 712821) Sissinghurst Tandoori (01580 712894) Sissinghurst Village Shop (01580 712826) In the Castle Gardens Farmers’ Market (01580 710704) Every 2nd Monday 1-3pm The Granary (01580 710704)

Cranbrook Museum Exciting displays exploring Cranbrook's former industry, agriculture and trades. Past social life of town and district in all its variety. Archives for family research. OPEN: 2pm - 4.30pm APRIL OCTOBER Tuesdays to Saturdays inclusive & Summer Bank Holidays Cranbrook Museum, Carriers Road, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3KX Tel: 01580 712516

Freedom Holiday Homes Freedom of choice throughout Kent from a superb range of cottages, barn conversions, oast houses - ideal for touring or visiting Kent’s castles, gardens and historic houses.

Freedom Holiday Homes 15 High Street, Cranbrook TN17 3EB T: 01580 720770 E: [email protected]


A traditional village green is the focal point of this attractive village. Dominated by the handsome St George’s Church and bordered by charming cottages including the tile-hung school founded by Edmund Gibbon in 1609, and the ornate Victorian Village School and Hall. The Earl of Cranbrook’s fondness for the Gothic revival style can be seen in his Victorian stately home called Hemsted which he built on the site of a Tudor manor house. Queen Elizabeth stayed there during her Royal progress of the county in 1573 and an eighteenth century chatelaine of the house was Kitty Fisher remembered in the Nursery Rhyme “Lucy Locket lost her pocket, Kitty Fisher found it…” Kitty is buried in her ball gown at Benenden Church. Hemsted is now Benenden School, whose most famous old girl is Princess Anne. The new Village Hall hosts all sorts of entertainments including antique, craft and gift fairs as well as productions by the Benenden Players. ACTIVITIES Hemsted Forest Golf Club (01580 712833) Golford Road, 18 holes Hempstead Equestrian Centre,Golford Rd (01580 240086), Horse riding FOOD & DRINK The Village Shop, The Street (01580 240508) Baldwin’s, The Street (01580 240564) The Bull (01580 240054) King William IV (01580 240636) The Woodcock, Woodcock Lane, Iden Green (01580 240009) PLACES TO VISIT Hole Park Gardens ( 01580 241251) on the road to Rolvenden. Open since 1927, Hole Park boasts a formally laid out garden including a magnificent collection of rhododendrons and azaleas. Wilder tracts of woodland feature acres of bluebells in Spring and wonderful colours in autumn. NEARBY ATTRACTIONS C M Booth Motor Museum, Rolvenden (01580 241234) Historic vehicles, particularly 3 wheeled Morgans Rolvenden Farmers Market, St Mary’s Church and Village Hall (01797 252248), Thursdays 10am – 12noon


Hawkhurst is really two villages in one, with a tranquil settlement on the Moor and a thriving commercial centre at Highgate. A pretty colonnade of shops is a particular feature of the Main Street. St Laurence’s Church is situated on the Moor just to the South, mainly built in the 14th and 15th Centuries it contains some exceptional stained glass windows, sadly damaged in the war, including a memorial to Sir John Herschel, the astronomer who lived at Collingwood House on the Moor. FOOD & DRINK The notorious ‘Hawkhurst Gang’ of smugglers who ruthlessly terrorised the neighbourhood in the middle of the 18th century frequented many of these establishments on their way to Rye and the Romney Marsh. The Great House Gills Green (01580 753119) The Queens Inn Rye Road (01580 753577) The Oak & Ivy Rye Road (01580 753293) Royal Oak Hotel (01580 752184) & The Gallery (01580 755792), Rye Rd Zan Chinese Restaurant Rye Rd (01580 752424) Kent Cricketers Moor Hill (01580 752306) Eight Bells, The Moor (01580 753233) SPECIALIST SHOPS Maison du Vin, Moor Hill House, Highgate Hill (01580 753487) Wealden Smokery, Mount Farm, Flimwell (01580 879601) ACTIVITIES Hawkhurst Fish Farm, Old Hastings Road (01580 753813) Carp and trout fishing in a lake Hawkhurst Golf Club (01580 754074) High Street, 9 holes and a squash club Trewint Farm Stables (01580 752272) Gills Green, Slip Mill Rd, Horeseriding Kino Cinema Victoria Hall, Rye Road (01580 754321) Independent, luxurious cinema NEARBY ATTRACTIONS Bewl Water, Lamberhurst (01892 890661) The South East’s largest lake affords excellent opportunities for walking, cycling, boating, fishing.


Frittenden is small and quiet surrounded by farmland with fields full of sheep. The Church of St Mary was built in the 1840’s on the site of and in the style of an earlier medieval Church. There are many handsome houses in and around the village from all architectural periods. Frittenden became famous in the 1930’s for its fabled Treacle Mines when scores of visitors were led to believe that Frittenden was the world centre of Treacle Production. FOOD AND DRINK Bell & Jorrocks, Biddenden Road ( 01580 852415) Knox Bridge Café, Cranbrook Road (01580 891974) NEARBY ATTRACTIONS Iden Croft Herb Garden, Staplehurst (01580 891432) Walled garden with fragrant herbs. Lashenden Air Warfare Museum, Headcorn Aerodrome (01622 890226) Situated in WW2 airfield. Aviation museum highlighting warfare and weaponry.

Kent has long been known as The Garden of England, renowned for its hops, cherries, apples and sheep. A beguiling mix of gentle hills, wooded escarpments, orchards and hop gardens creates some spectacular scenery. It comes as no surprise that this High Weald Landscape is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty of national importance. Many of the shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs mentioned here serve or sell locally produced food and drink. The listing of an establishment in no way represents any kind of endorsement of the quality of catering or service to be expected. The lists have been compiled from a variety of sources and the Weald Information Centre welcomes feedback and additional comments.


St Nicholas Church was completed by the mid 14th century when, according to local tradition, the churchyard became a bit too full of the victims of Black Death for the comfort of the surviving villagers who decamped to a healthier site. It is certainly a plausible explanation for the Church being so far removed from the main part of the village. The Church overlooks Bodiam Castle and Kent Ditch, a natural feature improved by man, which separates Kent from Sussex. PLACES TO VISIT Sandhurst Vineyard, Hoads Farm, Crouch Lane (01580 850296) Family run farm growing hops, vines, cherries, plums and sheep. FOOD & DRINK Johnsons of Sandhurst, Lower Green (01580 850227) Sandhurst Farm Shop, Queen Street (01580 850890) New Swan, Queen St (01580 850260) Harrier Tea Rooms, Rye Rd (01580 850938) Sandhurst Tea Rooms, Queen Street (01580 850745) NEARBY ATTRACTIONS Bodiam Castle, (01580 830436) Imposing 14th century moated castle owned by The National Trust Great Dixter, Northiam (01797 252878) A 15th Century Hall House extended by Sir Edwin Lutyens and set in innovative gardens. The Bodiam Ferry Company, Rye Road, Newenden (01797 253838) Boat trips on the River Rother to Bodiam Castle. Kent & East Sussex Railway, stations at Rolvenden and Newenden (01580 765155) Nostalgic steam train rides between Tenterden and Bodiam


Getting Here Railway station: Staplehurst Buses: 297 Tunbridge Wells to Ashford, 4 & 5 Maidstone to Hastings Traveline: 0870 6082608 Car: A21 London to Hastings

Where to Stay Accredited accommodation in Hotels, Inns, Guest Houses, Bed & Breakfast, Campsites and Self-Catering cottages can be booked at: Weald Information Centre The Old Fire Station, Stone Street, Cranbrook TN17 3HF 01580 715686 [email protected] or Tunbridge Wells Tourist Info. Centre The Old Fish Market, The Pantiles, Royal Tunbridge Wells TN2 5TN 01892 515675 [email protected]

Getting Around Cranbrook is a small town with just 2 main streets and easy to see on foot. There are regular Bus services from Maidstone, Hastings, Tunbridge Wells and Ashford all with stops in the surrounding villages. Those arriving by car will find plenty of FREE parking in 3 centrally located car parks. Parking on the High Street is restricted to one hour and strictly forbidden on double yellow lines. There are many footpaths, cycle routes and bridle paths in the area.