10 amazing weekend staycations in Kent
PUBLISHED: 12:34 30 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:42 30 April 2018
If you're planning a staycation with your extended family, a break with a group of friends or a special occasion with all your loved ones under one roof for a few nights, Kent offers everything from a spacious holiday cottage sleeping seven to a former stately home with 12 bedrooms
If it’s a break by the seaside you’re looking for, there are plenty of reasons to choose Deal. With its pristine stretch of shingle beach, its great pubs and restaurants and interesting independent shops, it’s the perfect place for a special stay.
And there are few holiday properties that offer what Deal’s Abbotsley does. This magnificent home dates from the 19th century and overlooks the beach, with fabulous balconies and uninterrupted sea views.
Tastefully decorated to feel like a luxurious home from home, it sleeps up to 10 people, with five bedrooms and four bathrooms. Equipped with a modern, open-plan kitchen, it’s perfect for groups of friends or a special family celebration.
And after waking up the sound of the sea, enjoy breakfast on the balcony and head off for a stroll along the beach.
The Beacon House, Whitstable
The Beacon House has a unique setting along a private sea road in Whitstable, above the natural promontory known as The Street. This New England-style property features a distinctive veranda and wrap-around decking, making the most of the stunning sea views.
With five bedrooms, this quirky property can sleep up to 10 people and it’s popular with groups of artists, writers and photographers. As well as a holiday home, it’s a licensed wedding venue.
Many original features remain, including an Arts and Crafts sitting room with open fireplace and a panelled wooden staircase leading to a galleried hall.
Just steps away from the beach, it’s an incredible spot to enjoy Whitstable’s famous sunset and it’s a short walk along the seafront to the town’s excellent restaurants, cafés, shops and pubs.
Birch Pavilion, Frant
Part of a private country estate in Frant, near Tunbridge Wells, Birch Pavilion is an impressive holiday home perfect for celebrating special occasions.
Set in 3,000 acres of parkland and with its own tennis court and pool table, this fabulous property is 200 years old and combines character features with sleek modern touches - including floor-to-ceiling windows to the vaulted sitting room.
With seven bedrooms, the house sleeps up to 15 guests. An inglenook fireplace and comfy sofas are perfect for the colder months and there is plenty of outside seating for when it’s warmer.
An ideal party house in the countryside, nearby attractions include walks and outdoor pursuits at Bedgebury and Bewl Water.
Church Cottage, Barham
For smaller groups, this chocolate-box cottage is set in the pretty village of Barham, near Canterbury, and sleeps seven people in four bedrooms.
The epitome of a cosy country cottage, the period building remains largely unspoilt and has quirky original features like uneven floorboards and crooked doorways.
Outside there’s a beautiful walled garden with a patio for outdoor dining on warm evenings. Barham has a village shop and a pub, and both Dover and Canterbury are within easy reach.
It’s set in the Elham Valley, part of the North Downs AONB, with plenty of fabulous country walks nearby.
Ever After, Chiddingstone
Once belonging to the family of much-loved children’s author Roger Hargreaves, of Mr Men fame, this luxury self-catering property is set in 57 acres of private grounds in the High Weald.
Originally a Tudor manor house, Ever After has been brought up to date, mixing its charming exposed beams, inglenook fireplaces and diamond-pane windows with modern touches like a glass staircase and a stylish modern kitchen.
The house has five bedrooms, plus an additional double bedroom in a separate cottage which can be added to the accommodation, and there’s an outdoor heated pool, games table, playhouse, putting green and barbecue area with pizza oven.
Goodnestone Park, Goodnestone
For something really special, push the boat out completely and stay at Goodnestone Park, a stately home between Sandwich and Canterbury.
Frequently visited by Jane Austen in the 1700s, it is said to have been the inspiration for Pride and Prejudice. Recently restored to its former glory, the house is wonderfully secluded among 15 acres of grounds and features an incredible 12 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms and five receptions rooms.
There’s a library, lavish dining room with seating for 24, a sweeping staircase and extensive outdoor terraces. Another popular choice for weddings, Goodnestone Park can be either fully catered or self-catering, with a range of bookable activities laid on. Although Goodnestone Park Gardens are open to the public, the gardens immediately surrounding the house are private.
Great Higham Barn, Doddington
Perfect for enjoying a slice of country living and with space for a very large group, Great Higham Barn is in Doddington, near Faversham.
This converted barn can sleep up to 25 guests if needed and as it’s also a wedding venue, it’s often booked alongside its surrounding complex of holiday cottages for the exclusive use of the wedding party.
The barn itself has seven bedrooms, but sofa beds and futons in the reception rooms can be used too and there’s also an annexe room. There’s a huge dining room seating 18 and the shared use of an outdoor swimming pool in the summer, along with a tennis court and a wonderful woodland hot tub.
Hawkridge Oast, Sissinghurst
Sleeping up to 10 adults and two children, this converted oast is as Kentish as it gets. Set in Sissinghurst, it’s perfect for family gatherings and features a spacious sitting room opening onto a terrace with views of its 14-acre gardens.
Ideal for barbecues in the summer, the outside space even includes a small trampoline for younger guests. Sissinghurst Castle is on the doorstep and it’s only a short drive to the lovely towns of Cranbrook and Tenterden.
There are several excellent restaurants nearby and local vineyards, including Hush Heath, Biddenden and Chapel Down, offer tours and tastings.
The Retreat in Dungeness
One for fans of contemporary architecture as much as fans of this unique location, The Retreat is an oasis of calm for that special stay with family or friends.
Set on the Dungeness Estate, with the dramatic backdrop of the nearby power station, this architect-designed holiday home is split into three connecting parts.
The property has three bedrooms but can sleep up to 10 thanks to six adult bunk beds in the family bedroom. A chic, uncluttered interior adds to the feeling of peace and its location makes it the perfect place to enjoy some of the county’s most impressive sunsets and sunrises. Direct access to the vast shingle beach and a short walk to the local pub top it all off. Visit www.mulberrycottages.com