Things to do

The Weald is famous for its gardens. Vita Sackville-West’s masterpiece at Sissinghurst is top of the list followed by Christopher Lloyd’s stunning garden at Great Dixter. Go to Hole Park in the Spring to see their bluebells and for delicious cream teas. In December, this is the place to buy your Christmas tree. For tulips head to Pashley Manor in Ticehurst.

This part of Kent is awash with classic, beamed, hop-strewn pubs. Among the best are The Three Chimneys at Frittenden, The George in Cranbrook (also a great place to stay if you are househunting), The Curlew at Bodiam and The Bell in Smarden. For a treat go to the michelin starred West House in Biddenden.

if it’s a fish and beach fix you are after, head down to The Place in Camber Sands with its bleached wood and jaunty stripes. It is also a chic place to stay for a seaside weekend. Webbe’s at The Fish Cafe in Rye also has great local fresh seafood. Another excellent restaurant is The Milk House in Sissinghurst. Or stop off at the fantastic family-run Weald Smokery at Flimwell with its restaurant and delicatessen selling food from its own award-winning smokery.

Kent has a huge network of public footpaths which makes it a dog walking heaven. Walk around the Sissinghurst Estate with lovely views of the garden and Greensand Ridge. Also, Bedgebury Forest has 2,500 acres of traffic-free biking with bike hire for a wonderful family day out.

Cranbrook is a magnet for sporty types with the Wealden Sports Centre where all the local children learn to swim. Rowing and sailing at nearby Bewl Water in Lamberhurst is very popular with lots of children’s holiday courses.

For children, don’t miss the Kino Private Cinema in Hawkhurst where you can both see all the latest films and hire for private viewings and parties. Or, you can just enjoy their excellent café beloved of school run mothers!