West Kent is where to discover the beautiful rural landscapes of the Downs and High Weald. The area sits close to London and the M25, retaining strong links with the capital. Some of Kent’s most iconic and popular heritage homes, gardens and castles are in this area including Sir Winston Churchill’s historic family home – Chartwell near Westerham and the beautiful Sackville West estate – Knole at Sevenoaks.
At the heart of the region sits historic spa town Royal Tunbridge Wells with its famous Chalybeate Spring, charming Georgian architecture and array of specialist shops, boutiques and fine restaurants. Enjoy summer jousting events at Hever Castle, historic home of Anne Boleyn and explore stunning West Kent Gardens at Scotney, Penshurst and Groombridge. This is one of the National Trust’s busiest areas. Many famous gardens and houses are National Trust owned, including Sissinghurst, Chartwell and Knole, so it’s well worth considering joining the National Trust if you’re touring the region.
To the North West sits Dartford and Gravesend, gateways into Kent and London. Take boat trips along the Thames from Gravesend into the heart of London and visit Dartford’s acclaimed museum to find out more about the famous Swanscombe skull, the oldest human remains uncovered in Europe, found just outside Dartford. The mammoth Bluewater Shopping Centre, Europe’s largest retail outlet, also sits just outside Dartford.
West Kent is close to London, so boasts excellent rail, bus and road links to the capital – Royal Tunbridge Wells is just 40 miles from London. The region is easily accessed off the M25 motorway, and within an easy drive of nearest airport Gatwick. Heathrow and Stansted Airports are also within an easy drive. Popular gardens and heritage homes such as Knole and Chartwell are just minutes off the M25 motorway and you will find mainline stations in West Kent large towns including Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks.
Where to stay
The varied rural, spa and market town landscapes of West Kent offer a great mix of accommodation including pretty country cottages and lodges ideal for year round holidays and for exploring gardens and historic homes. A plentiful selection of pretty farm cottages feature in the area or why not stay in a Pantiles Apartment in Tunbridge Wells on one of England’s most famous Georgian streets.
Bed and breakfast accommodation in the region is often boutique style and luxurious, perfect for romantic rural getaways just a stone’s throw from London. Tunbridge Wells also offers an outstanding collection of small heritage hotels, many of which are Grade II Listed offering a host of luxury extras and modern comforts in an elegant Georgian or Victorian period setting.