Search

Review: Remote Kent getwaway is million miles from London chaos

PUBLISHED: 14:33 20 June 2015 | UPDATED: 11:44 22 June 2015

Wingham is a delightful hamlet complete with village church

Wingham is a delightful hamlet complete with village church

Archant

A retreat in England‘s garden can be just the ticket, says Jon Dean

Witherdens is a series of villas dotted around a converted barn Witherdens is a series of villas dotted around a converted barn

Kent, known as the garden of England, truly is a cheeky getaway from London.

In just 50 minutes from St Pancras, you too can be in the heart of this sylvan paradise; slow country lanes, sun-dappled villages and picturesque church spires poking through lovely hillside copses.

Gateway to this deciduous utopia is the ancient cathedral city of Canterbury, which is a short taxi ride away from myriad hamlets nestled in the green hillocks - Wickhambreaux, Littelbourne, Bramley - all a million miles from the chaos of the capital, despite their relative proximity.

We stayed at Witherdens Hall, the most mellow of retreats on the outskirts of a little place called Wingham.

Kent: Truly the garden of England Kent: Truly the garden of England

After we eventually found the place (satnavs struggle to find it) and crunched up the gravel path, we were greeted by nothing so much as a pack of friendly pooches, who wandered up and gave us bit of a sniff by way of a hello.

Despite wandering around for some time, our four-legged companions were our only welcome, until a lady popped out from one of the cute little cottages to check us in.

That’s the kind of place Witherdens is - supremely relaxing, informal, accepting and basically chilled as you like.

It’s the brainchild of a former city banker and erstwhile globe-trotting musician who fancied a change of pace - now they give others the opportunity to do the same.

Once we’d got our bearings, we found Witherdens was a made up of few little villas dotted round a converted barn, with chickens clucking away in a coop, and a plunge pool being prepared for the summer.

Our quarters were in a part time yoga studio - so while the bedroom was small, the front room was massive (class size) and the place featured a steam shower, massage chair, thermal heat sauna; basically everything you need to sooth those aching travel bones.

It’s wonderfully isolated, encouraging you to do little more than saunter around, get massaged, catch up on a bit of reading, explore the nearby village and stroll through the rolling countryside - a great way to recharge the batteries.

Of course, a remote location can be a double-edged sword. Wingham is lovely, but limited, and if you want to get around without a car (as we did) it’s taxis all the way.

Cash point? £20. Train station? £20. Trip to a restaurant? £20. Basically resign yourself to forking out a bit on cars.

But that’s OK - you don’t really want to leave the compound anyway.

Our one real trip our was to the lovely town of Sandwich for a bite at a gorgeous riverside boozer called The Bell.

The town was medieval and very pleasing to the eye - despite the odd incongruous bus load of overseas tourists - while the pub was full of countryside charm and had a cracking little menu.

But apart from that evening excursion, there was very little we wanted to do but chill out at Witherdens, amid the company of friendly dogs and a relaxing, parochial atmosphere until it was time to go home - inevitably far too soon.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Stories

54 minutes ago

Labour rebels accused colleagues of abandoning the party’s traditional supporters on Islington’s council estates, after they pushed through a £6 a week rent increase.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Read Arsene Wenger’s verdict on his side’s 4-1 win against Crystal Palace at the Emirates on Saturday and the reason he took off Nacho Monreal in the first half.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Arsenal beat Crystal Palace at the Emirates on Saturday. Read Layth Yousif’s player ratings from the Premier League match on a bitterly cold day in North London

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 4-1 in Saturday’s north versus south London derby on a bitterly cold day in the capital.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

It’s hard to work out why charging more for parking your diesel car would benefit cleaner air in Islington, writes James Heron, full address supplied.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Emirates stadium was flooded with more than 500 students yesterday (Thursday) as Islington celebrated its computer-focused curriculum.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Since the play’s first outing, representations of the East End have become two-a-penny in mainstream popular culture but director Jessica Lazar doesn’t shy away from tropes that play up caricature and nostalgia

Friday, January 19, 2018

‘Waking’ centres around a single moment: a faint sense of recognition between a man and a woman

PROMOTED CONTENT

“With teenagers there’s a lot of banter, and you can really establish a relationship. You have to trust teenagers to make their own decisions.”

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now