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Four spaces in Kent for exploring the region from your doorstep

The ‘garden of England’ is as idyllic as its nickname suggests with one of the warmest climates in the UK. Just a short hop from London, Kent is bursting with gorgeous scenery to inspire a wild weekend in the great outdoors. Stroll along beautiful beaches, visit stunning castles, walk the forests and hills of the Kent Downs and go crabbing at Herne Bay and Whitstable. If you’re partial to a glass of something sparkling, you can’t travel far without tripping over an award-winning vineyard where you can pick up a special bottle to savour with some fresh oysters or Dover sole. Immerse yourself in the heart of the action in one of our four favourite spaces in Kent for exploring the region from your doorstep.

Sergeant Troy

You know you’re on to a good thing when you’re sharing your surroundings with a few deeply contented llamas. You can even wave at ‘Pebble’ in his paddock while you sip your morning cuppa in the delicious warmth of the hot tub. If you’re still craving more llama quality time, book a ‘wander’ around the farm in their company or feed them with the special muesli provided. Four-legged furry friends aside, Sergeant Troy is a cool, cosy shepherd’s hut full of charming vintage finds set in a private woodland clearing where you can BBQ and toast marshmallows under the stars. Right on the doorstep are beautiful historic walks like Hever Castle (if you like a spot of jousting, you might be in luck) and the rolling high weald forest most commonly known as Winnie the Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood. The pretty villages of Penshurst and Chiddingstone are only a 10 minute drive away.

The Beach House

Having been lovingly brought back to life by owners Simon and Anna, The Beach House radiates the love and care that has been poured into it. Sustainability is at the heart of its off-grid design which has a stylishly simple, upcycled feel with some quirky touches like a lounge swing. The beachfront setting is spectacular with sea views from nearly every room and a huge deck that leads out on to miles of deserted sand. It’s in the middle of a Site of Specific Scientific Interest that teams with wildlife, particularly if you take the six-mile circular hike through Swale National Nature Reserve where you’re likely to spot Marsh Harriers, owls, waterfowl and butterflies. If you’d rather travel on two wheels, there's a sixteen-mile cycle trail that starts at Muswell Manor near the beach house and takes in the lively seaside resort of Leysdown and the Isle of Harty.

The Lodge Treehouse

Leafy splendour awaits in the heart of Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The high oast-shaped roof gives a nod to Kent’s brewing heritage while creating a grand, light-filled space inside, fit for glamping royalty. The Lodge is somewhere to switch off and relax for a few days – fill up the jacuzzi bathtub under the awning, pop a cork and inhale deep lungfuls of the fresh air while admiring the countryside views. Once you’re suitably reenergized, there are some gems on the doorstep including the historic delights of Canterbury and miles of rambling adventure courtesy of the North Downs Way. This famous route also features an Ale Trail where you can break up your hike with refreshing visits to country pubs, inns and farm shops. If you’d rather keep your explorations closer to home, the village shop is a couple of miles away, the George Inn is within an easy stroll or you can help out with the sheep and chickens on the smallholding.

Hedgehog Hall

This joyful, curved eco cabin is part Nordic chic, part rustic charm and entirely brilliant in its craftsmanship. There’s a curved triangular window perfect for wildlife spotting in comfort, or you can head into the ancient woodland on the doorstep that is home to deer, red kites, owls and hedgehogs (naturally), as well as the horses that live next door. If you bring the kids, they’ll love the cosy bunk beds and table tennis room, while the whole family will embrace the delights of outdoor living with an al-fresco shower, hot tub and outdoor kitchen. Spend happy days going for long ruddy-cheeked walks along the trails at nearby King’s Wood which has diverse woodland habitats and stunning bluebells in the Spring, or set out to one of the excellent nearby pubs for a hearty lunch. If the weather isn’t playing ball, visit buzzy Whitstable, Dover castle and the white cliffs a short drive away.