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Holidays in Cranbrook

A Kentish town offering medieval buildings and beautiful windmills

UK | South Coast | Kent | Cranbrook
Nearby Bodiam Castle

Cranbrook is one of the Weald of Kent’s most sought-after towns and is known as the capital of the Kentish Weald.

More like a village in feel, it has a host of charming shops and restaurants and is only minutes from the beautiful English countryside. Nestled in between a selection of picturesque Kent villages, Cranbrook, with its sweet white weather-boarded cottages and medieval cottages, feels as though you are stepping back into another century.

From anywhere in the town, look up and you will see the huge white sails of the only remaining working smock windmill in the country, the spectacular Union Windmill. Little ones will love it as they can mill their own flour. They are given a handful of grain as they go in, and after being shown how the milling process works, they are presented with a little bag of flour to take home!

The Union Windmill

One of the focal points of the town is The George – dating back to 1300, this lovely pub is full of history – it welcomed both King Edward I and Queen Elizabeth I and it is said that Churchill met Montgomery during the war in one of the rooms there. Opposite, the beautiful church of St Dunstan’s, known as the Cathedral of the Weald, is especially beautiful in Spring when a host of daffodils are sprinkled either side of the pathway. If you fancy a bite to eat, pop down the steps to Fabios and sample one of their paninis – this little café has a really Italian feel and lots of tempting treats on offer.

If you love the feel of Cranbrook, then also take a trip to nearby Tenterden, only 18 miles away and rightly called the ‘Jewel of the Weald’. Its eclectic mix of shops, cafes and Elizabethan, Georgian and Victorian architecture makes this an inviting place to spend an afternoon. Don’t leave without taking a trip on the Kent and Sussex Railway where wonderful old Victorian steam trains will take you from Tenterden along a ten and a half mile route to Bodiam where you can then stop at the enchanting moated Bodiam Castle.

A lovely experience on a warm day is to take a tour of the area’s historic houses and gardens. Smallhythe Place near Tenterden is one of the prettiest houses in the area with cottage gardens full of beautiful roses. Great Dixter in Northiam is renowned for its arts and crafts style gardens and Sissinghurst Castle, designed by Vita Sackville-West is simply beautiful and only minutes from Cranbrook.

"From anywhere in the town, look up and you will see the huge white sails of the only remaining working smock windmill in the country.."

For an outdoors adventure, a day out at Bewl Water is a must. Stunning scenery can be viewed from foot, bike or boat! This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty offers 800 acres and is a perfect day out for all the family – just take a picnic and chill out on the banks of the lake. Minutes from Cranbrook, Bedgebury Pinetum, home of the largest collection of conifers in the world is worth a visit – just make sure that you take your camera!

Take a look at our collection of Cranbrook cottages for even more holiday inspiration.

While you’re there

Sissinghurst Castle

Designed by Vita Sackville-West, this is one of the most visited gardens in the UK

Bodiam Castle

This stunning castle sits in its own moat surrounded by beautiful countryside

Union Mill

Grind your own flour in England’s only remaining working smock windmill

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