shopping and wellbeing
The contrast is exciting . Vibrant Ashford offers a cool designer outlet and modern stores. In historic Tenterden, antiques-packed shops line streets full of traditional charm.
Canny style hounds head for Ashford's McArthur Glen Designer Outlet, a striking Lord Richard Rogers designed tent-like complex stacked high with bargain big-name brands; famously its 70 shops offer up to 60% off, every day. Snap up threads by Abercrombie & Fitch, Calvin Klein, Kurt Geiger and Radley; then feast at the food court, Pizza Express or Wagamama.
Central Ashford boasts the County Square Shopping Centre, which brings all the leading high street stores under one roof. Party frocks, jeans and jewellery; find it all here. Three times a week you can rummage for bargains in Ashford' street market, while just out of town Ashford Market is home to everything from livestock sales and a general market, to Sunday car boot sales - the biggest in Kent.
Tenterden is another prime place to shop for the unique and antique. Timber-framed buildings edge tree-lined greens; grassy spaces that distance you from the world going by. Independent stores sit in historic gems, specialising in local crafts, clothes, books, gifts, collectibles and antiques. Quaint cafes provide countless places to pause, while Friday brings the weekly market - in Tenterden, enjoy shopping as it used to be.
Picturesque Wye features a regular Farmers' Market. Perfectly preserved Chilham is strong on quality gifts, local produce and antiques. Attractive Charing is full of independent shops and appealing places to eat.
The workshops and showrooms of the Stevenson Brothers at Bethersden is the place to pick up the ultimate bespoke gift: a hand-made, individually designed rocking horse. In Chilham, browse among one of Kent's biggest collections of antique furniture, art and collectibles at Bagham Barn Antiques. Peruse the creations at Smarden's West End House Gallery, then head to the converted barns of the Evegate Craft Centre, which are home to expert gold and silversmiths, picture framers and wood turners. Perfect pamering is on offer too. Facials, massages and total tranquillity greet you at the Ashford International Hotel, along with a pool, sauna, jacuzzi and ice fountain. Luxuriate in some serious 'me-time' at the London Beach Country Hotel, Golf Club & Spa - here the full range of facilities and treatments includes aromatherapy, hdrotherapy and pedicures. Ranks of beauticians and therapists await you at elegant Eastwell Manor, where reviving, de-stressing sessions can last anything from 30 minutes to two days; all indulged in amid classical, Roman-style interior design.
If you're looking for a feeling of wellbeing, Green Farm could be just the answer. A luxury boutique wellness retreat, Green Farm offers a 'no extremes' exercise, diet and life habit programme, all in luxury surroundings. Why not also treat yourself to a luxurious spa experience? You can opt for a day visit, overnight stay or for a truly relaxing break stay a little longer!