What better way to start the day than by exploring the beautiful Kentish countryside around Tenterden. Head towards Biddenden Vineyards, well known for its award-winning wines, Kentish ciders and juices. Stop for morning coffee in the vineyard shop where you can indulge in some free tastings as well as stocking up on a selection of quality local products. And get back to nature with a stroll around the 24 acre vineyard.
Close by is the picturesque village of Biddenden, famous for the Biddenden Maids, twin sisters Elisa and Mary Chulkhurst who were conjoined twins born in 1100 and who lived for 34 years. Biddenden is also home to The West House, a Michelin-star restaurant owned and run by Graham Garrett, as well as tea shops and pubs, all set along the charming High Street which is lined with latticed windowed Flemish weavers cottages.
Twelve varieties of grape are grown across 23 acres of gentle south facing slopes, producing award-winning white, red, rosé, sweet and sparkling quality English wines. Ortega, Biddenden’s signature wine, accounts for approximately half of the vineyard.
The Vineyard Shop is open year-round and well stocked with Biddenden’s own ranges alongside specially selected local & artisan food & drink products. From May - September, Self-Guided Tours run daily and include a guide booklet and tasting flight of 3 or 6 wines, with no need to book, simply purchase from the Vineyard Shop on arrival.
T: 01580 291726
A typical English Village, set in the picturesque countryside of Kent. Flemish weavers cottages stretch the full length of the historic High Street. You can enjoy the rustic beauty of the village and learn about the legend of the Bidden Maids, Elisa and Mary Chulkhurst, who were twin sisters born in 1100 and joined at the shoulders and hips. After the passing of the sisters, they pledged the profits from the 20 acers of land they owned to be used to provide a dole of bread, cheese and beer to the poor each Easter.
Stay in Biddenden for a spot of lunch or alternatively, head over to Tenterden, often described as the ‘Jewel of the Weald’. Tenterden is a charming typically English country town chock-full of history, architecture and excellent shopping. It's an ideal spot for lunch, with its wealth of traditional pubs, tearooms and restaurants dotted along the High Street that cater for most tastes.
The Tenterden area is home to an array of orchards and vineyards, offering visitors a remarkable choice of top-class wines and ciders. There's plenty to chose from, in fact, there's so many you're one day itinerary could easily turn into two day. Once wine lover get a taste for the region, they return again and again to sample the abundance of tours and tastings on offer.
A number of smaller wine growers are also featured in our Cheers wine trail, look them up for opening times, tours and tastings.
Just a two mile drive from Tenterden is the Chapel Down Winery located at Smallhythe. Chapel Down is England’s leading wine producer offering a world-class range of sparkling and still wines, together with an award-winning range of Curious beer and cider. A guided tour followed by tastings is a must.
T: 01580 766111
If you missed lunch in Tenterden, the Swan at Chapel Down is a family-friendly restaurant with Terrace dining. Experience the finest locally and regionally-sourced produce, cooked to perfection, in an elegant, relaxed and informal environment. Afternoon teas and dinner options are also waiting to be experienced.
T: 01580 761616
And if you’re still thirsty for more, the Hush Heath Estate at Staplehurst is also a must. Amidst the 400 acre estate, which you are welcome to explore, is the 40 acres of vines that creates vibrant, fruity wines. Pre-booking is essential if you wish to take a guided tour, or simply turn up for a tasting.
T: 01622 832794
If you’re planning your trip in advance there’s even more to discover. Gusbourne Estate at Appledore is becoming known as a producer for modern English sparkling wines that feature on the menus of some of the country’s finest restaurants. Book a tour and tasting in the ultra-modern Nest tasting room.
T: 01233 884680
Woodchurch Wines is another relatively new award-winning wine maker who are quickly becoming know for the quality of their English Sparkling wine which they first released in 2015. They are open Saturdays and Sundays, 11am-5pm. Private tours are also available by appointment throughout the year.
T: 07796 693935