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A visit to Dover Castle and the Secret Wartime Tunnels

17 June 2018
image from A visit to Dover Castle and the Secret Wartime Tunnels

We had some unseasonably warm weather over the early May bank holiday weekend so we booked a last minute trip to Kent to visit Dover Castle. It had been on my English Heritage wishlist and I was keen to finally visit after a previous attempt had been thwarted by bad weather. We stayed overnight in Broadstairs and then made our way to the castle in the morning, although it is possible to visit Dover Castle on a day trip from London...

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Visiting Chartwell, the home of Winston Churchill

7 April 2018
image from Visiting Chartwell, the home of Winston Churchill

After recently watching the film Darkest Hour, and being enthralled by Netflix’s The Crown, I was inspired to pay a visit to Chartwell. This country house near Westerham in Kent was the home of Winston Churchill for over forty years. Winston and his wife Clementine had wanted a country house for years but they struggled financially. In 1921, he received an inheritance from a distant cousin which gave them a much-needed boost in funds...

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Day trips from London - Chiddingstone Castle

23 September 2017
image from Day trips from London - Chiddingstone Castle

You can’t go too far in Kent without bumping into a castle or stately home. One of my favourite castles in Kent is Hever Castle, and if you’re planning a day trip there from London you can easily add a visit to Chiddingstone Castle to your itinerary - they’re only 10 minutes apart. And if you have a Historic Houses Association membership you can visit both for free. Chiddingstone Castle is situated in the village of Chiddingstone, near Edenbridge...

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Day trips from London - Castle Farm lavender fields

16 September 2017
image from Day trips from London - Castle Farm lavender fields

During July I noticed photos from the lavender fields at Castle Farm showing up in my Instagram feed. I looked up their location and found it was only a 40 minute drive from home, so I decided to pop down for my first ever visit to a lavender farm. Castle Farm is the biggest lavender farm in the UK. It is a working farm and they harvest the flowers for oil to be used in perfumery, toiletries and aromatherapy...

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Day trips from London: Knole

14 April 2017
image from Day trips from London: Knole

This historic house in Sevenoaks, Kent had been on my National Trust radar for quite a while. I wasn’t able to visit last year as the house had been closed while a restoration project was taking place but as of March it is once again open to the public. Over the course of the 14-month project urgently needed conservation work was done to paintings, textiles and furniture in the house, and extra rooms have been opened to the public for the first time...

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Day trips from London: Hever Castle

11 February 2017
image from Day trips from London: Hever Castle

The winter months are a dull time for exploring historic properties. Most of them close up for the season and I’m fast running out of options for places to visit near London at this time of year. Thankfully Hever Castle was open over the Christmas and New Year period so I jumped at the chance to use my brand new Historic Houses Association membership. Located in the village of Hever in Kent, the castle is about an hour’s drive outside London...

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Day trips from London: Upnor Castle

25 June 2016
image from Day trips from London: Upnor Castle

Upnor Castle has been on my English Heritage wishlist for quite a while so when we had a particularly sunny Saturday a few weeks ago I decided to take advantage of the great weather and finally pay it a visit. Located on the west bank of the River Medway in Kent, you can get to Upnor Castle in under an hour by road from London. It’s also quite close to Rochester Castle, another English Heritage property, so you could easily visit both in one day...

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Days out in Kent: Scotney Castle and Bayham Old Abbey

14 May 2016
image from Days out in Kent: Scotney Castle and Bayham Old Abbey

Over the last bank holiday weekend we spent a day riding around Kent and visited a couple of historic sites. Our first stop was Scotney Castle which belongs to the National Trust. You’ll actually find two houses here - the original medieval castle and moat from the 14th century, as well as the Victorian country house which was built in 1837 to replace the old castle. We started our visit with a look inside the house...

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Day trips from London: Rochester Castle

25 January 2016
image from Day trips from London: Rochester Castle

I’ve been itching to get out for a ride on my scooter again but lately the weather just hasn’t been cooperating. We finally had a calm and clear day on Saturday so I took the opportunity to ride to Rochester Castle, about a 40 minute trip from home. Don’t worry if you don’t have your own wheels - you can still get to Rochester via Southeatern trains from St Pancras International...