Exploring Central Kent: The Heart of the Garden of England 

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    Kent

    Kent, often referred to as the “Garden of England,” offers a picturesque landscape filled with historical landmarks, charming villages, and lush countryside. The towns and villages in the centre of the county, between the Kent Downs and the High Weald, offer a treasure trove of historic sites to discover.  

    Travel Choices 

    One of the big attractions of Kent is how quickly you can find yourself in beautiful countryside that has not seemed to have changed for centuries, just a short distance from the bustling modernity of London. This area is well-served by railway lines, offering a choice of services to and from the capital and others.  

    Tonbridge: A Blend of History and Nature 

    Our tour begins in Tonbridge, a market town brimming with history. Dominated by the medieval Tonbridge Castle, this town is perfect for history enthusiasts. The castle, with its imposing gatehouse, offers an engaging glimpse into the past. Visitors can explore the castle grounds, enjoy guided tours, and learn about its role in England’s history. 

    For nature lovers, a visit to Haysden Country Park is a must. Your taxi can take you directly to this serene park, where you can enjoy walking trails, wildlife spotting, and picnicking by the lakes. It’s a perfect spot to unwind and soak in the natural beauty of Kent. 

    West Malling: Charm and Character 

    Next, our journey takes us to West Malling. This village is renowned for its antique charm and vibrant community. The high street is lined with historic buildings, boutique shops, and cozy pubs. A notable landmark is St. Leonard’s Tower, a Norman keep that adds to the village’s medieval allure. 

    Nearby, Manor Park Country Park offers another wonderful opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. This park, with its landscaped gardens and woodland walks, is ideal for an afternoon out. With everything from wildlife to spot, grass to lie on and an adventure playground to explore, it’s ideal for a family day out.  

    West Malling: Charm and Character 

    Snodland: A Riverside Diversion 

    Our final destination is Snodland, a small town with a rich heritage of agriculture and paper-making situated along the River Medway. While it might be less well-known than Tonbridge or Malling, Snodland has its own unique appeal.  

    For nature lovers or those just looking to relax, Holborough Marshes, a local nature reserve, offers a peaceful retreat where you can explore wetlands teeming with wildlife. Nearby, Leybourne Lakes Country Park has disused gravel pits that have been turned into fishing and wildlife lakes amidst attractive landscaped scenery.  

    Kent Downs: Lift your Spirits 

    Above these towns and rivers, you’ll find the rolling Kent Downs, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A visit here will quickly convince you of how the area earned its ‘Garden of England’ nickname. As fits their bucolic character, transport links are not as good when heading up into the Downs themselves. If you haven’t brought your own car, a taxi from Snodland or another nearby town will let you expand your horizons with all the flexibility you want, and without having to worry about parking.  

    As well as wandering the ancient footpaths and byways, there are notable points of interest here. There’s a Country Park at Trosley, preserved woodland at Holly Hill and the site of the Lost Village of Dode, which was wiped out by the Black Death in medieval times – now only its restored church remains.  

    Final words 

    Exploring Kent is a rewarding experience, especially in the areas around Tonbridge, Malling, and Snodland. From historic castles and charming high streets to peaceful parks and nature reserves, this part of Kent offers many attractions. You can fully immerse yourself in the beauty and history of the Garden of England.  

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