Emma’s guide to Tenterden and beyond!

Emma
Emma’s guide to Tenterden and beyond!

Sightseeing

These world famous gardens were created as a series of 'rooms' by writer Vita Sackville-West in the 1920s (you can also see her study). They are now open during weekends in winter as well as all week during spring/summer/autumn. Amazing walks around the huge estate with its woods, lakes and orchards, too. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sissinghurst-castle-garden Other famous gardens nearby include Great Dixter at Northiam plus there are lesser known ones - such as Hole Park near Rolvenden – 16 acres of gardens, awash with bluebells in late spring and with a lovely mix of formal and more natural planting - limited opening so check before you visit.
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Sissinghurst Castle Garden
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These world famous gardens were created as a series of 'rooms' by writer Vita Sackville-West in the 1920s (you can also see her study). They are now open during weekends in winter as well as all week during spring/summer/autumn. Amazing walks around the huge estate with its woods, lakes and orchards, too. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sissinghurst-castle-garden Other famous gardens nearby include Great Dixter at Northiam plus there are lesser known ones - such as Hole Park near Rolvenden – 16 acres of gardens, awash with bluebells in late spring and with a lovely mix of formal and more natural planting - limited opening so check before you visit.
Pre-book a tour and tasting to get the most out of a visit. Chapel Down is best known for its white and sparkling wine (their Rosé Brut is our favourite). There's also a good onsite restaurant - The Swan. www.chapeldown.com Kent wine is winning some serious awards at the moment and there are many other vineyards within a cork's pop of the property - Biddenden Vineyard (which also does great cider and apple juice) is a half hour walk and it's an easy drive to the Gusborne Estate, Hush Heath and many more. At some vineyards you can turn up, walk around the vines and do a casual tasting, at others you should book onto a guided tour. Check websites for details - biddendenvineyards.com, www.gusbourne.com, www.hushheath.com
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Chapel Down
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Pre-book a tour and tasting to get the most out of a visit. Chapel Down is best known for its white and sparkling wine (their Rosé Brut is our favourite). There's also a good onsite restaurant - The Swan. www.chapeldown.com Kent wine is winning some serious awards at the moment and there are many other vineyards within a cork's pop of the property - Biddenden Vineyard (which also does great cider and apple juice) is a half hour walk and it's an easy drive to the Gusborne Estate, Hush Heath and many more. At some vineyards you can turn up, walk around the vines and do a casual tasting, at others you should book onto a guided tour. Check websites for details - biddendenvineyards.com, www.gusbourne.com, www.hushheath.com
Rye is, we think, one of the prettiest towns in the UK, with cobbled streets and topsy turvy houses, plus a great little independent cinema and some good restaurants. It's also close to the vast sandy beach at Camber and the pebbly one at Winchelsea. 25 minute drive. www.visit1066country.com
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Rye
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Rye is, we think, one of the prettiest towns in the UK, with cobbled streets and topsy turvy houses, plus a great little independent cinema and some good restaurants. It's also close to the vast sandy beach at Camber and the pebbly one at Winchelsea. 25 minute drive. www.visit1066country.com
This perfect little village, near Rye, is like something from the Truman Show. Impossibly pretty houses are laid out in a medieval ‘grid’ system and the village has a fascinating history. There’s one charming little grocery shop-cum-coffee-shop, one pub and a lovely church. Don’t miss the graveyard where Spike Milligan is buried. His epiphet reads ‘I told you I was ill’ in Gaelic. The village is on a hill, about 1.5 miles from Winchelsea Beach. 30 minute drive from us. www.visit1066country.com
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Winchelsea
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This perfect little village, near Rye, is like something from the Truman Show. Impossibly pretty houses are laid out in a medieval ‘grid’ system and the village has a fascinating history. There’s one charming little grocery shop-cum-coffee-shop, one pub and a lovely church. Don’t miss the graveyard where Spike Milligan is buried. His epiphet reads ‘I told you I was ill’ in Gaelic. The village is on a hill, about 1.5 miles from Winchelsea Beach. 30 minute drive from us. www.visit1066country.com
We are surrounded by ancient villages, with lots of gorgeous medieval architecture, like Biddenden, Smarden, Benenden and Sissinghurst. Our local town, Tenterden, has a lovely tree-lined high street, with interesting boutiques and antique shops plus lots of restaurants, pubs and cafes
Biddenden
We are surrounded by ancient villages, with lots of gorgeous medieval architecture, like Biddenden, Smarden, Benenden and Sissinghurst. Our local town, Tenterden, has a lovely tree-lined high street, with interesting boutiques and antique shops plus lots of restaurants, pubs and cafes
A smart town, with a characterful old high street. The Pantiles, a Georgian colonnade, is particularly attractive and lined with specialist shops (including an amazing cook shop), art galleries and restaurants. 30 minute drive. www.visittunbridgewells.com
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Royal Tunbridge Wells
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A smart town, with a characterful old high street. The Pantiles, a Georgian colonnade, is particularly attractive and lined with specialist shops (including an amazing cook shop), art galleries and restaurants. 30 minute drive. www.visittunbridgewells.com
Tourists flock to this historic city, which has parts of the original city walls and the magnificent cathedral where there is a shrine to Thomas Becket, who was killed here. We highly recommend The Goods Shed for coffee, drinks, food - there are food stalls and an excellent restaurant. 45 minute drive. www.canterbury.co.uk
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Canterbury
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Tourists flock to this historic city, which has parts of the original city walls and the magnificent cathedral where there is a shrine to Thomas Becket, who was killed here. We highly recommend The Goods Shed for coffee, drinks, food - there are food stalls and an excellent restaurant. 45 minute drive. www.canterbury.co.uk
The Old Town has a warren of little streets and some great independent and vintage shops, restaurants and cafes. You can also take the funicular up to Hastings Castle and the Hastings Country Park for scenic clifftop walks. 40 minute drive. www.visit1066country.com
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Hastings
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The Old Town has a warren of little streets and some great independent and vintage shops, restaurants and cafes. You can also take the funicular up to Hastings Castle and the Hastings Country Park for scenic clifftop walks. 40 minute drive. www.visit1066country.com
Picture perfect castle, surrounded by a moat - explore the ruins and have a picnic in the grounds. 20 minute drive. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodiam-castle Drive here, jump aboard the steam train from Tenterden or catch the ferry along the River Rother from Bodiam Boating Station (15 min drive) www.bodiamboatingstation.co.uk
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Bodiam Castle
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Picture perfect castle, surrounded by a moat - explore the ruins and have a picnic in the grounds. 20 minute drive. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodiam-castle Drive here, jump aboard the steam train from Tenterden or catch the ferry along the River Rother from Bodiam Boating Station (15 min drive) www.bodiamboatingstation.co.uk
Another beauty - belonging to six medieval English queens and used as a palace by King Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. You can tour the inside of the castle plus the extensive grounds. 25 min drive. www.leeds-castle.com
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Leeds Castle
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Another beauty - belonging to six medieval English queens and used as a palace by King Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon. You can tour the inside of the castle plus the extensive grounds. 25 min drive. www.leeds-castle.com
Do an ‘African safari’ at the excellent Port Lympne Reserve, which has large enclosures and lots to see. 35 minute drive. www.aspinallfoundation.org/port-lympne/
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Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve
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Do an ‘African safari’ at the excellent Port Lympne Reserve, which has large enclosures and lots to see. 35 minute drive. www.aspinallfoundation.org/port-lympne/
Smallhythe Place was home to Victorian Shakespearean actress, Ellen Terry. There are often outdoor theatre performances. 10 minute drive. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/smallhythe-place. Also within easy driving distance is Bateman's. We love it here - was home to Rudyard Kipling and his family. 30 min drive. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/batemans Scotney Castle, is not a castle, but an English country house, with beautiful gardens. 25 min drive. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/scotney-castle
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National Trust - Smallhythe Place
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Smallhythe Place was home to Victorian Shakespearean actress, Ellen Terry. There are often outdoor theatre performances. 10 minute drive. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/smallhythe-place. Also within easy driving distance is Bateman's. We love it here - was home to Rudyard Kipling and his family. 30 min drive. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/batemans Scotney Castle, is not a castle, but an English country house, with beautiful gardens. 25 min drive. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/scotney-castle
Vast sandy beach backed by dunes. Great place for sun, salty swims and picnics in the summer (with plenty of room for beach games) and for windswept walks year round
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Camber Sands
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Vast sandy beach backed by dunes. Great place for sun, salty swims and picnics in the summer (with plenty of room for beach games) and for windswept walks year round

Shopping

Our local town has a beautiful, tree-lined high street. Our favourite shops are Rising Star (next to the Woolpack Pub) which sells unusual antiques and bric-a-brac and Woodcocks (near Waitrose) for smart homewares. There’s also a seriously good chocolate shop – Coco at Truffles – at the far end of the high street. Tenterden has Waitrose and Tesco supermarkets
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Tenterden
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Our local town has a beautiful, tree-lined high street. Our favourite shops are Rising Star (next to the Woolpack Pub) which sells unusual antiques and bric-a-brac and Woodcocks (near Waitrose) for smart homewares. There’s also a seriously good chocolate shop – Coco at Truffles – at the far end of the high street. Tenterden has Waitrose and Tesco supermarkets
Tunbridge Wells has a lovely old high street with some upmarket chains (White Company, Mint Velvet etc) as well as independent boutiques. The Royal Victoria Place shopping centre has known names as well as a Fenwicks.
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Royal Tunbridge Wells
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Tunbridge Wells has a lovely old high street with some upmarket chains (White Company, Mint Velvet etc) as well as independent boutiques. The Royal Victoria Place shopping centre has known names as well as a Fenwicks.
Discount designer fashion and homewares can be found here. 30 minute drive. https://www.mcarthurglen.com/en/outlets/uk/designer-outlet-ashford/
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Ashford Designer Outlet
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Discount designer fashion and homewares can be found here. 30 minute drive. https://www.mcarthurglen.com/en/outlets/uk/designer-outlet-ashford/
This is the place to come for vintage finds and smaller, niche, designers. A G Hendy & Co is our favourite store – a hugely evocative Georgian shop that sells new and vintage equipment for the kitchen, including every variety of brush imaginable (may not sound exciting but guarantee you won’t leave without buying something!). There is also a tiny back room restaurant, open for lunch during July-September weekends. It serves up the fish of the day, fresh from the boats that morning, as well as vegetarian options. 40 minute drive. www.visit1066country.com
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Hastings Old Town
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This is the place to come for vintage finds and smaller, niche, designers. A G Hendy & Co is our favourite store – a hugely evocative Georgian shop that sells new and vintage equipment for the kitchen, including every variety of brush imaginable (may not sound exciting but guarantee you won’t leave without buying something!). There is also a tiny back room restaurant, open for lunch during July-September weekends. It serves up the fish of the day, fresh from the boats that morning, as well as vegetarian options. 40 minute drive. www.visit1066country.com
Do a good choice of breakfast/brunch/lunch in a quirkily decorated cafe with pretty garden – Open 9.30-3.30 Wed-Sun only. 6 min drive. www.bloomsburysbiddenden.com
Bloomsburys Biddenden
Do a good choice of breakfast/brunch/lunch in a quirkily decorated cafe with pretty garden – Open 9.30-3.30 Wed-Sun only. 6 min drive. www.bloomsburysbiddenden.com
This organic farm is only a few minutes drive away (or a 25 min walk) and stocks meat, dairy products, fruit, veg and more plus there’s a small onsite café. www.silcocksfarm-organics.co.uk
Silcocks Farm Shop and Cafe
This organic farm is only a few minutes drive away (or a 25 min walk) and stocks meat, dairy products, fruit, veg and more plus there’s a small onsite café. www.silcocksfarm-organics.co.uk
A larger farm shop with a big range of products, including its own butchery, and deli. It also has a café and a fishmonger next door to that. 15 minute drive. www.hartley-farm.co.uk
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Hartley Coffee House and Farm Shop
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A larger farm shop with a big range of products, including its own butchery, and deli. It also has a café and a fishmonger next door to that. 15 minute drive. www.hartley-farm.co.uk

Restaurants and pubs

An ancient pub, full of charm and with a wood burner roaring on cold nights and a great garden for warm days. The food is highly recommended – eat in the bar or in the adjoining restaurant. Lots of outdoor seating areas. 10 minute drive. Visit www.thethreechimneys.co.uk
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The Three Chimneys
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An ancient pub, full of charm and with a wood burner roaring on cold nights and a great garden for warm days. The food is highly recommended – eat in the bar or in the adjoining restaurant. Lots of outdoor seating areas. 10 minute drive. Visit www.thethreechimneys.co.uk
A family run restaurant (until recently Michelin starred) in a 15th century weaver’s cottage. Their tasting menu is a real treat. 5 minute drive. www.thewesthouserestaurant.co.uk
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The West House
28 High Street
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A family run restaurant (until recently Michelin starred) in a 15th century weaver’s cottage. Their tasting menu is a real treat. 5 minute drive. www.thewesthouserestaurant.co.uk
The Small Holding, Kilndown – A down-to-earth former pub, with excellent high-end tasting menus created by chef Will Devlin, who trained with Gordon Ramsay. They have their own onsite farm and either grow or rear much of what they serve. The Smallholding caters well for vegetarians and vegans, too.20 minutes. Visit www.thesmallholding.restaurant
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The Small Holding
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The Small Holding, Kilndown – A down-to-earth former pub, with excellent high-end tasting menus created by chef Will Devlin, who trained with Gordon Ramsay. They have their own onsite farm and either grow or rear much of what they serve. The Smallholding caters well for vegetarians and vegans, too.20 minutes. Visit www.thesmallholding.restaurant
Newly opened by the same team that run The Small Holding. We haven’t been yet but are looking forward to it! They are focusing more on casual dining, with sharing plates. Outdoor terrace for sunny days and warm evenings. 20 minute drive. Visit www.thecurlew.restaurant
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The Curlew Restaurant
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Newly opened by the same team that run The Small Holding. We haven’t been yet but are looking forward to it! They are focusing more on casual dining, with sharing plates. Outdoor terrace for sunny days and warm evenings. 20 minute drive. Visit www.thecurlew.restaurant
Cosy, friendly pub with good ale and pub grub (great burgers!). They often have live music. 8 minute drive. Visit www.thewoolly.com
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The Woolpack Hotel
26 High St
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Cosy, friendly pub with good ale and pub grub (great burgers!). They often have live music. 8 minute drive. Visit www.thewoolly.com
A former 16th century hall house transformed into a stylish pub and restaurant, serving modern, local food. Great garden with outdoor bar. 10 minute drive. Visit www.themilkhouse.co.uk
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The Milk House
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A former 16th century hall house transformed into a stylish pub and restaurant, serving modern, local food. Great garden with outdoor bar. 10 minute drive. Visit www.themilkhouse.co.uk
A bit of a trek, but worth it for its local, eco-friendly, food and rock ‘n’ roll vibe, set in a Grade II listed former country club. 50 minute drive. Visit www.thepighotel.com
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The Pig - at Bridge Place
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A bit of a trek, but worth it for its local, eco-friendly, food and rock ‘n’ roll vibe, set in a Grade II listed former country club. 50 minute drive. Visit www.thepighotel.com
Big range of food (including great pizzas) good prices, nice decor, outdoor terrace. 7 min drive.
The Pig & Sty
Big range of food (including great pizzas) good prices, nice decor, outdoor terrace. 7 min drive.
Burgers - and always a fish choice. Takeaways available . 7 min drive
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Hoof & Hook Tenterden
43 High Street
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Burgers - and always a fish choice. Takeaways available . 7 min drive

Cinemas

This cute little independent cinema in Rye has just two screens. There are no big trailers before the film, except for a few local ones, and you can take your glass of wine into the film with you. They show a good mix of big releases and arthouse movies. 25 minutes. There is also a Kino Cinema in Hawkhurst (around same distance). www.kinodigital.co.uk. Bigger cinemas are at Tunbridge Wells (Odeon) and Ashford (Ashford Picture House and Cineworld).
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Kino
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This cute little independent cinema in Rye has just two screens. There are no big trailers before the film, except for a few local ones, and you can take your glass of wine into the film with you. They show a good mix of big releases and arthouse movies. 25 minutes. There is also a Kino Cinema in Hawkhurst (around same distance). www.kinodigital.co.uk. Bigger cinemas are at Tunbridge Wells (Odeon) and Ashford (Ashford Picture House and Cineworld).

Cafés

Our favourite local place for coffee as the coffee is excellent, plus there is a limited food menu (soup, sandwiches, quiche, charcuterie and cheese boards) and you can buy more of the same to take away. 7 min drive
The Nutmeg Delicatessen
3 Sayers Ln
Our favourite local place for coffee as the coffee is excellent, plus there is a limited food menu (soup, sandwiches, quiche, charcuterie and cheese boards) and you can buy more of the same to take away. 7 min drive
A buzzy atmosphere – you might need to queue for a table at busy times. They do healthy and not so healthy lunches and afternoon teas in the heart of Tunbridge Wells. 35 min drive. Visit www.julietsandmore.com
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Juliets
54 High St
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A buzzy atmosphere – you might need to queue for a table at busy times. They do healthy and not so healthy lunches and afternoon teas in the heart of Tunbridge Wells. 35 min drive. Visit www.julietsandmore.com

Activities

Miles of walking and mountain biking trails – bikes available to hire if necessary. There's also a Go Ape treetops course plus a pinetum. In the summer there are big name concerts here, in the winter, pre-Christmas, a magical illuminated trail. There's a cafe here. Please note that there is a £10 parking charge, off peak, £13 at weekends, school holidays, bank holidays. https://www.forestryengland.uk/bedgebury 20 minute drive from us
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Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest
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Miles of walking and mountain biking trails – bikes available to hire if necessary. There's also a Go Ape treetops course plus a pinetum. In the summer there are big name concerts here, in the winter, pre-Christmas, a magical illuminated trail. There's a cafe here. Please note that there is a £10 parking charge, off peak, £13 at weekends, school holidays, bank holidays. https://www.forestryengland.uk/bedgebury 20 minute drive from us
This huge and beautiful woodland area is very natural and good for walking and horse riding - a local school does hacks here. 10 minute drive from us. https://www.forestryengland.uk/hemsted-forest https://www.hemstedforestec.co.uk
Hemsted Forest
This huge and beautiful woodland area is very natural and good for walking and horse riding - a local school does hacks here. 10 minute drive from us. https://www.forestryengland.uk/hemsted-forest https://www.hemstedforestec.co.uk
Electric bikes are available to explore the local countryside from Bloomsburys (also see Cafes) – they can give route maps, too. bloomsburysbiddenden.com
Bloomsburys Biddenden
Electric bikes are available to explore the local countryside from Bloomsburys (also see Cafes) – they can give route maps, too. bloomsburysbiddenden.com
Championship golf course. 5 minute drive. There is also a links course near Rye
Chart Hills Golf Club
Championship golf course. 5 minute drive. There is also a links course near Rye
Waterskiing, jetskiing, wakeboarding, Stand Up Paddleboarding, open swimming and the very cool looking fly-boarding! This site also has an outdoor Aqua Park. 35 minute drive. www.actionwatersports.co.uk
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Action Watersports
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Waterskiing, jetskiing, wakeboarding, Stand Up Paddleboarding, open swimming and the very cool looking fly-boarding! This site also has an outdoor Aqua Park. 35 minute drive. www.actionwatersports.co.uk
Walk or cycle around this large reservoir or do water sports such as sailing, Stand Up Paddle Boarding and canoeing. In the summer visitors can book on to the Bewl Water Aqua Park, with a giant inflatable obstacle course. 30 minute drive. www.bewlwater.co.uk
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Bewl Water
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Walk or cycle around this large reservoir or do water sports such as sailing, Stand Up Paddle Boarding and canoeing. In the summer visitors can book on to the Bewl Water Aqua Park, with a giant inflatable obstacle course. 30 minute drive. www.bewlwater.co.uk
Sailing, kiteboarding, windsurfing and paddleboarding. 30 minute drive. www.ryewatersports.co.uk
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Rye Watersports
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Sailing, kiteboarding, windsurfing and paddleboarding. 30 minute drive. www.ryewatersports.co.uk
One of our favourite things to do locally. Hire a canoe, kayak or paddle board or do a river cruise on the beautiful River Rother. On-site cafe. 18 min drive. www. bodiamboatingstation.co.uk
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Bodiam Boating Station
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One of our favourite things to do locally. Hire a canoe, kayak or paddle board or do a river cruise on the beautiful River Rother. On-site cafe. 18 min drive. www. bodiamboatingstation.co.uk