The George Hotel’s location in the heart of Cranbrook - itself situated at the north-east edge of the Weald area of outstanding natural beauty - offers a perfect base for rest and exploration. With comfort food and lovely rooms at the hotel itself, you can be well-rested for castle and woodland adventures nearby.
A short drive gets you to any of the amazing national nature parks or heritage castles in the area – or even a shopping day in Tunbridge Wells!
The stunning Sissinghurst Castle and Gardens is only an 8 minute drive from the George Hotel. As a National Trust property, you can get free entry if you’re a member or opt for affordable one-off tickets. Formerly owned in the 1930s by novelist Vita Sackville-West and her husband, diplomat Harold Nicolson. It was largely a ruin when they bought it, but you can now see an intimate glimpse into the glamorous lives of 30s socialites. The Elizabethan Tower, one of the remaining parts of the original castle, offers stunning views of the Weald.
From Tenterden, you can also explore the rail yard for the Kent & East Sussex Railway - or even enjoy a nostalgic trip through 10 miles of stunning countryside, complete with steam train! The route runs from Tenterden to the medieval ruins of Bodiam Castle. The beautifully-restored coaches & locomotives are genuine Victorian wonders and are a rare glimpse into a bygone age.
Designed by six times major winner, Nick Faldo, Chart Hills is one of the finest golf courses in Kent. Recently awarded a place in the Rolex Top 1000 Courses in the World, it has also remained in the top 100 courses in the UK and Ireland. With several feature holes including the island 17th and the longest bunker in Europe, The Anaconda on the 5th, Chart Hills is a course every golfer will want to play.
Great Dixter in Northiam, East Sussex, is a romantic recreation of a medieval manor house, complete with great hall, parlour, solar and yeoman's hall. The famous gardens, designed by architects Edwin Lutyens and Nathaniel Lloyd, is in the arts and crafts style, featuring topiary, a long border, an orchard and wild flower meadow.
Built in the early 16th century, Smallhythe Place was purchased by renowned Victorian actress Ellen Terry in 1899. Her daughter Edith Craig, set up the museum in 1929 which houses a fascinating collection highlighting Ellen Terry's extraordinary career and unconventional personal life. Now owned by the National Trust, Smallhythe Place includes a beautiful cottage garden and a charming 17th century thatched Barn Theatre which provides an opportunity to attend a show.
For visitors who enjoy classic cars, this private collection specialises in Morgan 3 wheel cars, from 1913 to 1936. Hidden behind Falstaff Antiques shop, this fascinating museum is surrounded by vintage garage equipment, petrol pumps, signs, toy and model cars. All the vehicles in the collection have been restored by Mr Chris Booth over the last 40 years.
Suitable for visitors of all ages, Bedgebury Forest is ideal for cycling, walking, riding, picnics and adventure. Bedgebury National Pinetum has the most complete collection of conifers in the world, which was started in the 1840's by the Beresford Hope family. Managed by the Forestry Commission, Bedgebury holds exciting events for visitors throughout the year and is a lovely day out for all the family.
Set in 23 acres on a gentle south-facing slope in a shallow sheltered valley, Biddenden Vineyard is Kent’s oldest commercial vineyard, having been established by the Barnes family in 1969 to produce wines and ciders. There are marked walks around the vineyard plus free tours where visitors can see the presses and bottling line in the Winery then visit the Tasting Room to sample the Biddenden wines, cider and apple juice.
Royal Tunbridge Wells shopping offers a unique retail experience. Its combination of specialist shops and high street names, in a charming and historic setting, makes the town a popular destination. Cranbrook and the surrounding Wealden villages also offer a charming range of specialist shops, antique showrooms and galleries.