The natural beauty of Romney Marsh was summed up by poet Sir John Betjeman: “where roads wind like streams through pasture and the sky is always three quarters of the landscape. The sounds I associate with it are the bleating of innumerable sheep and the whistle of the sea wind in old willow trees. The sea has given colour to this district: it has spotted with silver the oak and posts and rails; it gives the grass and rushes a grey salty look and turns the red brick tiles of Fairfield Church a saffron yellow.”
The distinctive flat landscape of Romney Marsh has shaped its history. From sheep farming and smuggling through to the defence of Britain’s shores from invasion, there are many interesting things to see and do. Why not visit the Martello Towers or Dymchurch Redoubt or walk the Royal Military Canal – all created for defence against Napoleon; or marvel at the sound mirrors at Greatstone built as an early warning system to detect enemy aircraft.
For more information on the history of Romney Marsh visit www.theromneymarsh.net
There are lots of lovely walks straight from the barn, but don’t miss visiting the iconic St Thomas a Becket church which has inspired poets, artists and filmmakers, and is just a few minutes walk away. Dating originally from the 13th Century and updated in the 18th and 20th Centuries, the interior is Georgian with rows of box pews painted white.
The flat nature of Romney Marsh makes it ideal for cycling. If you bring your own bike, you can store it safely here, or you can hire bikes in New Romney or Rye.
Walking and cycling maps are available in your room.
Being so close to the coast means there is an abundance of beaches. Explore the sandy beaches of Camber, Dymchurch, Greatstone and St Mary’s Bay and the shingle beaches of Dungeness, Littlestone and Winchelsea. Details of tides are provided in your room. It is also an ideal place to take part in watersports. Kite surfing is available at Camber www.thekitesurfcentre.com and other watersports are available at Rye www.ryewatersports.co.uk and Lydd www.actionwatersports.co.uk
Don’t miss a trip to Rye which is only six miles away. This picturesque town is crammed full of ancient buildings and cobbled streets, with many independent shops, restaurants and coffee shops. It also has an independent cinema which shows blockbusters as wells as art house films. www.kinodigital.co.uk.
Details of recommended restaurants are available in your room.
Other local places to visit are the lovely market town of Tenterden, with great shops and restaurants; historic Winchelsea, perched on a hill two miles west of Rye, with lovely views of the coast; New Romney that has buildings dating from the 13th Century.
Tour the medieval churches of Romney Marsh, find out more at www.romneymarshchurches.org.uk
Visit the many local vineyards; Gusbourne in Appledore produce fine sparkling wine; Chapel Down in Tenterden produces fine wine, beer, cider and spirits; Biddenden – Kent’s original vineyard which has been producing wine since the late 1960’s www.gusbourne.com
Within easy driving distance of the barn are numerous beautiful gardens open to the public, including Sissinghurst, Great Dixter and Pashley Manor.
Appledore Station, just a couple of miles away has services to Ashford and to Brighton with stops at Rye, Hastings and Eastbourne. Ten minutes on the train from Appledore or 25 minutes by car is Ashford International with high speed trains to London that take just 39 minutes. There are also Eurostar services from here to Paris and Brussels. Ashford is also home to the Ashford Designer Outlet that is undergoing expansion to include even more luxury and premium brands.
Visit the historic walled city of Canterbury, with its magnificent cathedral and is only 45 minutes away. Check out www.canterbury.co.uk
Nearby Lydd Airport runs services to Le Touquet that takes just fifteen minutes or champagne flights over Romney Marsh and Kent’s coastline. www.lyddair.com