The Jewel of the Weald
Nestling in the heart of the Weald, Tenterden known as ‘the jewel of the Weald’ is celebrated as one of Kent’s most attractive towns, with plenty of historic buildings and attractions that bring visitors from far and wide.
During the 14th century it was a thriving centre for weaving and later had national importance as a hub for shipbuilding in the town’s river ports of Reading Street and Smallhythe. Today Smallhythe Place, the former home of Dame Ellen Terry is open to the public as a National Trust property and well worth a visit. You can expect to see stunning costumes and fascinating memorabilia from Dame Terry’s most acclaimed roles, all housed in the 16th century cottage surrounded by beautiful gardens.
To find out more about the history of the town you can also visit its own museum and why not steam through the Weald on a vintage locomotive on the Kent and East Sussex Railway.
Tenterden is a fascinating town to explore with plenty of characterful buildings, a mix of Georgian and Victorian, alongside traditional Kent tile and weatherboard houses. Many of these buildings, along the broad tree-lined high street, are home to a wealth of independent outlets and small boutiques where you’re bound to find something unique. If a special item from a bygone era is more your thing then you’ll certainly find some treasures in one of the many antiques shops.
You can also grab a bite to eat and drink in one of the many tearooms, pubs and restaurants including Peggotty’s the oldest tearoom in Tenterden, Ozgur Turkish restaurant and Montalbano serving regional Italian and Sicilian dishes.
If you enjoy live music, put a date in your diary for the Tenterden Folk Festival running this year from the 30 September to the 3 October. The four-day event of folk music, dance and crafts has been going for 25 years with a range of musicians performing at different venues throughout the town. A highlight of the event is the procession, which takes place on the Saturday, featuring Morris Dancers from across the country.
If you’re looking for a characterful place to stay then both the William Caxton and the Woolpack (The Woolly, as its affectionately known to the locals!) are classic inns with rooms above, for the perfect weekend away.