Church Gates is a stunning 16th century townhouse located (not surprisingly!) next to the magnificent St Dunstan’s Parish Church in the very heart of Cranbrook; a charming Kent market town known as the ancient “Capital of the Weald”. The owners, Joe and David, love gardens and the wider Wealden countryside: even their award-winning front garden is inspired by some of the famous High Weald gardens you can visit on a B&B stay. David – a retired landscape architect – additionally runs made-to-measure guided garden tours for small groups.
A three-mile countryside walk on historic routeways leads you to probably the most famous High Weald garden of all – Sissinghurst Castle; created by Harold Nicholson and Vita Sackville-West. This epitome of the English 20th century gardening style is now managed by the National Trust. A short drive away are other gardens well worth a visit, including Hole Park – with its stunning wild-garden bluebells in spring; Marle Place and Pashley Manor – both with modern sculptures adding extra interest; Merriments Garden; Scotney Castle; Stoneacre; and lastly Great Dixter – the lifetime home of Christopher Lloyd, one of the doyennes of gardening writers.
Cranbrook, itself, makes an excellent B&B base. There are many top-quality pubs and restaurants, as well as daytime cafes and a wide range of independent shops catering for almost all tastes.
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