When you stay at ancient Godwin House, by Sissinghurst, you are in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which is fabulous just to look at and immerse yourself as a walker or a cyclist. National Trust properties are here in profusion.
Those who seek our historical heritage, fine gardens and other activities will not be disappointed. Almost on the doorstep, only a mile away, are the famous Sissinghurst Gardens and Castle
Cranbrook’s Ancient Working Mill
Leaving Godwin House, a mile down the road sees you in the ancient town of Cranbrook, the historic capital of the Weald, with its early history of weaving and iron works. The local museum, in the old rectory by St Dunstan’s Church, has some fascinating collections. The High Street with its local shops looks much as it did 100 years ago.
The Union Mill, built in 1814 is the highest smock mill in the British Isles. You can see traditional bread making and grind your own flour.
Classic Bodiam Castle
World Famous Sissinghurst Gardens
Majestic Leeds Castle
On the drive to Tenterden a few miles away, call in to the vineyard at Biddenden for a free tour or taste award winning local wines at Chapel Down. In Tenterden, with its wide tree lined High Street, visit the famous Kent and East Sussex steam railway. From there you can take the steam train through 10 miles of countryside as far as Bodiam, one of England’s finest castles built in 1385 on the River Rother. Leeds is another of our loveliest castles and has fabulous grounds with a maze and aviary of exotic birds.
It is only a 40 minute country drive to Rye town, a strategic port in the 16th century and favourite of Henry VIII. It has cobbled streets, wonderful restaurants and shops. The sand dunes and beaches at Camber sands are few miles further east.
Rye harbour is a site of special scientific interest, supporting endangered plants and animals. Walk around the nature reserve with its variety of nesting sea birds or along the coast to Winchelsea beach.
It is only about 15 miles to Battle and the best known date of our history – the 1066 battlefield of Hastings.
Penshurst Place – Medieval Splendour
Bewl Water – Family Relaxation
Great Dixter’s Abundant Gardens
There are many intriguing walks like the Bedgebury National Pinetum established in 1925 with it’s famous collection of conifers. It’s great for walking or cycling or if you’re daring you can Go Ape in the trees.
But there’s lots of fun on water as well as the land. Bewl Water reservoir near Bedgbury has a great choice of family activities.
A novel way to explore it all is on electric bikes on which you can pedal the easy bits and the bike does the hills. You can go it alone or take a guided tour. The bikes will be brought to Godwin House.
In Hastings, visit the vast smugglers’ caves, ride to the cliff top on the funicular railway, enjoy fresh fish at the restaurants or freshly caught from the beach.
There’s a lively selection of films at the Kino digital cinema in Hawkhurst.
Fun for younger children is the Rare Breeds Centre about 20 minutes away near Tenterden.
The Channel Tunnel, Folkestone is only 30 miles away and takes about 40 minutes, making Godwin House an ideal overnight stop prior to a trip to France and beyond. London is an hour by train from our nearby station, Staplehurst (five miles) and goes straight to Charing Cross, the heart of the world’s best theatre in the West End.