The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Kent Edition

Category: Kids

Muddy Best Schools

13 Mar 2017

HILLVIEW SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, TONBRIDGE

What? Where?

Hillview School for Girls is an all-ability secondary school (aged 11-18 years) with academy status in Tonbridge. It’s girls-only (there’s 1, 200 of them) up until Sixth Form where it is mixed (34 boys in Y12 & Y13). The school is found down a surprisingly suburban street, surrounded by houses, and is made up of a collection of modern red brick buildings and a funky new science block. 

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Get your Mothering Sunday Sorted!

9 Mar 2017

Everywhere gets so darn booked up for Mothering Sunday – as you’ll know, if you’ve ever spent the week before desperately trying to nab a restaurant reservation only to find it’s Burger King or bust. So in the interests of being super-organized, we’ve decided to get in there early this year with our guide to what to do with your mother – or your children – on Sunday 26 March (I can think of a few suggestions that aren’t quite in keeping with the spirit of the day, but let’s leave that there).

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On yer bike!

1 Mar 2017

Well hellooo there bum cheeks! You made yourselves known after a two-hour bike trail in Bedgebury Pinetum this weekend. Someone get me a bag of frozen peas! Okay, so I’m half joking – we quite enjoy a family bike ride in the Muddy family and obviously I have buns of *cough* steel. But mine had ever so slightly gone into hibernation over the last few months, how about you?

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The best kids’ party EVER?

24 Feb 2017

Looking for an action-packed kids’ birthday party that doesn’t leave you reaching for your hipflask/valium? Gadzooks, I think I have it! What’s more it will win you major brownie points and is good value for money. Praise be!

My youngest Muddy is on the whole a fun-loving gentle soul, but boy does he love action/army/battles. Oh and Nerf – big-time (so does my daughter for that matter). He asked about paint-balling but, as this was his 8th birthday, he’s too young (apparently one bruises like a peach!).

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Want a weekend escape?

23 Feb 2017

One of the big benefits of Muddy tottering its way into so many counties (er, 17 since you asked!) is that we have a raft of on-the-ground experts, squirrelling out the coolest, most useful stuff for the rest of us to plunder. Case in point – beach cottages. Thought about renting one this summer? Yeah me too. So allow me to lay before you a sandy smorgasbord from the Muddy regional editors – 14 beautiful beach properties for the bucket and spade brigade.

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Muddy Best Schools

8 Feb 2017

SUTTON VALENCE PREP SCHOOL, NR MAIDSTONE

What? Where?

Sutton Valence Prep School is a co-educational day prep school in Chart Sutton, just south of Maidstone, in a wonderful countryside setting, not far from the Senior School of the same name. The original building, above, is a grand red brick mansion and the rest of the school is housed in sympathetic modern buildings. There’s around 320 boys and girls (split pretty evenly around half of each) aged 3-11 years roaming in rural playing fields and woodland.

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SPECIAL MUDDY DEAL ON A FOREST HOLIDAY!

12 Jan 2017

Some of you may be doing dry January – *groan* – but the weather certainly isn’t. And the half-term break feels forever away. It’s weeks like this that I take solace by gorging myself on potential holidays. Hot summer holidays in exotic climes with Rufus Sewell (if he’ll only stop moaning on and on about how he desires me), cool city breaks with Mr Muddy, gorgeous cottages in rugged climes for walking hols with my galpals and for family time in the UK, something luxe but active, rural but not too holiday campish.

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Muddy eats: The Barrow House

5 Jan 2017

Yup, it’s pretty chilly at the mo, but if anything can lure me outside it is a scenic stroll and a roaring pub fire. And it was on one of those gloriously clear, yet crisp, days that I discovered this perfect walk/lunch combo at The Barrow House, a gorgeous new pub in Egerton from the team behind ever popular The Milk House in Sissinghurst.

Egerton sits not far from the M20, almost exactly half way between Ashford and Maidstone – or if you’re coming from west Kent, just up past Headcorn.

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Muddy Best Schools Guide: Bethany School

1 Jan 2017

BETHANY SCHOOL, GOUDHURST

What? Where? Bethany school is a wonderfully rural, independent secondary school for pupils aged 11 – 18 in Goudhurst, near Cranbrook, in the picturesque Weald of Kent. A non-selective school, which is big on pastoral care and space and small on class sizes. It’s a co-educational school with 345 kids (242 boys, 103 girls – used to be a boys school but number of girls is increasing), in a very sizeable and stunning 60 acres of grounds.

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Review: ‘Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs’, Assembly Hall Theatre

17 Dec 2016

I’m just back from the Assembly Hall Theatre and onto my computer to give you my hot-off-the-panto press verdict on Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs starring comedienne, actress and all-round national treasure, Su Pollard as the Wicked Queen. To put it succinctly – because I’m knackered! – I think you’ll love it. There, shall I go to bed now? What do you mean no?!

Most pantos cover all the predicable bases of including a couple of strong singers, a couple of strong actors (oh, a bridge too far?) a cross-dresser, (in this case Nurse Dolly Cough Drop) and core of well-drilled, over-extended backing dancers.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Kent Edition