Category: Day Trips
Have you given a thought to summer camping yet? Those yurts, lodges and cool glampy sites get booked up waaaaay in advance, so to give you the early heads up, here are the 25 best places to start your search, as chosen by the people in the know – the regional Muddy editors.
Hollington Park Clamping ,Woollen Hill, nr Newbury
If you love the idea of getting back to basics, but can’t quite bring yourself to sleep on a deflating air mattress, pitch up at Hollington Park Glamping near Newbury.
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).
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?
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.
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching (wahhhhh!). I always find it a tricky one to plan for, do you? I’m not massively keen on sitting in a restaurant along with a million other couples, gazing into each other’s eyes (Naff) playing romance-by-rote, being handed a soggy rose (Naff. And if you’re gonna do it, get me 24 will you?)… Red underwear? Double naff (and also a bit Kat Slater). Chocolate? Unoriginal (but edible at least).
So if you’re like me, and looking for something a bit less cringe/traditional and a bit more fun, here are some alternative, non-cheesy Valentine’s ideas that will help you feel the love…
Clifftop walk and stay at the White Cliffs Hotel, Dover
There is something so stirring and stunning about the Dover coastline – the raw natural beauty of those majestic white cliffs gets me every time.
Quite frankly the only thing likely to entice me outside at this time of year is a cosy Kent pub, roaring fire and good old Sunday roast. Sometimes we squeeze in a quick walk first (if we’re feeling particularly game and I’m wearing the prerequisite double-sock-layer-system). Afterwards we seek out the ultimate reward – mouth-watering meats, glorious gravy, yummy Yorkshires and all the trimmings. Here’s my pick of some of the best pubs (which happen to have great walks near by) to try:
Kings Head, Wye
There’s a lot to love about the King’s Head.
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.
I’ll admit it, most of our weekends are taken up with taxi-ing the mudlets to various clubs or birthday parties and dealing with housework, homework and hangovers. But every now and then I insist on a day trip that takes us away from the routine of the rat race. Which is how we ended up at Leeds Castle Christmas Market this Sunday with its chocolate box cute fun-fair rides for the minis, gorgeous, boutique shopping stalls for the adults – followed by a slap up Sunday lunch (with red wine) in one of my fave places to eat.
I can happily say that there are many, many wonderful places to eat in Kent (and my waistband will back me up here) – not just the ones that made it into this year’s Michelin food list.
However those that did deserve a special mention and a special journey. So, here’s where the stars are falling in Kent and our surrounds for 2017. These local gems should be on every foodie fan’s bucket list of places to eat and – just in case you need even more pursuading – I’ll be making my way down the list and reviewing them over the months to come.
I’ve been keen to have a nosey around the much anticipated One Warwick Park Hotel in Tunbridge Wells since it opened in June. Sadly the launch party, which I was lucky enough to have been invited to, clashed with the Muddy Awards drinks (the highlight of my calendar, obvs!) so I couldn’t go. But actually to get a true measure of any place you can’t just see it at a launch night – no, you have to arrive screeching through the door 10 mins late because your dental appointment over-ran, followed by a long work call you couldn’t cut short and then total ineptitude about parking your car.