Exploring The Garden of England: Tenterden and Surrounds
The G2s have just returned from a very pleasant few days exploring the Villages of the High Weald in Kent and Rye in East Sussex. A larger than usual group( 16), we broke up into smaller sections in order to enjoy our own pace and route. Three partners also accompanied us on the trip, exploring National Trust properties and the surrounding villages on foot or by steam train.
On arrival, the first afternoon adventure was a short ride through the closest environs of Tenterden and a chance to sample the delights of the famous Biddenden Vineyard. Fortunately, there were only a few miles to cycle back to base after the wine tasting.
The following day, the majority of the group explored the chocolate box villages of the High Weald while others preferred the lure of the sea. Although the terrain was undulating, windmills and Oast Houses bedecked the rolling green and each village had its own special charm. The history of times past, particularly the smugglers’ tales were fascinating . We passed through a pine forest after lunch and had a brief stop at a motor museum.
On Thursday, the entire group ventured to Rye. We were blessed with beautiful blue skies and reasonably traffic-free roads. Rye had plenty of coffee stops to offer and despite being a rather busy bustling place, we were soon experiencing the calm of the nature reserve and the views of Rye Harbour. We climbed to Winchelsea for lunch, now inland, it was an interesting town. In the centre is the Church of St Thomas the Martyr. We were invited to take a look at the flower festival during our visit. Spike Milligan is buried in the churchyard.
The final morning, a smaller group visited Bodiam castle, a local National Trust Property also served by a narrow gauge railway.
We were fortunate enough to have no rain, few punctures, beautiful scenery, delicious food and convivial company.