Things to do
For seasonal updates of things to do see our blog
There really is so much to see and do, something for everyone and you don't have to spend a fortune. Here are just some suggestions.
Why not first start with just relaxing with a glass of wine, a cup of tea/cake, and watch the wildlife in the back garden. Our friendly Robin - Alf is always dropping by for a visit, see if you can spot him.
Alternatively, if you are feeling social relax in the traditional local pub approx 450 yards up the road. The Rose and Crown is a friendly local working country pub offering a range of simple home-cooked pub food and has a fine selection of local and guest real ales. Newspapers can be found the end of the bar if you want to sit and catch up on the craziness in the UK. The pub serves bar food up to 9 pm but do not leave it to 8.59 to order, Sunday lunch is particularly good with generous portions. The pub can be busy. The pub has a pool table and garden. Often Monday has a music open mic nite. If you play an instrument, go along, introduce yourself and go for it. Nice friendly bunch of musicians. The pub has a small function room and will cater for your group if available but you must book.
Beach - Whether it is to use the beach in the sunshine, a brisk refreshing walk or to fly a kite, the sandy beach at Camber Sands is only 15 minutes away, come rain, cold or often sunshine the beach is a source of simple fun. From sunbathing, a paddle in the sea to flying a kite either on a warm summer or a cold winter's day, a trip to the beach can be so much fun. Tip: Buy a decent kite if you are going to fly it at Camber as the wind can be strong at times or be prepared to watch it fly off ;o). The beach is very safe but as with any beach please pay attention to the safety notices and when venturing into the sea. Some other Beach options can be found here
Walks - At the cottage, there is a folder with local walk information including coastal. There is a great short walk directly across the road. Often you can see deer, rabbits, a great short walk. For those who would like to get some exercise, the local area has some varied walking. From 1 mile to 30 miles the choice is yours. For more info on walks call us. Cycling is good too, particularly at Bedgebury National Pinetum.
Astronomy - The cottage back garden on a clear night is brilliant to appreciate the wonder of space. If not try turning lights off, sit/lie back and stare up at the night sky once dark and you will start to see the sky light up with millions of stars. On a clear night, it is stunning. Take a look at the BBC site and see what you can spot. Great way to help children appreciate the universe. If this interests you then recommend Herstmonceux science center, hands-on science for all ages. We are not sure who liked this more us or the kids.
The ancient town of Battle and Rye along with Tenterden are all within a very short trip; browse the shops (including the vast array of local antique shops), soak up the history, or take a visit to the local swimming pool. Why not stop for a coffee and a bite to eat in the village? There is a vineyard you can visit on the road into Tenterden. The sparkling wine is recommended! You would be amazed by the number of vineyards in this area. The climate is surprisingly good.
Families and steam train enthusiasts will love the steam train, which can be taken from Northiam village to either Bodium Castle or Tenterden. The station at Tenterden is therefore worth a visit. Look out for special events here. Alternatively, Tenterden is only a short drive by car.
Canoes can be hired near the bridge at Newingden (Boat Station) . You can also take the ferry or hire a boat. If you are feeling energetic you can walk along the river bank to Bodium and then get the train back, lots of options.
For the more energetic, horse riders can ride out with local stable/horse riding school. From beginners to experienced. From tutored to general hacking. Stables at Iden.
You can play Tennis at the local public court just up the road. Contact the landlady of the Rose and Crown for details.
Two really good cinemas (Kino in Hawkhurst or Rye), seriously this is the way to go to the cinema, small, very relaxing, bar. Both are good. Kino offer a two for one deal on Tuesdays which makes it very affordable. Drop off your teenagers at either, you get some free time then pick them up or they bus back (check bus times as only run one per hour). In the evening you may even like to go or go as a family, enjoy Rye and then relax. You can easily book online.
For anyone interested in Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne then if you want to visit hundred-acre wood, and play pooh sticks where the writer played the game with his son then contact us for our walk and information. Near 100 acre wood is Groombridge, This venue is excellent for anyone wanting adventure through the forest, suitable for all ages, and a great place to take a picnic.
Bewl Water Aqua Park is great for anyone into aqua fun, runs from April. Why not book, the teenagers in or all of you and take a picnic, Bewl water is just beautiful for a long walk around the lake, park the car and spend the whole day here, there is also a cafe providing all kind of treats.
The local area is served by some fine restaurants for a full listing see the folder at the cottage and the local "What's On" magazine that can be picked up in local shops. Also see our amenities web page. Alternatively, you could really indulge yourself and get your own chef into the cottage. If this whets your appetite ask for details of possible local in-house chef.
Rainy day then for creative soles how about Slap Dash - The Barn, Hawkhurst Fish Farm, Hastings Rd - 01580 755674 offers ceramic painting, ideal for children on a day when weather not so good.
Take the children fishing? ok I can hear the nonanglers groan that sounds boring but, with the right age group, it can be fun! It is not much money and great for Dad's with children and mum putting her feet up, go as a whole family experience from £5. Child Rods & Bate available, call 01580 753813
In August, on the bank holiday Monday, the local village holds a summer fete and in some years, a soapbox derby. The village fete is great old-fashioned simple fun.
October brings autumn and the Northiam bonfire society. A parade through the village, followed by a bonfire and fireworks.
November time, try "chestnutting" up the end road on way to/from the Rose and Crown pub. Trees overhang A28
Northiam - Take a local walk up to the village shops in Northiam and visit the tree where Queen Elizabeth I rested on her way to Rye in 1573 and walk in the footsteps where Sir Winston Churchill met (Northiam Park) leaders to plan the Second Front (D Day) in the local park. Swings and rope slide for the children, take a look. Have a look in the DIY shop for a rummage on way back.
On the odd day it rains and you fancy swimming Tenterden Leisure Centre is very good. Not too far, the waters warm and the children can swim, use the water slide and wave machine, while you or the Grandparents do not fancy getting wet can watch from the terrace with a coffee.
Stroll around Rye old town and high street, your family will be surprised if not been before but Rye used to be a port a few hundred years ago but now is inland and on a hill ?
Battle aptly named after the battle of Hasting (1066) an event that shaped Britain. Good seafood restaurant in high street called Whites. Also if you feel like easy cooking but good food, visit Cook at top of high street to pick up your evening meal. Try it
Winchelsea was built by Edward I in 1283. A quiet rural town with just two pubs, four small shops, and an old Parish church. Say hello to Spike. Winchelsea is the smallest town in England to have its own Mayor and is a doorway to some nice walks. More info can be found here, a great place for a stroll.
Hastings - Steeped in the history of its famous maritime past, Hastings formed one of the original five medieval Cinque Ports, in Kent and East Sussex, created for military and trade purposes. The original harbour was destroyed in the Great Storm of 1287 when the cliff and half of Hastings Castle built by William the Conqueror fell into the sea. However, the town retained and grew its thriving fishing industry and is today home to one of the largest beach-launched fishing fleets in Europe. Hastings Castle is a popular visitor attraction, allowing visitors to tour its battlements. Nestling within Hastings is the charming Old Town area, where original architecture has been carefully preserved and is also home to a strong local arts community. West Street is great for something to eat. Hastings is also good for live music in the local pubs and bars, you just need to know where to look. Hastings has some great parks and truly wonderful architecture of its older building. The town is one of our favorite places, it is quirky, interesting and never ceases to surprise. If you like live music Hastings great place to see a band. Look up music in Hastings for whats on. A pub the Jenny Lind has a varied music scene.
For children, there is a funfair on the front. Also near the old town, there is crazy golf. The fishing museum is in the old town on the front. The museum is free and gives you an insight to Hastings fishing paste.
A simple and firm family favorite of ours has been to drive to Hastings park in the multi-story car park near the station then take the coastal train to Eastbourne. Buy a newspaper, relax and read on a journey across and/or watch the coastline trundle by. A pleasant train journey. Once in Eastbourne spend time exploring the town then on to the pier. A simple day out that need not cost the earth. Remember to ask at the station for the cheapest train ticket option for your group. For more info
For the budding young or older scientists in the family, Herstmonceux is a definite must-do. We really enjoyed our visits, very interactive and ideal for encouraging an interest in science in the younger members of the family. Dad, mum or the grandparents will love it too. For more info
If you would like to go cycling but don't want to bring a bike then Rother Rides in Newenden is the place for you. Bike hire, local tours. Or try Ryebay e-bikes if you would like to explore the area around Rye.
If you would like to play a round of golf then there are a number of good golf courses near by. Contact us and we will share with you the options. You will be spoilt for choice.
Christmas in Rye - The Rye Christmas Festival in December is an excellent way to spend an afternoon. Santa, market stalls and crafts. Fun for all the family!
Retail Therapy - For anyone who likes shopping or would like to pick up a designer bargain then the Mcarthur Glen outlet at Ashford is worth a visit. If travelling in from Europe ideal to visit if your boat / train arrives early before check in.
Visiting London, A day trip to London is possible. Travel suggestions are:-
Drive to Ashford and get the fast train. It is quick but it is expensive
A more leisurely train journey is drive to say Etchingham or Staplehurst stations, park and take the train. It is a little slower but you will get to see the countryside on way up. It is also a lot cheaper.
Another option is drive further up and park. This can sometimes be a good option. Do some research but you could drive say to Tonbridge Wells, park in the multi-story car park and take train or even drive up to the end of one of the train lines and take the tube. Needs a little planning but it can break the journey up and you see a little more of England. Some guests have even driven and picked up the tube lines.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of things to do!