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Where to stay for visit to the south-east

Palo Alto...
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Where to stay for visit to the south-east

Hi folks,

We are planning a trip for May or June of 2013 and I'm trying to figure out where to stay. We'll have a car, but I've never driven this section of the country before, so I was hoping to get some insight from the experts!

Given the following list of sights, in which town would you set your "base camp?" We'll be coming down from London.

Chartwell

Sissinghurst

Canterbury

Bateman's

Great Dixter

Battle of Britain Memorial

Dungeness

I'd originally thought to stay around Ashford, but could we get away with staying in Rye? We don't mind about an hour's drive to our sightseeing for the day. Would it be better to stay in two locations instead of one? We'll likely be in the area for 7-9 days.

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11 replies to this topic
London, United...
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1. Re: Where to stay for visit to the south-east

Most places you mention are in the eastern part of Kent, so from that perspective there would be some sense in staying in Ashford, or even in Rye for that matter. Chartwell is a noteable exception. Although it's in Kent, it is quite close to the border with Greater London and it can be reached by a bus route that it is part of the London bus network, so you may be able to reach it from your London base, wherever that will be. An alternative is to base yourself in the south-eastern part of outer London (but within the travelcard zones) for the whole time and to use public transport for your time in London, and your hire car for your day trips in the south-east.

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Ashford
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2. Re: Where to stay for visit to the south-east

Ashford, Maidenstone and Sevenoaks would all be 'logistically' good places to stay for this trip, but they are just run-of-the-mill towns, pleasant enough, certainly, but nothing 'special'.

Consider Tunbridge Wells which is much prettier and far more interesting!

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Ashford
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3. Re: Where to stay for visit to the south-east

A good central place to stay would be Tenterden, which is a lovely characterful town with plenty of nice restaurants and other facilities, and within relatively easy reach of most of the places you want to visit.

http://www.tenterdentown.co.uk/

I think Rye is too far South and Ashford is not exactly a tourist spot, although quite convenient.

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4. Re: Where to stay for visit to the south-east

do not stay in Sevenoaks -the hotel there (royal oak) is not of the best

England, United...
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5. Re: Where to stay for visit to the south-east

You can get to Chartwell from London (as mentioned in post 1). This involves getting a train from London to Bromley South and then Bus 246. But bear in mind that this bus goes all the way to Chartwell only on Sundays, and only in Summer.

Palo Alto...
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6. Re: Where to stay for visit to the south-east

Thanks, these are such great suggestions! I figure we will catch Chartwell on our way down from London to whichever town we stay in -- that way, we don't have to fuss with the bus schedule. I'll check out Tunbridge Wells and Tenterden!

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Tenterden
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7. Re: Where to stay for visit to the south-east

http://www.visittunbridgewells.com/

Tenterden is also very nice!

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Tenterden
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8. Re: Where to stay for visit to the south-east

Rye, every time - although if you would rather stay somewhere much larger and with more facilities, Tunbridge Wells is ok. But of the two, Rye is the place you'd remember in 20 years time.

It's near Dungeness - and indeed Bodiam Castle and Battle Abbey, which I would suggest are other must-sees.

Mike

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Dungeness
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9. Re: Where to stay for visit to the south-east

If you have a car, then Tenterden would make a lovely base for most of those sights (without a car it would prove difficult, so take advantage!). It's a very agreeable little town. It's essentially just one long very pretty street, but would have all the amenities you'd need.

I don't think Rye is too far south, it's a good base for Great Dixter and Dungeness and only a short drive away from Tenterden . And it's good for Canterbury by train - a trip I actually find easier than driving. Just be aware that due to the quirks of Rye (narrow, steep & cobbled lanes), car access to some hotels right in the historic centre can be tricky.

I will throw another suggestion into the ring - Hythe. This is a great little town, nice shops and historic buildings, a good base for the Battle of Britain Memorial and drives to Dungeness & Canterbury, and excellent access to the M20 motorway up to Chartwell. Plus you have the beach.

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Tenterden
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10. Re: Where to stay for visit to the south-east

Given your interest in the Battle of Britain Memorial and Chartwell, you may want to think about including Dover Castle and the Secret Wartime Tunnels in your itinerary.

english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/…

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