Located in very quiet area in rural setting with nearby historic village and situated more or less equidistant from Margate and Ashby with very good amenities and easy access to major road and rail links.
What is described as an immaculate 4* rural cottage in a quiet peaceful location in Sykes Cottages website is in fact a slightly shabby barn conversion that has seen better days. It might have been immaculate 5 years ago, but it needs tidying up.The location is not a farm with animals around. One side of the garden faces onto an industrial estate, and at the bottom of the garden seems to be a railway line with 1000 ton freight trains that run from the Channel Tunnel to a freight terminal in the Midlands, and they run in the middle of the night too. However, that was not the main problem, as we spent much of our holiday away from the cottage at varoius castles, National Trust gardens, and historic houses. We just didn't really look forward to coming back in the evenings. Having given a £100 breakage deposit direct to the owner, we were expecting everything to be really immaculate. It was not. It might have been immaculate years ago, but everything looked a bit jaded and tired. One plate was chipped, bed linen was stained, cushions on the settees were stained, the patio was unkempt and overgrown with nettles, and overall first impression was quite poor. Every previous Sykes Cottage we had stayed in had a pint of milk in the fridge, and many have had a welcoming bottle of wine too. So having found a bottle of milk in the fridge, we had a cup of tea straightaway. Only when my wife had started drinking hers and mentioned it tasted odd, we discovered that the milk was about a week out of date and had been left by the previous occupant. The fridge had not been checked or cleaned by the owner, and it is by mere luck that my wife and I were not ill (my wife has to be very careful with here diet as she has an incurable form of blood cancer). We met the owner with our concerns, and he told us that it was a work in progress, the weeds had been sprayed and he had no intention of removing them having sprayed them. If my wife wanted a holiday in a work in progress, we would have stayed at home and my wife could watch me decorate the lounge. My opinion of the owner is that he is lazy, and having been in contact with Sykes Cottages on return home (we did come home a couple of days early), he has proven himself to be a liar to us as he told Sykes he offered to take us out (presumably as compensation), but no such offer was made to us. Sykes subsequently spoke to the owner, and he has refused to pay any compensation.
Sykes have been helpful within what they can do, and given us a voucher allowing us a holiday with no booking fee for next years holiday, I know we will use it for one of the other Sykes Cottages we have stayed in, like Swn Y Nant in Tondu or Millers Retreat, Bolsover. Both are superlative places to stay with owners who work hard to maintain their holiday properties to an immaculate standard. Would I recommend Sykes? I would be very wary unless there were several really up do date reviews of the properties in question on Tripadvisor. Sykes now have some 13,000 properties, nearly all have hard working owners who are really keen to ensure that people have a great stay in their properties. But there are obviously a very few bad apples out there. And the owner of Sheperd's Farm Cottage in Lenham is definitely a bad apple. Which is a shame, as it will make people wary of booking blind on Sykes recommendation alone.
I have taken plenty of photographs but seem to be unable to put them on Tripadvisor for this property. You rely on the photographs provided at your peril.
I am not the best sleeper, but with a mixture of the bedding and tranquil location I slept like a baby.
The cottage is small but facilities are of a good standard, clean and everything works.
It is possible to walk to the pub. The view to the pond is from a painting love the variety of trees and birds.
We stayed at Shepherd's Farm Cottage during the week over Christams and really enjoyed it. We are a family of four with two teenagers. The place was small and cozy but met all our needs; we cooked a couple of times in the kitchen and it was fine. Only minor criticism was that the shower was flimsy - the door kept springing open at the most inopportune moments. The cottage was decorated in a modern style and looked fresh. It was clean on arrival and we had everything we needed.
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