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“Gardens”
Review of The Friars

The Friars
Ranked #1 of 9 things to do in Aylesford
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Gillingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Gardens”
Reviewed 29 July 2014

Last week my friend and I went to The Friars as we wanted some peace and quiet. The Friars always seemed to be so peaceful and calming. While we were walking round we were rather surprised to see that it was not quite as pristine as it used to be. The paths needed to be swept and the flower borders needed to be weeded. It was such a surprise as it was usually so lovely. There used to be a lovely show in the flower borders and yes the grass was mown. It seemed to spoil our time there.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank mazweller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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87 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Andover, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
265 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
“priory”
Reviewed 29 July 2014

a lot of free parking. Lots of animals around the grounds, swans, geese, rabbits, ducks. Nice surroundings. Beautiful garden at the official entrance to the priory. Lots to see around the estate. nice pick nick areas. Rooms cheap.
rooms very basic with shared loos and showers, sometimes no shower but just bath available.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank squizz20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level Contributor
50 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Beautiful Haven”
Reviewed 21 June 2014

The Priory/Friars is a space full of a wonderful celebration of stunning architecture. The Chapels are quite majestically beautiful. They're authentic & rustic without losing any marvel. There's a wonderful Pottery Workshop with a side shop selling their hand made wares - absolutely gorgeous. Totally unique & quite lovely designs.
The grounds are lovely, with a great walk, there are some gorgeous old fashioned roses & flowers, pond & lawns to enjoy - all are lovely. An interesting place. Kindness being my only religion, so I don't take too much interest in the sale os Godly wares & who's God is who & accompany laws & details. IMHO - We have limited time here, so let's just share the love & give what we can instead of needing to take! Let's use any & all Godly teachings as a symbolic blueprint, a guiding light without any judgement or limitation. To unite us all in love, respect & tolerance. Saying that, I must now be kind & respectful to the cafe ha ha. The food, could be much better quality. The coffee is good & most of the time the cakes are moist & tasty. The - I assume - volunteers; all who I'm sure are lovely, seem most happy chatting amongst themselves. They're mostly helpful but do seem more interested in their time there as their own & not there to serve others - others like me & the queue of peeps ahead of me, all who assume the staff behind the counter are there to provide a service () ;o). Bless their hearts. Reminds us all how patience extends best served to those who demand it :) Love the Chapels, it's a quiet place anyone can go, light a candle, say a prayer for World Peace. Peace & Love.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Tigi_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Peckham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Missed Opportunity”
Reviewed 20 June 2014

Visited this nearly 20 years ago and was looking forward to see changes over the years. Very close to the entrance is a tea room/gift shop in a huge converted barn and this was pleasant but a bit 1950s - my Aunt was meeting me and nipped in to order a drink while she waited. She was directed to a table, even though the layout seems to indicate self-service, and waited for 10mins; no service, despite there being only 2 other people there. So she left and walked out to meet me in the car park. We went back to the tea rooms for lunch, took a table, placed our orders. Food was perfectly pleasant (although my additional cheese topping on my jacket potato hadn't materlialised and my aunt's food appeared a good 10mins after mine). When it came to paying we could easily have walked straight out. The lady "serving" appeared to be having a nice chat with a delivery driver and despite the fact we have obviously left our table it was some time before she actually reappeared to take our money. Very odd - a lovely site, a great opportunity for a really lively tea rooms missed.
The Priory itself is lovely, beautifully clean buildings and hugely peaceful. Shame about the litter the public feel obliged to dump (crisp packets, drinks bottles) and there is a rather lovely small lake or large pond, not sure which, to which a heron came down. Unfortunately I doubt there are as many fish in there as there are plastic sacks. The grounds themselves are well kept and the lawns beautifully trimmed - I can only imagine it is someone else's responsibility to clean out the water!!
All in all a lovely place to be, even if just to sit for a bit of personal space, or attend a concert or play (Romeo and Juliet in July I believe) in such lovely surroundings.No sign of any Carmelite Friars; very wisely keeping hidden!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Sally J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dover, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
493 reviews
209 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 201 helpful votes
“Bizarre retreat in the back of beyond”
Reviewed 31 May 2014

Very pleased to happen upon this fascinating place by chance. It really is strange to come across a religious retreat when your not expecting it. I felt a little on edge like I didn't belong. It is very tranquil with beautiful buildings and grounds. However I became a little annoyed and how many points there were asking for donations etc. if the Catholic Church can afford this place it can't be short of a bob or to. Charging for parking etc all seemed a little at odds with religious piety. I had started to get quite fond of it until a very tetchy old woman in the shop told me off for drinking a coke I just bought there. Then the monk teddy bears made me feel rather odd. Man these guys know how to turn a buck.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Duncan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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