Kent- the Garden of England. Amidst the traditional cherry orchards and hop gardens are an increasing number of vineyards.The three listed here are amongst the oldest in England. Starting from roundabout just norh of Cranbrook allows for access to the route from either Midstone (via A229) or Tunbridge Wells (via A262). Turn eastwards on the A262 towards Biddenden 8 miles) passing the entrance to Sissinghurst Castle Garden. Go through the village and turn right. At Woolpack Corner,the main road swings round to the left. Turn off right on a minor road to Biddenden Vineyard.
Biddenden is one of the oldest vineyards, having been first planted in 1969.It required bravery and foresight at the time, but the optimism is still there and, over 40 years later, the wine is still well worth the visit.The vineyard is open throughout the year, and admission and tastings are FREE. There is the chance to take a walk around the vineyard on one of the marked trails, watch the bottling taking place in the winery and taste and buy the award winning wines, ciders and apple juice in the vineyard shop. Free tours also run on selected dates. Teas and coffees are available in the shop, which also has a wide range of local produce ranging from jams and chutneys to real ales and specialist liqueurs.
Leave Biddenden and return to the A262. After 2 miles turn south on the A28 to Tenterden. There, you have a choice of a railway trip on the Kent and East Sussex line,or turn south down a minor road to Chapel Down Vineyard- one of the largest in Britain, has existed since 1977. There you will find another full day's activities, both in tours and in the restaurants that have been developed on the site. Look at web site for the full details.
Turning north again, keep on the A268 to Hawkhurst, then turn right on the A229 back to Cranbrook roundabout.
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