4 nights dinner, bed & breakfast
Welcome tea/coffee on arrival
3-course dinner menu with 3 choices per course
Tea/coffee after dinner
Free use of leisure facilities (indoor pool, sauna, Jacuzzi & fitness suite)
Single Journey on the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway
Entrance and tour of the Chapel Down Winery with tastings
Entrance to Walmer Castle & Gardens with guided tour
Tour of the Old Dairy brewery with tastings
Single Journey on the Kent & East Sussex Railway with Ploughman's Lunch
Entrance to Great Dixter House & Gardens
We travel to our hotel in Maidstone where welcome tea and coffee is served on arrival.
Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, Rye & Chapel Down
This morning we hop aboard the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway for a one-way journey - the locomotive powers us from coastal market town, Hythe, to Dungeness, a national nature reserve known for its huge shingle beach. We then have time for lunch in the charming medieval town, Rye, before heading to Chapel Down winery. Here, we enjoy a guided tour, including a nose around the vineyards and a lesson in production in the winery, as well as a tasting of the award winning still and sparkling wines. Cheers!
Walmer Castle and Gardens & Canterbury
We start our day at the grand Walmer Castle and Gardens, learning more about the fascinating history of the castle and its former famous residents, including the Duke of Wellington in his role as Lord Warden. We also enjoy a guided tour of the magnificent eight-acre gardens, featuring herbaceous borders, pretty blooms and mature trees. We then head to Canterbury for a spot of lunch and time to explore the historic city, including the famous cathedral. Having been a place of worship for more than 1,400 years, it's one of the oldest Christian structures in England and forms part of a World Heritage Site.
Old Dairy Brewery, Kent & East Sussex Railway & Great Dixter House & Gardens
Today we embark on a guided tour and tasting at Old Dairy Brewery, which is housed inside two converted World War II Nissen buildings. We get to grips with the brewing process - from raw ingredients to award winning beers - and enjoy a taste of the good stuff. We then stroll a few yards to the Kent & East Sussex Railway for a one-way steam train ride from Tenterden to Bodiam. We tuck into a ploughman's lunch on board as we admire our scenic surrounds. We finish our day at Great Dixter House & Gardens. Having been the family home of gardener and gardening writer, Christopher Lloyd, the arts and crafts style gardens are particularly impressive here.
We make our way back towards home.
4* Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel
This modern hotel is set within 26 acres of grounds with all 126 bedrooms are decorated in a classic style and there is a lift to all floors except in the Old Manor House wing. The brasserie restaurant and bar have a friendly atmosphere and there is also a lounge and sun terrace.
Leisure facilities include an indoor swimming pool Sauna Steam room Spa bath Beauty salon Wi-Fi TV Hairdressers Hairdryer Tennis courts A private fishing lake Lift Bar Restaurant Tea/coffee in room