This stunning little house is the perfect get-away-from-it all retreat for two people. It is set in the grounds of the owners' 15th century house, with which it shares a drive, yet it is not overlooked.
The large, light filled, open plan living/kitchen/dining area has floor to ceiling bi-fold doors opening out onto its own garden . Sit outside - choose from the table and chairs or the big double sun lounger - and listen to the birdsong or go for a stroll in our large paddock.. By night you can enjoy a starry sky by the light of the fire pit, which also has a grill for BBQs - or marshmallow toasting!
The decor inside Little Bugglesden is 'country cool' - luxuriously comfortable and with nods to the area's heritage as 'The Garden of England', including vintage apple crates used as kitchen shelves and a photo of workers in a local hop field in the 1940s. In fact, the main house next door was, until recently, the farmhouse for the surrounding hop farm which still operates in the traditional way - one of the last remaining in Kent!
The cottage offers many of the luxuries of a good hotel, alongside the freedom and privacy of a holiday let.
There's a bedroom with king sized bed and garden views and a Moroccan style shower room. The bed linen is 600 thread count finest Egyptian cotton, the duvets and pillows goose down, there's underfloor heating and fluffy rugs, a woodburner for chilly nights, soft bathrobes and slippers, board games, books and DVDs, a digital radio and WiFi and all the kitchen equipment you could want - whether you want to cook up a feast or simply prepare snacks to sustain you in between visiting the many excellent restaurants in the area.
We provide a welcome hamper including milk, bread, butter, eggs, plus a bottle of wine to kick off your stay. You will find olive oil, salt, pepper, dried herbs, tea, coffee and sugar. There's washing up liquid, dishwasher tabs, cloths and cleaning products and, in the bathroom, body wash, shampoo and conditioner. We also provide logs for the woodburner and for the firepit. End of stay cleaning is included.
John is a rehabilitation specialist and also teaches Nordic Walking and Pilates. So let us know when you are booking if you are interested in knowing more. We can offer private 'Learn to Nordic Walk' stays - a lovely safe way to exercise, to discover the local countryside and learn a skill that you can use when you return home - visit www.nordicwalkingkent.co.uk if you'd like to read about this increasingly popular activity. Likewise, if you have a niggling problem with your back, knee, shoulder...whatever!...speak to us about having private rehabilitation or remedial massage in the studio, which is right next to the holiday let. One-to-one or two-to-one Pilates can also be taught here.
Alternatively, book a whole weekend or week long 'overhaul', with several hours of mixed exercise and advice on diet and lifestyle. It's all possible...Let us know what you want and we can tailor something to fit.
OUT AND ABOUT
There is lots to see and do in this part of Kent - gardens, castles, sprawling woods and forests and pretty villages and towns. We are a half hour drive from the huge sandy beaches and dunes at Camber Sands and an hour on the train into London.
Here is some further detail:
GARDENS - Sissinghurst Castle Gardens (10 min drive) are world renowned, planted by Vita Sackville-West in a series of 'rooms'. The walks through the woods and around the lakes elsewhere on the estate are also wonderful. Other gardens nearby include Great Dixter, plus there are lots of lesser known ones - Hole Park is awash with bluebells in late spring and has a lovely mix of formal and more natural planting.
VINEYARDS - Did you know that French Champagne house, Taittinger, has bought land in Kent in order to produce sparkling English wine? Kentish wine is winning some serious awards and we have some of the best producers within a cork's pop - Biddenden Vineyard (which also does great cider), Chapel Down in Tenterden, the Gusbourne Estate in Appledore, Hush Heath in Staplehurst and many more. At most vineyards you can turn up and walk through the vines and try some samples - or book onto a guided tour and tasting.
VILLAGES & TOWNS - We are surrounded by ancient villages, like Biddenden, Smarden, Benenden and Sissinghurst. Our local small town is Tenterden, which has a tree lined High Street with interesting boutiques and antique shops, plus lots of good restaurants and cafes.
Rye (20 mins) is, we think, one of the prettiest towns in the UK, with cobbled streets and topsy turvy houses, plus a great little independent cinema and some good restaurants. It's also close to the beaches of Camber and Winchelsea.
Tunbridge Wells (30 mins) - is a smart town, with a characterful high street. The Pantiles, a Georgian colonnade, is particularly attractive and lined with specialist shops (including an amazing cook shop), art galleries and eateries.
Canterbury (50 mins) - Tourists flock to this historic city, which has parts of the original city walls and the magnificent cathedral where there is a shrine to Thomas Becket, who was killed here.
WALKING & SPORTS - Hemsted Forest (10 mins) is good for walking and horse riding - a local school does hacks here. There are also plenty of walks from the doorstep of Little Bugglesden - alongside hop fields, and down to Biddenden Vineyard or across the fields to Tenterden.
Bedgebury Forest is around a 20 minute drive and has walking and mountain biking trails (and Go Ape course) plus a pinetum.
WATERSPORTS - At Bewl Water (30 mins) you can walk or cycle around the reservoir, go fishing or learn to sail (bewlwater.co.uk).
The lake at Lydd, near Camber Sands, offers wakeboarding, waterskiing, jet skiing, flyboarding and paddleboarding (actionwatersports.co.uk)
NATIONAL TRUST HOUSES - Smallhythe Place (10 mins) is home to Victorian Shakespearean actress, Ellen Terry. Bateman's (30 mins), was home to Rudyard Kipling and his family. Scotney Castle (30 mins) is not a castle, but an English country house, with beautiful gardens.
CASTLES - Bodiam Castle (20 mins) is picture perfect, surrounded by a moat. Explore the ruins and have a picnic in the grounds. Drive here, jump aboard the steam train from Tenterden or hire a rowing boat or Kayak from Bodiam Boating Station and get there via the sleepy River Rother!
Leeds Castle (30 mins) is another beauty - belonging to six medieval English queens and used as a palace by King Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.
Hever Castle (1 hr, 15 mins), childhood home of Anne Boleyn, is a pocket-sized place, full of charm and with artefacts from Anne's life, including her prayer book.
GOLF - We have several courses nearby - including the championship course Chart Hills.