Travel Review: Tenterden, Kent.
Tenterden in Kent is a picturesque little town situated on the edge of the Weald, and a lovely place to visit while on holiday in Kent and the South East of England.
Steeped in Kentish history, Tenterden takes its name from the Old English “Tenet Waraden”, which translates as the clearing (the forest of the Weald used to cover much of Kent) of the men of Thanet. Initially growing up around the wool industry in the fourteenth century and later made a subsidiary of the Confederation of Cinque Ports under the province of Rye half way through the fifteenth century, Tenterden has a long and active history to be explored by those that come to visit it.
The modern day town offers a surprisingly large and modern range of shopping and facilities given the size of the town. Boasting a mixture of good restaurants, hotels, pubs, clothes shops, cafes and quaint tea rooms, as well as both a Waitrose and Tesco’s supermarkets and a Sports Centre with a swimming pool; Tenterden has the potential to either be an interesting stop on a tour of Kent or act as a good base from which to explore the surrounding area.
For those with an interest in history Tenterden offers several historic churches to visit. St Mildred’s is situated in the centre of town, originally dating from the twelfth century, with a distinguishing tower added in the fifteenth century. In addition there is St Michael’s church, on the edge of Tenterden, which was consecrated in 1863, and what was originally called the Old Meeting House built in 1695, but which later became the Unitarian Chapel in which Dr Benjamin Franklin worshipped in 1783.
In addition lovers of history may wish to visit nearby Smallhythe Place, the sixteenth century house in which leading Shakespearean actress of the early twentieth century, Ellen Terry (1847 – 1928), lived for many years. Currently under the care of the National Trust details of Smallhythe Place are available through their website.
Tenterden also offers visitors the chance to visit the Kent and East Sussex Railway Line which runs to Bodiam where you can also visit the famous Bodiam Castle.
There are also a host of interesting and easily reached attractions in the area for those that wish to use Tenterden as a base for exploring the rest of Kent. A few of these include:
– Finchcock’s Musical Museum
– Sissinghurst Castle Garden
– Scotney Castle
– Leeds Castle
Recently there was also another reason to visit Tenterden as it was privileged to host the Tour De France 2007 cycling competition with a sprint to the finish for the prize of the green jersey in Tenterden high street
Tenterden is a charming town ideal for visiting by itself or perfectly situated to accommodate a further exploration of lovely rural Kent.