British Isles Slow Travel

The best self-catering accommodation in Kent

From rustic gastropubs to converted castles.

Bore Place

Bore Place Road, Chiddingstone, TN8 7AR

Run to sustainable principles and certified as organic by the Soil Association, Bore Place is a 550-acre dairy farm and estate three miles north of Chiddingstone. There are five dog-friendly properties to rent here, from the 12-bedroom Bore Place House to the two-bedroom Small Barn. Bore Place is the base for the Commonwork Trust, set up in the 1970s to promote living and working sustainably. As part of their mission, they host yoga retreats as well as many one-off educational events through the year, from learning how to make yoghurt or keep chickens to astronomy and beekeeping. They also run Free Range Glamping with two yurts and two shepherds’ huts. Facilities include a newly renovated shower room as well as an outdoor shower, and outdoor kitchen and composting loos for the yurts (the shepherd huts have en-suite toilets and their own mini kitchens).

CABU by the Sea

Dymchurch Road, St Mary’s Bay, TN29 0HF

An old seaside camp for London kids has been transformed into this luxury village of sophisticated timber cabins built around the central brick Cabu House. The self-catering cabin, ranging in size from studios for couples up to three-bed units for families or groups of friends, are stylishly furnished and come with thoughtful touches such as books and board games. From the end of March through the summer there’s a heated outdoor swimming pool, while year-round there’s a sauna and outdoor dip tub. It’s a lovely location on a site of special scientific interest with lots of wildflowers and rabbits. Bicycles are also available for guests to further explore the Romney Marsh. There is a two-night minimum booking.

Garden Cottage & Greenhouse Apartment

Walmer Castle, Walmer, CT14 7LJ

Stay within the landscaped grounds of Walmer Castle, a Tudor-era military fortress that is today the official residence of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. The red-brick Garden Cottage is set over two floors with a pair of double bedrooms upstairs and a spacious combined kitchen and dining room and separate lounge on the ground floor. The Greenhouse Apartment also has two bedrooms (one double and two single beds) a cosy lounge and separate snug kitchen and dining room. Guests receive a welcome hamper including tea, coffee, milk, bread, eggs, orange juice, marmalade or jam, cheese and a bottle of wine. 

Mocketts Farm Cottages

Harty Ferry Road, Isle of Sheppey, Sheerness, Kent, ME12 4BG

Run by the same management team as the nearby Ferry Inn, the ‘cottages’ are the former farm buildings, ranging from the cosy two-bed Harrier’s Nest, which sleeps up to four people, to the renovated brick farmhouse with eight bedrooms and room for a party of 17 plus. Arranged around a duck pond and farmyard, it’s a pet-friendly property with simply but stylishly decorated rooms, many with panoramic countryside views. 

North Foreland Lighthouse Holiday Cottages

36 North Foreland Road, Broadstairs, CT10 3NN

Lodesman and Khina are the names of the two Trinity House-owned lighthouse holiday cottages on the chalk headland above the Thanet seaside town of Broadstairs. Both the spacious and elegantly furnished cottages sleep up to four and share the use of a one-acre lawned garden and patio. Joss Bay beach is a few minutes’ walk away as is the North Foreland Golf Club. Bookings are handled by Rural Retreats who also represent a handful of other self-catering properties around Kent.

Perevell’s Tower & The Sergeant Major’s House

Dover Castle, Dover, CT16 1HU

This is your chance to stay within the precincts of Dover Castle. Perevell’s Tower is a 13th-century gateway built into the castle walls, the upper level of which has been beautifully converted into a stylish apartment sleeping two. Nearby the Sergeant Major’s House used to be the home of the Regimental Sergeant Majors who were garrisoned in the castle. It’s a four-storey Georgian-era building that sleeps six and which has its own grounds with panoramic views over Dover and Channel.

Sandy Toes Beach House

Shellness Road, Leysdown, Isle of Sheppey, ME12 4BS

Take in the panoramic sea views from the deck of this rustic beach house which sleeps five (two double beds and one single) at the northeastern tip of Sheppey. The house’s amenities, which include central heating, runs on solar energy stored in solar batteries, so guests are warned to be careful with the energy they use and to bring drinking water. Canopy & Stars also have on their books the nearby Beach House which sleeps four and is so beautifully decorated by its professional designer owner that it usually books out for the season.  

Shingle House

Dungeness Road, Dungeness, TN29 9NE

London-based Living Architecture commissions carefully designed, thought-provoking rental homes around the UK. For Dungeness they went with Scottish architectural practice NORD, who delivered a house clad in black stained cedar shingles and timber that fits in perfectly with the extraordinary natural surroundings. Sleeps up to eight, Shingle House has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a large open-plan kitchen dining room with mesmerising views of the coastal landscape. It’s dog-friendly and you usually have to book for a minimum of three days.

The Lantern Inn

The Street, Martin Mill, CT15 5JL

About 3 miles inland from St Margaret’s Bay and a short walk from Martin Mill train station, this gem of a country gastropub offers a couple of overnight options. There is a spacious two-bed self-catering apartment over the inn. It shares the pub’s dark, old member’s club vibe with quirky touches such as a royal jubilee crockery in the well-equipped kitchen and an antique gramophone in the lounge. Out in the beer garden you can bed-down in a hand-crafted yurt that comes with a wood burner to keep it cosy and a Moroccan-style lantern for extra ambiance. 

Wi Wurri

Off Dungeness Road, Dungeness, TN29 9ND

An old fisherman’s cottage at the heart of Dungeness’s cluster of has been upgraded to make this cosy holiday let. Wood-lined throughout it has two double bedrooms both en suite, one with a shower, the other with a bath. There’s a wood-burning stove and a suntrap deck to the rear. Bookings are for blocks of three days or a week.

More information

For more information, see Simon Richmond’s guide: