Last week I escaped to a gorgeous cottage deep into Kent in a lovely village called Benenden. My parents and my youngest sister were spending half term tucked away with plans of long dog walks, National Trust visits and leisurely lie-ins. I thought this sounded like a brilliant idea so booked some much needed time off work to go with them for a few days.
Relaxing vibes just tumbled over the cottage as this sunset swept in. I knew that the break was going to be just what I needed. Relaxed breakfasts. Chatter with my parents. Dog walks on long stretches of sandy beaches.
Then there was Dungeness. Eerie, beautiful, windswept, enchanting Dungeness. Despite the enormous nuclear power station right on its doorstep, Dungeness has a very special atmosphere. Instinctively creative and entirely unique, it is a nature reserve right on the coast line of Kent. Each house or cabin is completely individual – wooden clad, weather-beaten yet still bright and standing strong.
Mesmerising isn’t it?
The magic continued the next day with a wander around Scotney Castle. Sometimes it is good to go somewhere after no research and with no expectations. As then, you are astounded when the beauty of Autumn is laid out in front of you in beautifully designed gardens and romantic buildings nestled into the country landscape.
The main house at Scotney was built from the stones of the old castle which wasn’t deemed special enough. Whilst the main house was fascinating (and only handed over to the National Trust in 2006), I was completely taken with the old castle in the centre of the garden. With its leaning turret and tumbledown appearance, it was impossible not to draw parallels with a fairytale.
Another favourite of my few days away was Rye. This picture-book town has a similar feel to my beloved Arundel – winding streets, interesting architecture and quirky shops. I could have mooched for hours.
Isn’t it gorgeous? I’m so pleased I made time to take a few days out and go to the cottage with my folks. There was no internet connection and barely any phone signal – bliss! That peaceful isolation and the injection of beautiful Autumn countryside made me a very happy girl.
When was the last time you really switched off?