The first time we took the tandem to Kent for a holiday we were surprised by its variety. And by the feeling of remoteness ... something we definitely did not expect barely an hour out of London.
But Kent is a varied county. There's the long coastline with beautiful old villages and towns like Whitstable and Sandwich, which seem to doze peacefully surrounded by orchards and vegetable plots. There are old-fashioned seaside resorts like Deal, Margate or Herne Bay.
The rolling hills of the Weald stretch across the centre of the county, while land, sea and sky blur into one when you cycle the Romney Marshes. There are castles, fine houses and idyllic gardens to explore. And then there are truly beautiful towns with long and exiting histories.
Seaside holidays don't need instructions and Kent has a lot of seaside for you to choose from. Whether you go to Whitstable on an oyster odyssee or try a traditional resort like Ramsgate or Herne Bay for a stick of rock, you won't be disappointed. Deal and Dymchurch have plenty of beach and Walmer, Dover, Leeds and Rochester give the castle-enthusiasts something to dream of. And then, of course, there's Canterbury with shops and restaurants, Sandwich, with streets that will take you back to medieval times, Tenterden with it's lovely antique shops and Hythe with stories of smugglers and derring-do.
Did I mention that you won't be disappointed? And since England's garden is a favourite holiday destination for many, there's all manner of accommodation to choose from. Holiday cottages in Kent come in all shapes and sizes. I simply love that water tower!
We loved the Weald, mostly for the fact that we didn't expect the peace and isolation so close to London. You might actually think you're miles from anywhere - and it's wonderful for cycling and walking. Meandering around on the tandem through tiny little lanes, stopping off to visit a garden or have tea somewhere wonderful... it's a contemplative sort of holiday, but no less welcome for that!
I've picked quite a few oast houses from the many available cottages... simply because they're something that belongs to this part of the country. They're not the only type of holiday accommodation around, though. There are many beautiful holiday cottages in Kent, whether they're made from stone, brick or wood.
I hope my little selection of cottages will get you started if you're looking. And if you find something outstandingly wonderful that you'd love to share - please let me know!