Towns and villages
Horne’s Place Oast is on the edge of historic Appledore, a quaint village with a post office, antiques shop, pub, tea room and 13th-century church on the edge of the Royal Military Canal and Romney Marsh. Five miles away you’ll find Tenterden, an attractive and historic market town with many independent shops, a brewery and a heritage railway. The cobbled streets and medieval buildings of the ancient port town of Rye are just seven miles away where you’ll also plenty of restaurants and pubs clustered around the harbour. There’s more history in Hythe (15 miles away) with its long high street and canal overlooked by an impressive 11th-century church. A historic market town that has been thoroughly modernised, Ashford is 12 miles north of Appledore and offers great shopping at its designer outlet centre, a leisure centre and high speed connections to London and the continent at its international railway station. There are also many villages to explore across Romney Marsh which is known for its wide expanses, big skies, sheep farming and historic churches.
Kids and animal lovers will love the Rare Breeds Centre in Woodchurch, just a ten-minute drive (four miles) away with rare breeds of British farm animals, the chance to meet the animals in the barn, see falconry displays and enjoy tractor rides and pig racing in the summer. More exotic animals including lions, tigers, rhinos and gorillas are at home at Port Lympne Reserve, just 11 miles from Horne’s Place Oast. And there’s more fun to be had on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway which operates one-third sized steam and diesel trains across the Romney Marsh. Hop on at New Romney (eight miles away) where there’s also a museum and model railway. For a full-size heritage railway, head to Tenterden (five miles away) and the Kent and East Sussex Railway.
The closest beach is at Camber Sands, 10 miles away, where there are vast expanses of sand. There’s also a sandy beach and traditional seaside fun in Dymchurch (13 miles away) while the fishing heritage and quality fishmongers give the shingle beaches of Hythe (15 miles) and other-worldly Dungeness (14 miles) a charm of their own.
Kent and Sussex are leading the way in a renaissance of English wines and, with chalk soils similar to the Champagne region of France, sparkling wines are particularly highly prized. Gusbourne winery and tasting room is less than a mile from the oast house and you won’t miss the vineyards which are less than a hundred metres away. Chapel Down and Biddenden vineyards are also just a short drive away. Plan your own vineyard tour with the help of the South East Wine Route map.
You couldn’t get much closer to the English Heritage-protected Horne’s Place Chapel which stands just across the trackway leading to Horne’s Place Oast. A rare example of a 14th-century domestic chapel, it is privately owned and visits must be pre-arranged. The National Trust’s Bodiam Castle is a 30-minute drive away (15 miles) but can be reached on the Kent and East Sussex Railway from Tenterden. There’s also an English Heritage-protected castle at Camber (10 miles), the elegant Georgian Lamb House with its literary connections in Rye and Smallhythe Place, a 16th-century cottage and gardens which used to belong to the actress Ellen Terry (seven miles away).
Dungeness is a National Nature Reserve with a fantastic RSPB visitor centre and hides overlooking water-filled gravel pits which attract thousands of birds (13 miles away). Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is managed by the Sussex Wildlife Trust and has plenty of wildlife in its saltmarshes and saline lagoons (10 miles).