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Activities in the Ottinge area

Ottinge is situated within the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

There are many activities available in the area including:
Nature Reserves, Bird Watching, Cycling, Walking, Horse Riding

The coast is only a 15 minute drive away with some nice beaches, fossil hunting opportunities and water sports (slightly further afield) available.

Useful information and sites to help you plan your stay are listed below.

Download the Country Break PDF for lots of information about the area.

Elham Valley Vineyard
Breach, near Barham, Kent
T: 01227 832 022

Look round the vineyard and see how the vines grow in the sheltered, tranquil valley that gives the vineyard its name. The vineyard is open all year. There is a shop on site selling wine and crafts, a pottery and teashop.
Disabled access, parking on site, coaches by arrangement

Teashop opening times:
Monday to Fridays 09.00 – 17.00
Saturday and Sunday 11.00 – 16.00). Wine tasting, light lunches and cream teas.

Etchinghill Golf Course
Canterbury Road
Etchinghill
Folkestone CT18 8FA
T: 01303 863863

Etchinghill Golf Course provides 27 holes of top quality golf in two distinctive settings: 18 holes are carved into the hillside overlooking the Elham Valley, and the par 3 course of nine holes extends over parkland. Etchinghill offers extensive facilities and welcomes families and encourages beginners.

Restaurant opening times:
Weekdays 07.00 to 20.00
Weekends 07.00 to 19.00

Elham Valley Way
The Elham Valley Way is a walking route that runs from Hythe to Canterbury, following the courses of the Seabrook Stream and River Nailbourne. The route is waymarked.
The route passes through some of the finest landscapes in Kent, part of the nationally protected Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. From the seaside bustle of Hythe, walkers will explore the beautiful Seabrook valley, see the dramatic escarpment of the downs, pass through unspoilt villages such as Elham, and the ornamental parklands and ancient woodlands near Barham, before heading towards the historic city of Canterbury and its cathedral.

Park Gate Down
Park Gate Down just under a mile north west of Elham is a small nature reserve but one of the top orchid sites in the country. This grassland site supports up to 12 different species of orchid during May and June, some of which are nationally scarce.
The Kent Wildlife Trust manages a grazing regime (Konik ponies and Highland cattle in winter) which encourages a huge diversity of plant species and prevents more strident flora from covering the site. In high summer large numbers of butterflies, including Marbled Whites and Chalkhill Blues, can be seen on the reserve.
The reserve has recently been renamed The Hector Wilks Reserve in recognition of the work of this local botanist who was involved with Park Gate Down since its inception.

Elham Park Wood
Sparrowhawks hunt here, and you may hear and see woodpeckers, tawny owls, yellow hammers and tree creepers. You may also spot foxes and badgers, enjoy the wild flowers in spring and the chestnuts in the autumn.

Places to eat out
www.roseandcrown.elham.co.uk
www.themarquisatalkham.co.uk

Cosy Tea Rooms, Elham
Traditional Homemade Cakes, Sandwiches (Plain/Toasted), Jacket Potatoes, & Soups. Celebration Cakes Made to Order.

Opening Hours:
Monday to Saturday 8:30 – 16:00
(In the old Post Office, High Street, Elham, Canterbury, Kent.)

For further Information contact Sheryl Longhurst. Tel. 01303 840344

Slightly further afield...

Gardens
Brogdale Farm is a site of National interest and expertise - 'home of the National Fruit Collections, the largest collections of fruit trees and plants in the world. Over 2,200 different varieties of apple, 550 of pear, 350 of plum, 320 of cherry and smaller collections of bush fruits, nuts and grapes are grown here in 150 acres of beautiful orchards.'

Brogdale Farm, Kent fruit festivals and events dates 2010
Blossom Weekend Walks (weather dependant) April 17 -18
Soft Fruit Day June 27
Cherry Festival July 10 - 11
Plum Day Aug 15
Nut Day Sept 19
Cider Festival Sept 25 - 26
Apple festival Oct 23 - 24

Goodnestone Park Gardens are considered to be one of the best gardens in the South East. 14 acres including woodland area and walled garden. Fine trees, large collection of roses and herbaceous plants. There are connections with Jane Austen who frequently visited.

Highlights throughout the year include:
Late Winter (Jan & Feb)
Snowdrops, early miniature daffodils, hellebores, daphnes, witch hazels, mahonias and bold winter views.

Spring (March & April)
Blossom in the arboretum, early magnolias, euphorbias, tulips, alliums and spring perennials in borders, cistus.

Early Summer (May & June)
Early-flowering clematis, cornus, wisteria, roses, mixed borders.

Summer (July & August)
Lilies, salvias, penstemons, hemerocallis and scabious in borders, kniphofias, lavenders, agapanthus, foxgloves in the woodland garden.

Autumn (September, October & November)
Hydrangeas in the woodland garden, autumn foliage and flowering trees, Michaelmas daisies, perennial grasses.

Sissinghurst National Trust Garden
Experience one of the world's most celebrated gardens, the creation of Vita Sackville-West and her husband Sir Harold Nicolson. A garden of outstanding beauty and design throughout the season, we open the tower and library, during the open season.

Historical
Dover Castle
Set in a spectacular location high above the famous white cliffs, Dover Castle boasts an immensely eventful and fascinating history.

Leeds Castle, set on two islands on the River Len in the heart of Kent, has been home to royalty, lords and ladies for almost 900 years. Open all year round, its special blend of heritage and history, glorious gardens, attractions and programme of special events, make it the perfect choice for a day out.

Wander through the castle rooms, visit the internationally acclaimed aviary and catch the daily birds of prey flying displays. The gardens offer continuous colour throughout the year, from a mass of spring flowering bulbs in the Wood Garden, through roses and herbaceous perennials in the quintessentially English Culpeper Garden, to the Mediterranean Lady Baillie Garden, at its best in late Summer and Autumn.

Children will love the Knights' Realm Playground, Maze, Grotto and Toddler's Play Area. Older children and adventurous adults with a head for heights can test their agility and nerve on the Go Ape! experience in the castle parkland. Climb to the tree tops, slide across high wires, crawl through tunnels, cross rope bridges and zip wire back to the ground at amazing speed.

Canterbury Tales
Ever wondered what it would be like to step back in time and experience the sights, sounds and smells of a bygone era?  A visit to The Canterbury Tales, one of Kent’s most popular attractions, with its stunning reconstruction of 14th century England, you can do just that.

For children (and grown up children!)
Howletts and Port Lympne
Fun Days Out – Safari Park & Wildlife Parks
A perfect day out for adults and children alike. Choose from a visit to either our Port Lympne or Howletts Wildlife Park, go on safari, or even book an overnight stay at Livingstone Lodge for the ultimate UK safari experience!

The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway is Kent's mainline in miniature. First opened to traffic in July 1927 as the 'World's Smallest Public Railway' and now covering a distance of 13.5 miles from the picturesque Cinque Port of Hythe, near the channel tunnel, to the fishermans cottages and lighthouses at Dungeness.
 
For more local attractions and activities go to Visit Kent