When back in the UK, my boyfriend and I quite often like to escape London and have a weekend hiking in the beautiful English countryside. As the cutest surprise for my birthday, Adam booked 2 nights at the Nut Plat Retreat. 45 minutes from London takes you into Kent aka The Garden of England and out of city life as we know it. Goodbye Uber, Wifi and phone signal and hello starlight skies and to hearing the owls tweet twoot.
The Nut Plat Retreat is a lovely rural weekend experience set within an orchard of cob nut trees with only the sound of the River Bourne gently running down stream. This place is perfect for those seeking nature, country walks and lovely pub dinners. I absolutely relished the feeling of being truly “off grid”.
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What the Nut Plat Retreat Has to Offer
Designed to have a low impact on the environment, you rest your head in a charming 1904 bijoux wagon. Originally used by road builders and pulled by steam engines, it has now been lovingly restored and kitted out with double bed, feather down duvet, board games, candles and an all important wood burner to keep you cosy even on the coldest of nights.
Other glamping facilities for your private use include a stunning wooden hot tub heated by a log burner, safari kitchen, barbeque, firepit and compost loo. There are outdoor hot showers too!
Your friends for the weekend will be the owner’s dog, chickens, doves and horses. Expect to meet “Boysy” the cat who will greet you with purrs and cuddles.
If you’re arriving late or wanting to travel light, there’s the option to arrange for a breakfast hamper containing goodies such free range eggs, local free range sausages and bacon, bread, organic milk, butter and locally produced apple juice. A vegetarian option is also available with muesli, yoghurts and seasonal berries. Alternatively the nearest local shop is in the nearby village of Plaxtol, an enjoyable 25 min walk away.
TIP: If coming by public transport, the owners do offer to pick you up from either Tonbridge or Sevenoaks train station.
Things To Do
Other nice touches that can be arranged to make your stay special is a picnic lunch – brilliant to enjoy at the Retreat or to take with you on your walks.
Supper of beef stew or vegetable curry can also be arranged or a barbeque box of local free range meat and vegetables if you fancy chilling out at the retreat and soaking up the sun.
Maps of recommended walking routes are a plenty along with directions to visit any of the National trust properties within reach. Knole House in Sevenoaks, Ightham Mote and Penshurt Place are all nearby by car.
The outdoor hot tub where you can soothe your aching limbs from the day’s walk and look up at the stars with a glass of bubbly in your hand is the icing on the cake.
TIP: As the hot tub is heated by a wood burner, you’ll need to keep this alight for a good 2 – 3 hours before jumping in to enjoy.
Toast marshmellows over an open fire and drink hot chocolate (both are provided).
TIP: Firestarters are provided but some basic knowledge is needed on how to build and maintain a fire.
Where To Eat
After full days exploring the beautiful countryside, we rewarded ourselves with hearty pub dinners at the local pubs. There are only 3 pubs in the area and I’d advise booking ahead because they tend to get very busy with the locals.
The Street, Plaxtol, Seveonaks, Kent, TN15 OQJ
The Kentish Rifleman
Roughway Lane, Tonbridge, Kent, TN11 9RU
The Chaser Inn
Stumble Hill, Shipbourne, Tonbridge TN11 9PE
To the heart of the Nut Plat Retreat ethos, leave only footprints and take only memories.
Nut Plat Retreat Useful Information
|Price:||start from £85 per night|
|Location:||Roughway, Tonbridge, Kent|
|Nearest Train Station:||Sevenoaks (22 min by car) or Tonbridge (15 min by car).|
|Electricity:||There are no plug sockets. 2 USB ports to charge phones. In other words, no where to plug in your hairdryer or laptop! If you’re staying for a while, the owners who live in the cottage within the grounds can charge electrics for you.|
|Getting Around:||You’ll need to rely on the local taxi companies as Ubers don’t work here. Factor in at least a 20 minute wait when planning journeys.|
|Beeline Taxis:||01732 456214 *great service, they keep you updated by text|
|Ashlin Taxis:||01732 456214|
|Borough Green Taxis:||01732 882020|
|Dress Code:||Walking boots, backpack, layers|
Nut Plat Retreat Weather Report
|Warmest Months:||July & August||Average Temp 18 C / 64 F|
|Coldest Months:||December, January, February||Average Temp 6 C / 43 F|
|Wettest Months:||November 46% chance of rain||January 43% chance of rain|