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The Nut Plat Retreat

93%
·
· Tonbridge, Kent, England
1 acre hosted by The R.
3 glamping pitches
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Antique living wagons on the banks of the River Bourne, with a charming orchard setting, a pub down the lane and a history unlike anywhere else

Some glamping sites build high-tech treehouses, others pluck for super-shiny Airstream caravans. But visit The Nut Plat Retreat in rural Kent and you'll be in no doubt of how best to go glamping in England. If you could bottle up the history of the British countryside and turn it into a quaint-as-they-come glamping site, The Nut Plat Retreat would be it. The glorious riverside setting – where horses chomp through grass on the opposite bank – combined with authentic, vintage accommodation avoids the 'quaint' becoming 'twee', while a handy location just 45 minutes outside of London make this a glamping site accessible for the quickest of quick breaks. If you want Kent with character, The Nut Plat Retreat is spot on.

On the northwest edge of the Kent Downs, this charming glamping getaway is full of history and intrigue. Glampers arrive to an 18th-century farmhouse, home of owners Duncan and Rachel, and are led along a shady, woodland path to the riverside clearing where the two antique living vans reveal themselves. Towed behind steam rollers during the 1800s, the vans are the real deal, complete with original wrought iron wheels and the old, heavy crank handle for applying the break. Inside, however, while a sense of history remains, interiors have been spruced up to provide a comfortable living space. There's a double bed, fold-out table, oak chairs, a wood burner and beautiful stained-glass windows from Rye Cinque Port in Sussex. Outside, meanwhile, each of the two wagons has it's own private kitchen space, shower room and toilet, along with a firepit and barbecue for late nights around an open fire (marshmallows provided!). Both huts boast their own wood-fired hot tub – not something the 19th-century work force would have enjoyed!

While the living vans are things of beauty in their own right, the hidden setting is all part of the glampsite's appeal. On the edge of a nut orchard, glampers can pluck cobnuts straight from the trees or help out with the harvest, before wandering through the wild gardens of the farm. You needn't wander too far, either. The nearest pub – a proper local bolthole – is just a few hundred metres down the lane, while footpaths from the campsite lead you along cow-parsley-crowded field sides to other fine establishments. There's English Heritage-owned Old Soar Manor – a beautiful stone home built in the 13th century – a 20 minute walk away, or the National Trust's moated manor house, Ightham Mote (40 minutes). Or, of course, you could pick another good pub – The Swan on the Green – which has its own micro-brewery and a sunny beer garden. The choices are endless, the choices are charming and the choices are all excellent. You might just want to stay for longer.

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Location
Tonbridge, Kent, England, United KingdomTraditional, ancestral territory of various First Nations according to To respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
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Hosted by The R.Joined in July 2018
93%
36 Ratings · 28 reviews
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Stuart C.recommends
November 20, 2023
Finlay’s Cabin
Fabulous
Fabulous retreat. Loved the log fires got tub and the place. An ideal place to get away from the world.
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Georgi S.recommends
October 9, 2023
Ransoms
Loved our little off grid no tech weekend away in a very beautiful part of Kent. The site itself felt a bit magical at times with sheep wandering around the nut tree grove, a river trickling past, and a clear night sky. During the days we did a lovely walk to Ightham Mote across the local fields, and had an amazing brunch at the nearby Weathered and Worn cafe. But just spending time in the camp relaxing was great too. And at night, if you have never been in a rustic wood burner hot tub outside - then it is exactly as special as it sounds, maybe even more so when you see your camp candles all around shimmer through the rising steam, and the heat from the water enough to warm your soul even if there is a chill in the air. Your digs are not glamorous and modern like some places we have stayed on here. But honestly love the way it takes you away from the pace and perfections of the modern world. And this booking was the hardest one to leave behind come check out day. Definitely our favourite camp experience so far!
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Laura H.doesn't recommend
September 11, 2023
Finlay’s Cabin
A bit of a shame
While the cabin itself is pretty in a lovely location out in nature, the landlords came down to the cabin unannounced during our stay for a reason I couldn’t understand. We thought we had privacy at the time so it felt a little violating to suddenly be aware of people at the back and front of the property when we had blinds open getting changed etc. The doors don’t lock, which I’m sure is fine generally, but some people feel safer to have doors that lock especially if you are women. It wasn’t made clear about the bathroom facilities on the website either, which is a compost toilet attached to the cabin itself, not outside. It smells pretty bad which is not uncommon for a toilet like this. But as it’s accessible from inside the cabin you can smell it pretty much wherever you are bathroom door closed or not. And that’s before you have even used it. Not exactly a romantic experience. It’s a shame because it was very cute otherwise.
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Emma F.recommends
August 23, 2023
Bomford
We absolutely loved our stay at Bomford. It was secluded enough, peaceful and everything we needed for our stay. The hot tub was amazing! Lovely walks nearby and beautifully set up. We will be going back next year!
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Joanna W.recommends
August 17, 2023
Finlay’s Cabin
We loved this cabin so much I’m a little reluctant to broadcast how good it was - we can’t wait to book again and go back and enjoy the tranquil bucolic setting, wood fired hot tub and the cosiest wooden cabin with everything you could need.
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Kate M.recommends
August 14, 2023
Finlay’s Cabin
We had a lovely stay in Finlay's cabin. It's very disney like from the outside, like a cabin in a movie. It's so quiet and private - felt like we were alone amongst the trees. It's a beautiful space to walk into and very cosy which was great with the weather that we had. The best thing was the hot tub (which was good, because that is one the reasons we booked at Nut Plat). I've never been in one before and to be honest, we all spent most of our time in there. Amazing how hot the water got and how long it stayed hot, with not that much wood. Wish baths at home were this economical! It's a great location to get to some lovely pubs and National Trust properties. I would definitely stay again.
From the host
Come to the Nut Plat Retreat for peace and quiet just 45 minutes from the middle of London. Kick back on the river bank in the Garden of England and watch the natural world go by Breathe The two vintage living vans have been carefully restored to a comfortable standard with out compromising their heritage Each has its own facilities - a well stocked camp kitchen, safari style shower and comfortable compost loo. You can help yourselves to as many logs as you need
Nearby attractions

Locally, the walks and cycle routes are a real draw. Circular walking routes take in some of our quintessential country pubs. The National Trust's Ightham Mote is a 40 minute walk away across the fields – the medieval moated manor house that John Newman described as "the most complete small medieval manor house in the county" – while, closer still, English Heritage look after 13th century Old Soar Manor (0370 333 1181; a 20-minute walk away). 400-year-old Knole House and Park makes for a lovely stroll and, while there, it's worth visiting Sevenoaks too for the good variety of independent shops. Tonbridge (4 miles) has a castle (01732 770929) and more good shopping, while those happy to go for a drive will find the Kent coast or Sussex coast are both an hour or so away – trendy up and coming Margate to the east, bucket and spade Camber Sands to the south and the oysters of Whitstable to the north.

Food and drink
It's an easy 200m stroll to The Kentish Rifleman (01732 810727), a typical English village pub serving good food. The Papermakers Arms (01732 810407) is a mile away, while The Swan on the Green (01622 812271) is particularly nice to walk to – a scenic 45-minute route across the fields, the pub is set on a quintessential village green with great food and its own micro-brewery. For local produce, try Shipbourne Farmers’ Market, held in St Giles Church every Wednesday (9am–11am).
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