It’s campervans and motorhomes only at Pine Meadow Campground, which you’ll find tucked away in the Kent countryside. The campsite offers a level place to park up, beautiful views, and access to drinking water – and that’s about all folks. It’s a simple site for people who are happy to be self-sufficient for a night or two. Located in the little-known village of Great Chart it’s a handy spot if you want to explore Kent but also for stopovers on the way to the south coast and beyond. The campground is a 10-minute drive from the M20 at Ashford, which leads, a few miles further south, to the Channel Tunnel and the ferries at Dover.
It’s the perfect place to park up if you’ve got an early train to France; you can be checking in half an hour after waking up. And aside from the convenience of the location, it’s a pleasant place to while away evenings and quiet enough for good nights’ sleep. Be aware, however, that it isn’t completely silent as a railway line passes the field. The other thing it’s important to be clear on is that there are no toilets or showers here. You’ll need your own loo on board.
Whether you are using the site as a stop-over or not, you might be pleased to know you can head just a mile down the road for your dinner at The Swan and Dog. This Kentish inn serves a hearty menu of pub grub and ales from Kent brewer, Shepherd Neame. Lovely host, Katy, can point you in the right direction to find it. According to her, many people book in at Pine Meadow Campground for a single night but end up staying longer, won over by its rural charms. If you’re here for more than a few hours, how about a wander around nearby Godington House and Gardens? And, if you have time, a visit to some of Kent’s big attractions? The Channel Tunnel is not the only thing within half an hour’s drive: Leeds Castle, Canterbury, Port Lympne Wildlife Reserve, and the coast are all a similar distance.
The closest attraction to site is just next door at The Granary Spa. This rural farm-based retreat offers massages and facials in converted farm buildings – make sure you book in advance. Also nearby is Godinton House Gardens, open (on selected days) throughout the summer just two miles down the road. The mostly Jacobean manor house in the middle of the estate is open on Fridays and Saturdays. If it’s history you’re into, there’s plenty more: Leeds Castle and Sissinghurst are less than 20 miles away and Dover Castle is just over 25. The historic city of Canterbury with its mighty cathedral is also less than 20 miles from here. For kids and animal lovers, Port Lympne Wild Animal Reserve is a good place to head for (13 miles away). A couple of miles further than that, Hythe, Sandgate and Folkestone are all good places for a day at the seaside.
The obvious place for a meal out during a stay at Pine Meadow Campground is The Swan and Dog, the village pub that’s a mile down the road. There are other lovely country pubs in the rural town of Tenterden and the large village of Wye (a 20-minute drive east or west). There are takeaway options, pubs and eateries in Ashford, four miles away which is also the place to head to if you need a supermarket.