Old Smock Mill
A romantic escape to the Garden of England calls for a truly memorable place to stay, and that's exactly what lies in store at the Old Smock Mill, feature on the TV series Extraordinary Escapes.
This beautifully restored mill in Benenden, Kent, has it all - sensational views, gorgeous décor, and history in spades. Built in the early 1800s, the Old Smock Mill operated as a working mill until World War II, when it was taken over as a gunner's outlook. The mill fell into disrepair during the years that followed, but was rescued and lovingly restored by its owners. Today, their ingenuity has resulted in a fabulously memorable holiday retreat for two lucky guests to enjoy.
Old Smock Mill oozes rustic charm, from its simple scrubbed floorboards to its painted brick walls. Original beams sit alongside the mill's original cogs, wheels, and pulleys for a fascinating insight into its former life. All the while, eclectic furniture blends style and luxury on every floor.
This private, self-contained home spans the top three floors of the mill, and is completely separate from the owners' ground-floor accommodation. Your own private entrance is accessed via a flight of oak steps, which take you to the wide staging that encircles the entire mill. From here, enjoy panoramic views of the open countryside before entering your beautiful home-from-home.
The first floor of Old Smock Mill is also known as the Meal Floor, as this is where the meal was originally processed. Today, it's where you'll find a cosy, open-plan living area, with fresh-cut flowers and a basket of fresh, seasonal produce for a special welcome.
The fully equipped kitchen includes all the modern conveniences you'll need during your stay, while a rustic, circular dining table sits four comfortably. The cosy sitting area has an inviting leather sofa and two stylish, mid-century armchairs, perfect for curling up with a book from the shelves that line the wall. A DVD player and library of DVDs also provide entertainment, as does the music system. And you can enjoy it all in perfect comfort, thanks to the wood-burning effect gas stove.
Climb the stairs that sweep the wall, and you'll find yourself on the Stone Floor. This gorgeous space, clad with timber beams, previously housed the millstones, but today offers a sumptuous king size bed. Topped with crisp, white linen, a homely throw and cushions, you can look forward to blissful nights in this truly romantic room.
From here, a bespoke spiral staircase takes you to the Dust Floor, where you'll find the bathroom. Formerly a buffer between the oily machinery above and the fine flour below, this spectacular room features the mill's double-cogged ‘wallower', as well as the winding mechanism of the sack hoist and wheels. Original sash windows and a skylight brighten up this space, and you can marvel at it all from the luxurious roll-top bath. There's also a large, walk-in Hans Grohe shower.
There's no better place to enjoy the glorious countryside than from your own private staging. Not only does it provide 360-degree views, but it also means you can enjoy the sun all day. Relax back on a steamer chair for an afternoon snooze, or savour the views over a romantic alfresco meal.
This gorgeous area is easy to explore on foot, bike or horseback; Old Smock Mill lies on the Tunbridge Wells (No. 18) cycle route, and the whole area is criss-crossed with footpaths and bridleways. You're also ideally positioned for exploring historic Kent, with no fewer than five National Trust properties nearby. The Cinque Port town of Tenterden is only five miles away, while the coast is a mere 18 miles away, with ancient Rye and Hastings to enjoy.
There's no doubt that a stay at Old Smock Mill will remain with you for a lifetime. From the heavenly location to the truly unique and luxurious accommodation, there really is no place more perfect for making special memories.Things to note
Minimum 2 nights stay, weekend/weekday pricing (enquire for details), check-in time 4pm, no smoking, windmill has three staircases so might not be suitable to some, no pets.
Region: Nr Cranbrook, Kent
Cost (from): £170 per night
Minimum stay: 2 nights
Property ref: 174
Accommodation is set over upper 3 floors, King bedroom sleeps 2, bedding, spiral staircase to dust floor bathroom, walk-in shower room, underfloor heating, roll-top bath tub, towels provided, fully equipped kitchen, tumble dryer, fridge freezer, DVD player, DVDs, music system, CDs, books, wood burning effect stove, dining area, sitting area, gardens, outdoor furniture, parking for one car available.
National Trust properties, cycling, rowing, coastal paths, parks, galleries, museums, historic towns/villages, light railway.
At a glance
- Converted mill in Benenden, Kent, offering gorgeous self-catering accommodation over three floors
- Sleeps 2 - perfect for a romantic escape
- Blends original mill machinery with stylish décor for a memorable rustic retreat
- Private staging with panoramic views across countryside
- Fresh-cut flowers and Welcome Basket for an extra special stay
- Ideally located for exploring Kent and south coast; only 5 miles from Tenterden