Situated on the Kent and East Sussex border, The Bell is at the heart of the charming village of Ticehurst, take junction 5 off the M25 onto the A21. A perfect base for exploring the wonderful surrounding countryside or the quirky towns of Tunbridge Wells, Rye and Hastings, all around half an hour’s drive away.
There are so many wonderful things to see and do in this area of Kent and East Sussex. We are blessed with a number of exceptional small businesses in the village all worth dropping in on. Hop in the car and explore some National Trust properties, stunning privately owned gardens or take a tour of our local brewery.
Here we have highlighted some of our favourite local friends and some a little further afield.
We are so lucky to have such a creative florist in our village. Andrea has a great eye and is one of our favourite florists for weddings. It is Andrea we turn to when guests request in-room flowers.
The Old Haberdashery is a trove of ideas. With an eye for beauty honed at Chelsea College of Art, Sonia Boriczewski collects textiles, vintage homeware, haberdashery, handmade gifts, and more. A maker’s dream – go forage!
Greenfinch is a relaxed, informal gallery space showcasing artists and makers from Sussex and Kent.
Offering an eclectic mix of locally made pieces spanning a wide price range, there is something for everyone.
A family run zero waste shop selling over 500 products with sound environmental credentials. From pasta to spices, cleaning products to plastic free homewares and gifts, they even stock sweet treats too. This is not about re-cycling, it’s all about no waste at all.
Only 10 minutes down the road in Flimwell, you’ll find the hidden gem of Wild Iris Spa. Using holistic therapies in a way that very few spas do – natural and pure, but luxe – alongside attention to details, mixing experimental treatments with those that are every day, their mission is provide a spa experience that clients will remember and want to return for time and time again. In a fast-paced world, Wild Iris is the space where time can truly stop. Always putting our clients first, we will do our utmost to make sure that this happens for you.
Cellar Head Brewing Company is an award-winning independent microbrewery based just down the road in Flimwell. They have regular tours on Saturdays at 3pm costing £10 per person.
With a beer in hand, they will talk you through the brewing process and introduce you to some of the malt and hops used along with a taste of the beers currently brewing. The tour will last up to one hour.
The Greedy Goat Café is a warm, friendly, cosy, cool and sophisticated café- using locally sourced produce for breakfast, freshly made sandwiches/salads for lunch and afternoon tea. Free WiFi and of course dog friendly! A stone’s throw from The Bell situated in the pretty village of Ticehurst.
Just five minutes away you will find Pashley Manor Gardens. 11 acres of beautiful vistas – the culmination of a lifetime of passion for gardening. Historic walled garden, striking sculptures, kitchen garden … then, of course, the plants! Tulips, rose, dahlias and more in abundance.
Just a few minutes’ drive away is Bedgebury Pinetum – an award winning visitor attraction with something for everyone. Open all year, Bedgebury is the perfect place for healthy outdoor activity. The National Pinetum is home to a world-leading collection of conifers and provides a beautiful setting for peaceful walks and picnics. The Bedgebury cafe also has wonderful views of the pinetum. Bedgebury Forest has miles of family cycling and mountain-biking, walking, and running trails, as well as Go Ape tree top adventure, and an adventure play trail.
Only a ten-minute drive away, you will find the home of world famous writer, Rudyard Kipling. The beautiful 17th century house is located in Burwash and set in 300 acres of stunning Sussex Weald landscape. Bateman’s House is where Kipling was inspired to write many of his novels and poetry, most notably The Jungle Book.
There are many tour guides occupying the main house to inform you of the history of the building and the Kipling family. You can also explore the extensive gardens around the estate and end your visit in the gift shop or café onsite.
Either a ten-minute drive or a seven-mile country walk away, you will find Bewl water; the largest stretch of open water in the South East. The 800-acre site is set in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Open all year, a visit to this stunning lake is fantastic for family fun. There are a range of activities to enjoy there, such as water sports, bike hire or even just a long walk.
Just a 13 minute drive, you’ll find the National Trust romantic picturesque gardens of Scotney Castle, complete with a 14th Century moated castle and Victorian country mansion, all nestled in a wooded estate. With over 780 acres of beautiful parkland, woodland and hop gardens, it’s an ideal spot for a ramble. Dogs are welcome in the garden on a short lead, or off the lead in the surrounding estate grounds.
Around a 20-minute drive away is another stunning National Trust property. This archetypal 14th Century moated castle with ruined interior will give you a glimpse of medieval splendour. Set in the heart of an historic landscape, with spiral staircases, battlements, and a portcullis, Bodiam Castle is one of Britain’s most picturesque and romantic ancient castles.
About 20 minutes away in Northiam is Great Dixter, an historic house, a garden, a centre of education, and a place of pilgrimage for horticulturists from across the world.
Great Dixter was the family home of gardener and gardening writer Christopher Lloyd – it was the focus of his energy and enthusiasm and fuelled over 40 years of books and articles. Now under the stewardship of Fergus Garrett and the Great Dixter Charitable Trust.