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Visit the villages of Cobham and Luddesdown

Experience Cobham

Cobham is extraordinarily attractive, with its picturesque High street, full of interesting and traditional pubs. Surrounded by open fields, woodland and orchards, the village is perfectly located for great walking and cycling with Jeskyns Community Woodland, Cobham Park and Ashenbank Woods on its doorstep.

Charles Dickens, England’s renowned novelist, was a regular visitor to Cobham and the surrounding countryside. He loved to walk from his home at Gad’s Hill Place, Higham, and through Cobham Park, to work on his novels.
He also immortalised the Leather Bottle Inn in The Pickwick Papers, which the author regularly frequented. Today it retains the charm that no doubt attracted Dickens and houses a fine collection of Dickensian memorabilia – and a great lunch stop, along with The Ship just a few yards down the High Street.

The village stands at the end of the historic Lime Avenue that leads to Cobham Hall, one of the finest houses in Kent. The Hall, once the home of the Lords Darnley, is now a public-school features interior workmanship by James Wyatt, Inigo Jones, and the Adams brothers. It has an important place in the history of English cricket as the original home of The Ashes urn.

If you want to visit, Cobham Hall is usually open to the public during Easter and Summer holidays. However, you can explore the 50-acres of grounds in which the hall was set, all year round.

Cobham Park was laid out by the famous landscape architect Sir Humphry Repton. The distinctive pyramid shape of the internationally important Darnley Mausoleum is all down to him with The Darnley Trail, a great way to explore this fascinating landscape.

St Mary Magdalene’s Church, of early English construction is located at the heart of the village. It contains one of the finest collections of monumental brasses in the world dating from the 1300 to 1529. Behind the church lies the 16th century Cobham College and picturesque almshouses. These retain the remains of the original foundations of the college for priests founded by Sir John de Cobham in 1362 and subsequently dissolved by King Henry VIII.

There are a number National Trust properties within the parish of Cobham.
Owletts at the west end of the village was built in 1684 for Bonham Hayes and is a fine example of building of the period. The Yeoman’s house in Sole Street, a fifteenth century timber-framed hall house, was restored by Edwardian architect Sir Herbert Baker, who lived at Owletts in the early years of the 20th century.

 

Experience Luddesdown

A great favourite with ramblers, cyclists and horse riders, Luddesdown is well worth a visit. The hamlet is quietly nestled in the North Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with easy access to public footpaths and bridleways that weave their way through secluded hills and valleys, woods and open fields.

At the heart of this tiny community, Luddesdown Court (not open to the public), is one of the oldest continuously inhabited buildings in England. Dating back to the early 12th century it sits next to the church of St Peter and St Paul. This ancient church is open Saturday and Sundays 2pm – 4.30pm from July to September. It not only makes the perfect pilgrimage for quiet reflection. Its uniquely complete Victorian wall paintings are also well worth the visit.

The whole area is also part of, and surrounded by the Silverhand Estate, the largest single organic vineyard in the UK.

Visit Gravesend
Visitor Information Centre
Gravesend Borough Market
High Street
Gravesend
DA11 0AZ
01474 337600
visit.gravesend@gravesham.gov.uk
OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF VISIT GRAVESEND