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Palace Farm, Down Court Road, Doddington, nr Faversham, Kent
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Palace Farm, Down Court Road, Doddington, nr Faversham, Kent

The cockerel may crow or the goats may mutter as you enter Palace Farm, but that's as noisy as it gets here. It's a quiet old place, off the beaten track (but not far from some very worthwhile places to visit) and with a 10pm quiet rule that's largely respected. It's a simple set-up: a flat, grassy field holds up to 25 tents around its hedgerow edges, with an adjoining field left free for games or general baring around.Two pre-erected bell tents provide the slightest hint of camping glamour, but this is good, honest Kentish camping with no pretensions to be anything else. Don't confuse quietness with strictness, though. Campfires are allowed, campers can help themselves to plums from the orchard or blackberries from the old hedgerows around the farm, and edible mushrooms are permitted to grow prolifically across the site in the autumn. (We're told they're not hallucinogenic which, apparently, is a good thing.) While you're hunting and gathering, have a forage at the honesty shop, where zero-food-mile courgettes, pumpkins, and other seasonal veg are available fresh from the farm. Busy days, quiet nights. Life's good at Palace Farm.


Palace Farm, Down Court Road, Doddington, nr Faversham, Kent


COOL FACTOR Unpretentious camping in underrated spot.

WHO'S IN? Tents, dogs (on leads: must be pre-booked), well-behaved groups - yes. Motorhomes, caravans - no.

ON SITE Campfires allowed (in fire pits); 25 pitches plus 2 bell tents on a field of about an acre with a wooden shower block (3 showers, 3 toilets including family/disabled room). Tourist info and walking maps available at the reception hut, where you can also freeze ice packs and charge phones. Reduced noise after 10pm and no noise after 11pm.

OFF SITE Lots to explore in the wider area including Leeds Castle (10 miles), Challock Forest (10 miles), Canterbury (14 miles), and Whitstable (16 miles); owners happy to help.

FOOD AND DRINK The George Inn (01795 890237) in Newnham is a dependable old pub with a popular restaurant.

GETTING THERE From the A2 between Sittingbourne and Faversham turn south at Teynham, signposted Lynsted. Go through Lynsted, over the M2 bridge, then take the second right into Down Court Road. Palace Farm is on the left.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT Train to Sittingbourne, then a bus to Doddington (up to 4.30pm), or hop in a taxi for about £ 12.

OPEN April-October.

THE DAMAGE Adult £8 per night; child (3 to 15) £4. Fire pit £2, logs £3.50/bag. Bell-tent hire £50/night, £250/week.



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