When two planned trips had already been cancelled due to the COVID pandemic, our dreams of getting away this year were starting to feel less and less likely. Then, as the regulations started to ease, we took a chance and Lara found us the cutest little Air BnB in Kent, that looked right up our street.
With exhibitions and museum visits still looking unlikely we decided to turn our getaway into a little hiking trip (partly spurred on by Emma’s increased love of ‘a good hike’) and the need to escape to the countryside for some peace and sea air. We excitedly started making plans, taking inspiration from hiking photographs from the 1930’s to create our vintage hiking ensembles, and the marvellous Betty Marsden as Harriet Potter in Carry on Camping to add a comedy element to the mix (never ones to take ourselves too seriously).
Finally, after much anticipation, we were on our way to Signal Cottage!
In a desperate bid to make the most of our time away and get on the road, we headed to Ramsgate first while we waited for our accommodation to become available. Taking in the harbour, we headed to The Home Front Tea Room for a spot of lunch.
We have to say this was one of the best tea rooms we have visited. Having quickly booked ahead, we walked into the authentically decorated tea room with little squeals of delight. So much attention had been put into every little detail, including a fabulously retro menu. It was such a pleasure to look around and soak up the atmosphere. Beautiful cabinets filled with vintage and homemade treasures to buy, along with a well stocked bookcase packed with books, magazines and periodicals from or about the era. (link above)
The girls serving us looked absolutely fabulous and the whole experience was a delightful way to start our little holiday. After enjoying our wartime treats we were reluctant to leave but headed off making a quick detour via the Petticoat Lane Emporium, to have a wander around the stalls. We would have also loved to have visited the Ramsgate Tunnels, which were used to shelter 60,000 people during the WWII air raids, but unfortunately you had to pre book, so we missed our chance there.
After a picturesque drive down some country lanes we reached Signal Cottage, to more squeals of delight as we walked through the front door!
Alison and Graham, were the ultimate hosts. We were welcomed with fresh milk, eggs from their own hens, butter, jam, tea and coffee and in such beautifully decorated surroundings we instantly felt at home.
Exploring what would be our home for the next couple of days, we drank our tea in the garden to the gentle sounds of the rescue hens clucking away in their coop and the beautiful views across the fields to Richborough Roman fort. Time to start planning our hikes!
Armed with an OS map and some directions, first up was an 8 mile circular walk from the cottage via Sandwich for a pub dinner at The Crispin Inn. Off to a good start and after a welcome cider and some pub grub we were keen to get going before the sun set.
And there began a slightly hilarious walk home in the ever increasing darkness aided by the torchlight from our phones negotiating our way along pitch black overgrown pathways… and.. well… we’ll just leave that there!
We woke to an unexpectedly sunny morning, so enjoyed a lovely relaxed breakfast of scrambled eggs (courtesy of the hens) out in the garden as we made our plans to walk from Dover to St Margarets on Cliff.
Dressed in our best vintage hiking outfits we followed the coastal path along the white cliffs past the National Trusts South Foreland Lighthouse, where we met a lovely lady who complimented us on our outfits and made sure we visited the bay at St Margarets where Noel Coward built 3 beautiful art deco houses on the shoreline, one of which was later owned by Ian Flemming.
As we made our way back we stopped for a cuppa and a piece of obligatory Kendal Mint Cake whilst watching the ferries make their way across the channel to the french coastline and back.
Back before the rain came down we settled in for tea, cake and an Ealing comedy. But not before Emma had a chance to feed the hens!
Followed by a quiet evening in, watching another classic – Hitchcocks The Birds. (the cottage had a well stocked selection of dvds, we were spoilt for choice).
After a final mornings walk to Richborough Roman Fort, we said our very reluctant goodbyes to Alison, Graham and the hens. We were grateful to have enjoyed some glorious weather during our stay, and as the rain set in for our journey home we promised to return to Signal Cottage for more peace, tranquility and adventures.
Until next time!
The VT’s xx