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 haring 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.
Amazingly beautiful peaceful campsite. Even on the drive there you feel as though you are entering into another world. By the time we had navigated some windy country roads we felt as though we were deep in the country and for all intents and purposes we were.
Once the tent was pitched on the flat ground we checked out the toilets that always seemed clean. There was a shower that was hot and the washing-up facilities were more than adequate.
We had gorgeous weather when we were there which helped as we took day trips to the coast and came back to play with the other children in the open space. It was great to camp without having other people on top of you. I could hear birds in the morning as opposed to strangers snoring.
The children loved having a camp fire which we cooked on. It was a lot of fun!
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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.
Train to Sittingbourne, then a bus to Doddington (up to 4.30pm), or hop in a taxi for about £12.
Adult £8 per night; child (3 to 15) £4. Fire pit £2, logs £3.50/bag. Bell-tent hire £50/night, £250/week.
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.
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.
The George Inn (01795 890237) in Newnham is a dependable old pub with a popular restaurant.
Tents, dogs (on leads; must be pre-booked), well-behaved groups – yes. Motorhomes, caravans – no.