If it something a little more “grown-up” you are looking for why not visit the nearby village of Biddenden made famous by Mary and Eliza Chulkhurst (or Chalkhurst), commonly known as the Biddenden Maids, who were a pair of conjoined twins supposedly born in Biddenden, in the year 1100. They are said to have been joined at both the shoulder and the hip, and to have lived for 34 years. It is claimed that on their death they bequeathed five plots of land to the village, known as the Bread and Cheese Lands. The income from these lands was used to pay for an annual dole of food and drink to the poor every Easter. Since at least 1775 the dole has included Biddenden cakes, hard biscuits imprinted with an image of two conjoined women, which are still produced today.
Kent’s original vineyard, Biddenden was established by the Barnes family in 1969, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019. Eleven varieties of grapes are grown across 23 acres, producing award-winning still and sparkling English wines. The famous Biddenden Cider is also produced on site along with farm-pressed Kentish apple & pear juices. Visitors are welcome at the vineyard year-round and the vineyard shop offers tastings of Biddenden’s wines, ciders & juices as well as stocking a wide selection of locally produced food & drink. Open tours run Saturdays April-September and private tours are available by prior arrangement.
Distance from Shirkoak Farm…
A fifteen minute drive from Shirkoak Farm
What we recommend…
A visit to the Biddenden Vineyard… especially if you are a cider lover!