Country estate’s Garden Cottages open to boost town’s holiday accommodation

A country estate in Tunbridge Wells has created four new holiday cottages that will boost the amount of holiday accommodation in the town.

Salomons Estate in Broomhill Road, Southborough, is to welcome guests to four newly refurbished ‘Garden Cottages’ available for holidays, business trips and short- and long-term lets.

The four holiday homes are each named after a species of plant that once grew in the gardens when the science author, barrister, and pioneer of road transport, David Salomons owned the estate. The cottages are ideal for couples and small families, and are dog-friendly too.

Peony, Lavender, and Rose cottage all sleep two guests and cost from £219 per night, while Honeysuckle Cottage, the largest of the four buildings, sleeps up to four guests and is priced from £369 per night.

Each holiday let includes a fully-equipped shaker-style kitchen, a lounge/dining area with TV, a double bedroom and an ensuite bathroom all boasting rustic and earthy elements reminiscent of their past, when they were used as potting sheds in the 19th century.

While modern luxuries provide everything you need for a relaxing stay, the design of each unit retains the simple, traditional character of their original purpose. Existing brickwork and timber beams have been preserved and exposed, allowing guests to experience a part of the estate’s fascinating history.

The refurbishment is part of Salomons Estate’s master plan, which aims to conserve the heritage of their listed assets, promote local tourism, and generate the funds necessary to restore the main building, Salomons House.

The cottages are nestled in a winding garden behind a grand wall that once enclosed the potting sheds, plus an extensive glass house. Here, the gardening staff would use the buildings as a place to nurture seedlings and re-pot plants.

“Most of us are aware of the fascinating buildings there are at Salomons – the house itself, the Science Theatre, and the splendid stable block. But few will remember the extensive glasshouses and nurseries that were built in the late 1880s,” Salomons Museum curator Chris Jones said.


“The restoration of the Garden Cottages as holiday accommodation is a great reminder of the days when peaches, nectarines and melons were grown here,” he added.


The Garden Cottages, which have been underused for their original purpose for many years, had their planning applications approved in July 2022 to designs by architect Gaby Higgs.

“All original fabric and features have been restored and the utilitarian character of these humble working buildings is retained,” said Ms Higgs.

The project, which took almost six months to complete, was delivered by construction company Dark Projects, who worked closely with the estate’s team and architect.

Martin Wood, Director of Dark Projects told the Times: “While we’ve restored and converted the commercial units, we’ve sympathetically honoured the design and layout of the original Victorian buildings.

“The cottages harmonise with the existing outbuildings, and compliment David Salomons’ original vision for the grounds,” he continued.

Bookings have already been made for all four cottages in the run up to the busy Christmas season where the estate is offering a special discount for the holidays.

On December 25, guests can enjoy a two-night stay plus Christmas dinner at the pub and dining rooms located in the main house for £595 for two people.

Alongside the onsite restaurant and amenities of the Garden Cottages, guests can use the purpose-built utility room complete with a washing machine and tumble dryer located at the end of the holiday lets, making the Garden Cottages a great option for those looking for longer-term stays. This is a trend that the Estate says is evolving.

Operations Director Nick Moore said: “Apart-hotels are the future of hospitality. People are staying in one place longer – perhaps to work first and then relax on holiday.

“The Garden Cottages appeal to a variety of groups for this reason – both leisure and business travellers – they give people the flexibility to cherry-pick between the benefits of both hotels and self-catering accommodation.”

Salomons Estate is part of Elite Leisure Collection (ELC), which is also owner of One Media, publisher of the Times.

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