Lovely little english village in the Kent ; Downe
March 14, 2019
by Julie Charlotte
In this article, I will be telling you everything you can do in the little and typical English village Downe. It is situated in the Kent, southeast of London. It is gorgeous and there are more things to do than you would imagine!
Writing about Latin America soon –
When I first thought of writing articles for the Writers Agency, already two years ago, I wrote numerous pages about my 8 months trip in Latin America. I don’t know if it was the lack of confidence or of time but I never ended up publishing them. And they stayed on my computer since then. Lurking me from their « Articles » file on my desktop. Today, I woke up and thought it was time for me to write something and actually publish it. And instead of going back to my one-year-old and a half articles, (to which I will eventually come back, as I think you readers could be interested in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru, Mexico or Nicaragua… right?). But today I decided to write about the present. And right now my present is England.
Until then… Great Britain –
I should maybe say a few words about my grandmother, Violet Jones. She was born in London and lived in England until she was 21 years old. She then moved to France, and stayed in Marseille until the end, until the 10th of December 2018, when she joined the grand tout. She was 89 years old. Thanks to her I’ve been going to England every year since I was a little girl, to our family cottage in Downe, a tiny village southeast of London. Thanks to her I am addicted to tea, I love sausages and beans and never say no to a scone, I know London better than Paris, I say okey dokey (quite a lot I reckon even if I absolutely never know how to spell it… anyone British reading this article; help most wanted). And I like to watch Inspector Barnaby on a rainy afternoon. To me, the smell of wet grass isn’t the smell of wet grass but of England and walking in a forest after rain is one of my favorite thing to do. Wherever I am, I can just close my eyes and here I am, back in the Kent.
Things to do in Downe –
Downe is a gorgeous typical English village that is definitely worth a detour if you’re in the area, it is within the London borough of Bromley, in the Kent (15miles from London, about 24km). There are three main “attractions” in Downe: First of all Down House, which was the house of Charles Darwin for forty years. It is where he worked on his theory of evolution and where he died, in 1882. The house is now a museum, dedicated to Darwin’s life and work. You can also visit the gardens which are absolutely gorgeous (and quite big). Whatever the season of the year they are full of flowers and general beautiful plantings and it’s really pleasant to walk through all the paths. I remember being amazed when I was a child by the little hothouse and its carnivorous plants! You can sometimes see little insects stuck in them… Wuuuh. I went back there when I was about 20 years old and still very much enjoyed the all place. The museum, in general, is a good combination between science history, explanation of the theory of evolution and biography of the scientist. The rooms are well decorated and you can picture the all family living there, there is even (of course…) the study where Darwin wrote ‘On the Origin of Species’. And to finish, the shop and the tea shop are really nice, I absolutely recommend the cheesecake… it is oh so delicious! Here is their website if you want more info: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk.
Christmas Tree Farm
The second “attraction” is Christmas Tree farm, wonderful for kids, I spend so many hours there when I was little (until I was a teenager actually…). It is an “educational farm” where you can feed and sometimes pet the animals (depending on the animal of course). Most of them are outside and some even walk through the paths of the farm with you (never knew if that was happening on purpose or if those goats had escaped). I have so many good memories there, the cows and their huge tongues, the goats following me around, laughing with my mom, feeding the pigs, being chased by extremely scary goose and running around hoping that I would be faster than them (yeah this actually happened), and also spending hours, sometimes with my cousin, sometimes with a friend just petting animals. There’s an inside part with all the cuties (rabbits, baby ducks, more rabbits, guinea pigs, etc). Wanna see their amazing website? Here it is for practical info: http://www.xmastreefarm.co.uk/.
Two gorgeous pubs
And to finish my favorite attraction in Downe… Its two beautiful pubs: The Queen’s Head and The George And Dragon. It always made me smile to think of the size of Downe, and how we have no shop but two pubs. They are both very very nice, have an outside space and good food. I couldn’t recommend you one more than the other, I’d feel like I am betraying the other one. Although I go more to the Queen’s Head (it’s across my house so… Well the other one is about 45 seconds farther but still). If you go there to eat (which you should) my personal favorites are: “Mash and sausages” at the Queen’s Head and “Veggie Burger” at George And Dragon. They’re both reallyyyyy good. Here are their two websites: http://queensheaddowne.com/ and https://www.georgeanddragondowne.com/.
Coming next; More about England and … London –
In my next articles I will probably write about London, and about England in general. About cozy afternoons in the family cottage and beers at the pub, about walks in the British countryside (which are numerous around Downe) and cups of tea in touristy places. I hope you’ll take this journey with me and enjoy reading the words I will choose to put down for you and be interested by the places I chose to write about.
I will leave this article to that and write no more until I write again. Very soon I promise.