Guided tours might not be happening but cellar doors across the South East are still open
Lockdown 2.0 has put paid to many activities but you can still support your local vineyards across Kent, Surrey and Sussex by visiting for walks with your household, support bubble or one other person and, of course, pick up some English wine while you’re there.
Vineyards in Kent
The 400-acre estate at Hush Heath provides plenty of space for self-guided, socially distanced walks. You can pick up a map from the Cellar Door any day from 10am to 5pm and no booking is required. Unfortunately, dogs are now allowed on the estate.
Gusborne in Appledore is open for self-guided tours and cellar door purchases daily from 10am to 5pm. Simply register and pick up a map at The Nest Cellar Door before setting off. Don’t forget to pick up a bottle of their multi-award-winning Chardonnay Guinevere before you leave.
While guided tours have been postponed, you can still explore the beautiful vineyards and herb garden at Chapel Down near Tenterden. Pick up a vineyard trails map from the shop, which is open Wednesdays to Sundays fro 10am to 5pm, and take yourself off around the two walking routes through the Bacchus vineyard and beyond.
Vineyards in Surrey
Albury Vineyard near Guildford is situated in the heart of the beautiful Surrey Hills, on the Southern slopes of the North Downs – a beautiful place to begin or end a walk along the North Downs Way. Self-guided tours of the vineyard are also available – just check in at the shop which is open from midday to 4pm on Saturday and Sundays.
The Hatch on the Lawn (located at the front of Denbies Visitor Centre) is open for takeaway refreshments from 10am to 3pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 3pm at weekends. The gift shop will also be open and they are also offering 20% off all purchases of six or more bottles of wine.
Vineyards in Sussex
At Bluebell Vineyard, you can take a stroll round the beautiful estate situated near the National Trust’s Sheffield Park on one of the self-guided woodland walks. Trails take between 30 minutes and one hour and are open Monday – Saturday 10am to 4pm with no need to book. Children are welcome, along with dogs on leads.
The barn at Kingscote near East Grinstead is open from 9am to 5pm seven days a week with free parking and lots of dog-friendly walking routes around the estate. Takeaway tea, coffee and cake are available, as well as a range of Christmas gift ideas and of course their wine!
The Kinsbrook Horsebox Café is serving a new hot food menu, as well as teas, cakes, coffee and wine to takeaway from its Picketty site in West Chiltington each day from 9am to 5pm. Watch out for the re-opening of their new Bubble Restaurant once lockdown lifts in December.