The Hadlow Tower

UK England South East England Kent Tonbridge

  • Gardens & Grounds
  • Parking
  • Wifi
  • Adults Only
A magical, self-catering Gothic tower situated in the heart of Kent, just a short journey from London.
The word 'cottage' is used to cover all sorts of holiday properties in the UK but in the case of The Hadlow Tower (one of the tallest and best-preserved Gothic follies in England) it doesn't quite do the job – indeed if there is a more fairytale place to stay in England (let alone Kent) then we have yet to find it. This 50-metre-high Gothic tower – also known as 'May's Folly' – has been recently converted into a unique four-bedroom holiday home-from-home with genuinely 360-degree views over the Kent countryside from its Rapunzel-like heights.
An exhibition space on the ground floor has displays on the building's history and renovation – it was built in the mid-19th century as part of a grand Gothic castle by a charismatic and passionate landed merchant. The rest of the castle was demolished in the 1950s, but the Grade 1-listed tower received a stunning, multi-million-pound renovation.
The accommodation is spread over no fewer than five floors, connected by two spiral staircases and even an elevator that runs from bottom to top. There is a well-equipped kitchen and attached dining room on the first floor, a small bedroom, family bathroom and sitting room with log-burning stove and very high ceilings on the second floor, plus a twin bedroom and two further doubles with en-suite bathrooms on the upper two floors. The views are predictably fabulous from up here, and although you can't actually go to the top of the tower, this is open to visitors every Thursday between April and September (though these don't impinge on the holiday property at all). The property is surrounded by three acres of ground, which include a section of woodland and a boating lake, and the village is a pleasant place for a idle wander. There are also a couple of nice half-day loops you can do into the countryside beyond.
It's self-catering, with a welcome pack of basic grocery items to greet you on arrival, but you can also hire a chef for the night if you can't be bothered to cook. Owners Christian and Rebecca will also arrange for chilled champagne on request, or connect you with a local florist to provide flowers for a particularly special occasion – even lay on a string quartet or a magician for your entertainment or recommend laundry collection and delivery services.
Could there be a better or more romantic place for a impromptu – and surprisingly easy – escape from London?



The Tower is an utterly unique building. It will make you smile when you see it from a distance, make you smile when you park next to it, and make you smile when you explore it. Enjoy!

Suitable For

We love the lounge and the wood burning stove. It somehow manages to feel cosy and intimate despite the vast ceiling and distant views.


For such a small village we keep finding extra surprises, from the Weathered & Worn tea rooms to the gorgeous (and free!) Broadview Gardens. Half the village seems to be Listed properties. It is well worth a leisurely walk around. If you walk passed the church there is a footpath that winds round the back if the old castle grounds and back to The Tower.

Food & Drink

Within a ten-minute drive you are spoilt for choice when it comes to quality gastro pubs with 'traditional English' atmospheres. We like the Carpenters Arms along Three Elm Lane or The Bush, Blackbird & Thrush in East Peckham.


Available all year.


Weekly is now from £3,000 and weekends from £2,000, midweeks from £2,500. Changeover days are Monday or Friday.


Comfortably sleeps six people in two double bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, one twin bedroom and a single bedroom; there's one family bathroom.


The Hadlow Tower, Hadlow Castle, High Street, Hadlow, Kent TN11 0EG

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Getting There

The Hadlow Tower is a 10-minute taxi-ride from Tonbridge station which is just over half an hour from London Bridge or Charing Cross. It's also easy to reach by car, just off the A26 (from Tonbridge  or the M20) on the edge of Hadlow village – the castle gates are easy to see from Hadlow's High Street and you just go through the gates and follow the signs to The Tower. Follow the drive past the pond on the right and the large lawn on the left, where there is a sign for visitor parking; then follow the gravel drive along to the tower. There is a disabled parking bay right next to the tower which can be used for unloading luggage.


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