The village of Cranbrook in Kent supports its local food and wine producers and the town’s economy with Cranbrook Farmers’ Market, which is held in the Vestry Hall on the fourth Saturday of every month. Products range from garments made from hand spun and hand knitted goat’s wool to fresh vegetables, fish, cheese, meat, chutneys and bread.
Cranbrook also boasts a large range of quality independent shops including two delis, two butchers, a bakery and two wine merchants, as well as the nearby Hartley Dyke Farm Shop, which sells local bread, fruit and veg, meat, game, cheese, pâté, soup, sandwiches, pastries, ice cream, beer and wine.
Cranbrook is known as the “Capital of the Kentish Weald” as it was once an important centre of the woollen industry. Recorded in the Domesday Monachorum in 1070, Cranbrook – meaning “brook frequented by cranes or herons” - was for 300 hundred years one of the wealthiest towns in Kent. Queen Elizabeth I stayed at the George Hotel during her Royal Progress through Kent in 1573 when the local people laid out a mile length of Kentish broadcloth so Her Majesty could walk from Cranbrook to nearby Coursehorne Manor without getting wet feet.
These days you can meander through the narrow medieval streets, taking in no less than six churches and visit the numerous hotels, pubs, restaurants and shops, the town museum and the Union Mill, the tallest working smock mill in England. Just over three miles away is the world famous Sissinghurst Gardens, created by Vita Sackville-West.