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The Zen Garden | Luxury Self-Catering Kentish Barn | High Weald

The Zen Garden

Chiddingstone, High Weald, Kent, UK

A home of two opposing yet harmonious halves; on one side, crooked timber beams foraged from abandoned ships crisscross barn ceilings every which way and that, while the other is cool and contemporary with a soothing palette of oyster greys and powder white. Embodying the very essence of the Garden of England in the High Weald AONB, luxury self-catering retreat The Zen Garden and its immaculate grounds radiates rest and relaxation.


During the restoration of this 15th century barn, a storm so strong it nearly brought down the original frame tore through Chiddingstone, threatening any dream the owners had of creating a luxury home in the Kent countryside. Luck was on their side however, and apart from the roof flying over the gardens to hang precariously over a boundary hedge, the foundations of The Zen Garden stood firm. Now, this self-catering manor is a testament to joy; a place where colourful koi shimmer in ponds, lily pads hide terrapins and an outdoor swimming pool offers respite on hot summer afternoons.


Seamlessly merging the old and new, The Zen Garden combines ancient history with modern architecture; one half a sympathetic refurbishment embracing the twisted and winding, the other a modern build of smooth walls and straight lines. On the ground floor, open-plan spaces and floor-to-ceiling windows ensure bright communal living, while the bedrooms and bathrooms covet the rafters; cosy corners one can claim for their own. The manifestation of an interior design duo, every corner of this grand Kentish barn is exquisite, every touch thought out with impeccable precision.


The four acres surrounding The Zen Garden were made with a life well-lived in mind and the intricate Bonsai collection gives insight to the level of detail applied throughout. An outdoor kitchen on the patio tempts long summer afternoons hot-smoking organic cuts from the local butchers and sipping cocktails by the outdoor swimming pool while, for those in search of quiet contemplation, the loungers by the lily lake offer solace. With prized koi gently and mesmerically swishing underwater in front of the outdoor lounge, here presents the perfect location for long conversations from morning through to night.

The Facts

  • SleepsUp to 10 guests
    From £6,250 per week, £4,695 per short break
  • Bedrooms and bathroomsThere are five first floor bedrooms across the two wings of the house, each with super king-size beds and en suites (two with freestanding baths and walk-in showers, three with showers only), along with a pool shower room and separate WC on the ground floor.
    View bedrooms
  • FeaturesOutdoor swimming pool (heated May to September), gym, cinema and playroom, aquarium room, outdoor kitchen
  • PetsTwo well-behaved dogs are welcome
    Each pet is charged at £60 per week or part thereof
  • Arrivals and departuresArrival Day: Friday or MondayArrival Time: 4pmDeparture Time: 10am
  • FamilyYes, children are welcome. One cot and one highchair are available. Please be aware stair gates cannot be fitted due to the nature of the staircases. Children and pets must be supervised at all times due to the ponds and pools in the garden.
  • PracticalitiesThere is parking for up to six cars on two private driveways. The contemporary kitchen includes an Aga, two ovens, double fridge, wine fridge, microwave and coffee machine. The separate utility room includes two washing machines and two tumble dryers. While guests are more than welcome to view the aquarium and Koi pond, please refrain from touching and supervise children and pets at all times. The Bonsai trees will be watered and fish fed daily (at a mutually agreeable time with yourselves), and the pool is ordinarily cleaned on Wednesdays. The neighbouring farmhouse is undergoing some renovation, and while disruption is expected to be minimal, there could be some additional traffic or noise.
  • Homestay includesLuxury welcome hamper of local produce, sports package in the cinema room, Smart TVs, Playstation, freshly cut flowers, iPad, internet, recipe books, Jaques croquet set...House book - your property and destination guideDiscover more little luxuries
  • Private cateringDiscover your options for private dining and fully catered breaks.
  • Additional extrasA handpicked selection of unique experiences are available at this property.
  • RestrictionsParties considered on prior permission from the owner
  • Other informationProperty terms and conditionsFrequently asked questionsEV charger locationsCheck mobile signalRecommend to a friend

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Koi gently swish in the pond
Throw open the doors and let the country air wash through The Zen Garden

Prices & Availability

Please note, availability for this property is to be confirmed by Unique Homestays on receipt of your enquiry

High Weald

Wooded valleys, rolling hills and centuries-old walkways past farms and meadows: the High Weald in Kent is the fourth largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the country and the English landscape at its picturesque best.

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High Weald

Getting there

  • On the Map The Zen Garden is located in Kent, 5 minutes from National Trust village, Chiddingstone.
  • By Car This unique home is located around 90 minutes from central London.
  • By Train The nearest train station is Cowden, with regular services to London Bridge.
  • By Air Gatwick airport is around a 30 minute drive from The Zen Garden.

From the owner

“We are the only ever owners of The Zen Garden, and hope it will remain in our family to enjoy when we gather for events and anniversaries. We raised our children here and all have many wonderful memories of their childhood.”

From the owner

The Zen Garden is situated on the outskirts of Chiddingstone in the Garden of England, an AONB just an hour from London. The original frame was built around 1500 and can be considered a typical Kentish barn. Many of the original features still exist and you can see how the builders numbered the timber with carved roman numerals to identify each piece of frame.

Renovated from a cattle shed, the property has been refurbished and extended to provide a modern and comfortable family home within the frame of an ancient building. The rear garden view is toward ancient woodland on the perimeter of the Hever Estate, home to a lily pond, herons, deer, birds of prey and other woodland creatures. From the front door there are many country footpaths and walks to enjoy, as well as castles, country pubs, restaurants, farm shops, family-friendly activities, and the Royal spa town of Tunbridge Wells.

We hope you will be as delighted to spend some time in our home as we have been. There is a real sense of history about the house yet is full of the modern conveniences we all need to survive - what would we do without high-speed internet?

David and Fiona

Owner recommendations

Live like a local, discovering the best hidden gem restaurants, walks and attractions during your holiday in High Weald with an insider’s perspective.


To See


A Tudor village conserved by the National Trust that is awash with half-timber homes and the village´s namesake chiding stone (which is said to be where druids made judgements!). The Castle Inn is a must for lunch.

Thackery´s, Tunbridge Wells

To Eat

Thackery´s, Tunbridge Wells

Serving modern cuisine with creative flair, the dishes here are brought to life through clever use of colours, textures and theatrical presentation; an unrivalled choice for that extra special meal.

The Rock, Chiddingstone

To Eat

The Rock, Chiddingstone

A local (and highly popular) institution, this traditional country pub offers spectacular seasonal food on its daily changing menu. A fantastic place to wind down at the end of a day exploring rural Kent.

Hever Castle

To Do

Hever Castle

The childhood home of Anne Boleyn, this romantic double-moated castle has 700 years of history to discover. With a 100-year old yew maze in magnificent award-winning gardens, there´s plenty on offer for all ages.

Unique extras

Enhance your stay with a unique experience from one of our preferred suppliers. From professional in-house chefs to luxury at-home spa therapists and wine delivered to the door, see what’s on offer for your bespoke escape.


Below are a selection of features in which Unique Homestays has appeared. If you would like to feature the property in an editorial capacity, please contact the marketing team on +44 (0)1637 882014.

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Disclaimer: These particulars, whilst believed to be accurate, are set as a guideline so should not be relied upon as a statement of fact. The photographs show aspects of the property at the time they were taken and it should not be assumed that the property remains precisely as displayed. If there are points of particular importance that need clarifying before you book, please contact us.

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