PADDOCK WOOD CAN BE FOUND NESTLED NEATLY BETWEEN TUNBRIDGE WELLS , TONBRIDGE AND MAIDSTONE . ITS POPULATION OF JUST OVER 8,000 PEOPLE ARE A MIX OF AGES AND THEY ENJOY A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT HOBBIES ( MANY OF WHICH CAN BE CARRIED OUT IN THE TOWN ITSELF ), BUT THE ONE THING THEY HAVE IN COMMON IS THAT THEY HAVE CHOSEN TO LIVE IN A TOWN THAT IS AS PRETTY AS IT IS INTERESTING . BY LISAMARIE LAMB
HISTORY IN BRIEF
Unlike many of its neighbours , Paddock Wood is a ‘ new ’ town , which started life in 1842 . This was mainly due to the railway which passed through the area , using the area that became known as Paddock Wood as a place to pause when necessary . Seeing this , some rather intrepid entrepreneurs realised that they could build a town around what had previously been hop fields . Less than 10 years later the town was built , and by 1900 Paddock Wood had become the central hub for a network of useful branch lines throughout Kent .
The hops grown in Paddock Wood were its main industry for many years , and the trains would bring the hop pickers in from London for their annual holiday .
THINGS TO DO
Moonlight Drive In Cinema The drive-in cinema was once the preserve of America in the 50s and 60s , but it has made a massive comeback in recent time and can now be found all over the UK – including Paddock Wood . It ’ s a fantastic concept , and so easy to enjoy – just park up and re-tune your car radio so that you can hear the film ! Upcoming showings include Logan , Patriots Day and Kong : Skull Island .
West Kent Shooting School At West Kent Shooting School you can learn all you need to know about clay pigeon shooting . And if you ’ re an expert already , you can book a time to go and enjoy your hobby . Set in 20 acres of woodland and landscaped grounds , there are over 100 different types of targets . Everything is laid out to be as natural as possible , giving those who want to give this a shot the best chance of getting the hang of it .
TimeQuest : Live Escape Room In this real-time game , players are locked in a room and have 60 minutes to work out how to escape . It ’ s a thrilling , adrenalin-inducing way to have fun , and the escape room at Paddock Wood has a time travelling theme to make it even more mind bending !
The Elm Tree The Elm Tree in Paddock Wood is a traditional English pub with stunning views out across the Kent countryside . Recently refurbished , there is a great place for families to enjoy some freshly cooked food that uses as much local produce as possible . The menu features some delicious dishes including authentic Greek food that has impressed locals and visitors alike .
Simla Cuisine For a fantastic example of how Indian food should be , Simla Cuisine is the place to visit . Both a takeaway and a restaurant , the friendly staff and relaxed décor make Simla a fun place to eat that also have great food . And if you ’ re not sure about having something too spicy , you can even specify the spice level when you order . The menu includes jera chicken , king prawn vindaloo , maharani and chicken kazana as well as much more .
Bella Oliva This restaurant is situated in the famous Paddock Wood Hop Farm , and it is a wonderful place to have a sumptuous lunch or dinner . It is intimate and relaxed and makes the most of the natural sunlight that comes through the windows . The menu includes chicken thermidor ( chicken breast cooked in the restaurant ’ s own cheese , onion , cream and brandy sauce ), penne basilica ( penne pasta cooked in onions , white wine , garlic , sundried tomatoes , chopped olives , basil and olive oil ), chicken peppercorn risotto ( diced chicken and chopped pepperoni in Napolitano sauce and a touch of cream and herbs ) and Greenland mussels ( fresh , large New Zealand mussels in Sicilian sauce ).