The small town of Paddock Wood grew up around the railway in 1842 which provided access for local fruit growers and hop farmers to London and the coast.
Hop pickers used to come on their annual summer ‘holiday’ to this area and spent the summer in the surrounding fields.
The area has a long history in the hop and fruit growing industries.
The oast houses are a reminder of this heritage and are very common in the area around Paddock Wood.
These eccentric looking buildings were used to dry the hops with the topmost cylinder turning in the wind to allow the air to circulate.
Nowadays some people are lucky enough to live in them, even though they are a furnishing challenge!
Today, Paddock Wood continues to be a hub for the country’s hop growing industry and vegetable and fruit distribution.
It supplies large national supermarkets, small real ale and cider makers as well as Europe.
Local produce continues to be important to the nearby region too.
Nearby roadside stalls sell seasonal fruit and vegetables including apples, strawberries, asparagus, and cherries.
Things to do in Paddock Wood
The town itself has a good selection of small independent shops including the family run department store of Barsleys which is over 120 years old.
The surrounding countryside, peppered with orchards, known as the Low Weald is a beautiful area to cycle and walk around.
With leafy winding lanes that lead to other rural Kent villages, enjoy the fresh air, get the bike out and explore the wondrous woodlands and views on a cycling tour of your own.
Nearby, The Hop Farm Family Park provides a variety of family activities including Giant Jumping Pillows, children’s soft play area, outdoor adventure play area, laser games and escape rooms.
The Park also hosts a number of large family events and concerts throughout the year.
Camping is available on site too but if you want to stay somewhere more robust in this rural area of the Garden of England check the accommodation search tool to the right.
And whilst you are exploring, see if you can find out Paddock Wood’s connection with one of our most famous writers, Charles Dickens!