The Camel House

Benenden, Kent
+44 (0)1580 241132

Cosy stable conversion for couples in a rustic Kent orchard. Host John will regale you with tales of his desert exploration.


2 beds


1 bedroom


Sleeps 2

The Experience

With a twinkle in his eye and a smile warmer than the Aga, John can tell you all about his adventures in the Gobi Desert and his camel conservation. The converted barn at the bottom of the orchard holds many treasures from his days in the field – he’s more than happy for show and tell.

The recently converted 1950’s stable block sits in a lovely orchard of fruit trees with over an acre of grass, creeping vines and a little flagstone terrace for sitting out with a book. Inside it’s cosy and warm, with rugs to curl your toes into, a squishy sofa, and there’s a screened-off alcove with a small single if you’ve got a little one in tow.

Keep your wellies by the back door for breezy walks over the Weald of Kent’s rolling hills or take a turn around the formal gardens at Sissinghurst (10 minutes away). England’s most famous vineyard, Chapel Down, is just 20 minutes’ drive and so you’ll find something interesting to take back.

The Camel House - Gallery

We think you'll love

  • Captivating stories from an affable host
  • The warm and cosy Aga
  • That it’s all on one floor
The Camel House - Gallery

You should know

  • Some noise from the nearby road
  • The stable block isn’t much of a looker from the outside
  • The gardens are rustic, not manicured


  • Swimming pool
  • Hot tub
  • Garden
  • Open fire / woodburner
  • Breakfast included
  • Breakfast available
  • Meals available
  • Vegetarian meals
  • Oven
  • Parking on premises
  • Free parking nearby
  • Accessible by public transport
  • WiFi
  • Television
  • Central heating
  • Limited mobility
  • Wheelchair access
  • Mobile reception
  • Hob
  • Barbecue
  • Paid parking nearby
  • Air conditioning
  • Relaxation areas
  • Washing machine
  • Tennis court
  • Microwave oven
  • No smoking
  • Credit cards
  • Working farm
  • Owner has pets
  • Electricity included
  • Dishwasher
  • Pets welcome

Family friendly

  • Baby monitor
  • Books and toys
  • Children welcome
  • Babies welcome
  • Stair gates
  • High chair
  • Cot available


  • Pub/bar within 3 miles
  • Restaurant within 3 miles
  • Shop within 3 miles


  • Bikes available
  • Food courses
  • Kayaking
  • Other courses
  • Sailing
  • Surfing
  • Wild swimming

& pricing

Booking information

Check in
Check out
1 November to 15 March.
This property is part of a working farm or vineyard.
Owner has pets
Animals living on the property
Pubs/restaurants 1 mile.


Nightly price
from £57
Weekly price
from £350
Short breaks available, 3 nights minimum from £180. Contact us for prices for long stays.
1 House for 2
From £572 beds1 bedroom


We had a lovely stay at John’s cottage. It is very comfortable and well equipped. The weather was fantastic whilst we were there too. It is handily situated to get to a wide variety of places in Kent and East Sussex.

Lesley, West Yorkshire

The Camel House is just about an hour’s drive from home and this was one of the most relaxing breaks we’ve ever had. The house was warm and comfortable, set in John’s interesting garden - there are lots of fruit trees including quince, medlar, plums and damsons which were full of fruit in August but would be delightfully blossoming in Spring. The village of Benenden is a five minute drive away and we were warmly welcomed, along with our four month old puppy on his first holiday, for supper at The Bull. This was the first time we’d been away/in a pub since lockdown began. It was perfect!

Maggy, London

We had an enjoyable stay at The Camel House. It was ideally located for our holiday, enabling us to visit some of the numerous National Trust properties in the area. The Camel House was comfortable and quite close to the small town of Cranbrook or the village of Benenden. The owner, John Hare, was helpful and concerned that we were managing all right, which we were! Having an Aga on which to cook was a novel and welcome experience. There is a very pleasant pub, The Bull, in Benenden where one can get a good pub meal when one is not cooking!

Christopher, Gloucestershire

The Camel House is in a fantastic location, with many attractions but a short drive away. There are several walks from Benenden that take in the beautiful countryside, and the community run village shop, post office and cafe is well worth a visit. The Camel House is an uncomplicated property which enables you to relax and enjoy your stay; the aga gives it a cosy feel and the bed is super comfy. John Hare is an delightful host with a warm welcome, and only too happy to offer information regarding the locality. The country road outside of the property can be busy.

Anne, Plymouth

We’ve just spent three nights at The Camel House and it provided a wonderful stay. The owner, John Hare, was a mine of information on the local amenities. The property itself is a tasteful conversion from a stable and serves well as accommodation for a couple. Together with the guinea fowl, geese and chickens it was a unique experience


We adored our stay at the Camel House. You will love camels even more once you've stayed here. We had a beautiful breakfast in the bright Kent morning sunshine. There's a bath with sunlight streaming in from the skylight which you'll love. John was a delight - a real gent with a great sense of humour. If you want somewhere to relax and enjoy life - this is the place to do it. Many thanks.

Pollyanna, London

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at The Camel House. John was very attentive and welcoming. The Camel House is beautiful and spacious and you are spoilt for choice for wonderful day trips from this location - we shall certainly be back!

Catherine, Salisbury

Great accommodation - we’ll be back. Love the Aga.

CM and family, Cove

Read more reviews


The neighbourhood

Just off the main Cranbrook road, the orchard is secluded and has a few neighbours – your closest being John’s crop of hens and guinea fowl. It’s one mile to Benenden village and three to Cranbrook town; both have pubs and shops. Sissinghurst is a little further on and is surrounded by English country gardens, tea shops and pretty clapboard cottages. You’re in the middle of Kent’s ‘boarding school country’, so it’s a great base for those with youngsters at Benenden or Bethany.

Local points of interest from John Hare

  • Sissinghurst Castle: Home of the late Vita Sackville-West and her famous garden now managed by the National Trust
  • Bodiam Castle: A partially restored moated Norman Castle managed by the National Trust as is Bateman's, just 20mns away which was Kipling's house on his return from India
  • Great Dixter: A famous and most unusual garden created by Christopher Lloyd, the house designed by Edwin Lutyens
  • Bedgebury Pinetum and Forest: the world's best conifer collection.
  • Pop down the road to the Bull at Benenden - a freehouse with excellent food.
  • Kent and East Sussex Railway - enjoy the excitement of a steam train on one of the country's finest rural light railways.


John Hare

John Hare OBE has had a life full of adventures: running The Camel House is his latest one. The well-weathered explorer has travelled extensively – like a modern Lawrence of Arabia, his trips have taken him across the Sahara Desert by camel, and he’s won an award from the Royal Geographical Society for his conservation work in the Gobi Desert. He lives with his wife in Cranbrook but will be there to meet you when you arrive.