Cheap Bed & Breakfast, Self Catering Hostel Near Faversham Kent, England, UK Bed and Breakfast also available
 
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Bed & Breakfast Accommodation, Hostel Style and Quiet Campsite for Tents Only
  Telephone: +44(0)1795 886200 email: info@palacefarm.com
 

About us
The Cuthbert family came to Doddington in September 1936, Peter Cuthbert, Graham's Grandfather walked all the way from near Rye in Sussex where they had farmed for a few years, returning to Kent , leading a horse, wagon and animals, it rained all the way. Graham's father Henry and his brother Bill had a Raleigh Tri-car van and made several trips back and forth to bring all the small items. They rented Home Farm from the Doddington Place Estate and set about acquiring a small dairy herd and a flock of sheep. Strawberries were planted and this family tradition continued for another seventy years, the Cuthberts became well known for their successes at The Cherry and Soft Fruit show held every year at The Kent County Show. In 1950 Palace Farm was bought, or at least 56 acres of it, Bill moved to Australia and Ashley left to farm on his own at Newnham. Foxenden Farm was rented in 1958 and the dairy herd moved there, Peter had by now passed away. In 1966 Graham's father Henry and his brother John decided to dissolve the partnership, sell the dairy herd and John moved his family to a fruit only farm in the Weald of Kent. Henry continued to farm on his own, favouring fruit and vegetable crops.

 
The Cuthbert's Combine in 1960
Palace Farm in 1967
The Granary before restoration Rooms 1&3 before restoration
Graham helped out when he could in school holidays and at weekends, in 1972 Graham left school and worked at home until he went to agricultural college for three years in 1974. During the summer of 1975 Graham worked in Canada for three months and much to the surprise of his parents Graham decided to return to the family farm in Doddington at the end of his training.
In 1993 whilst filling out forms for DEFRA and drawing up maps of the farm and all the public rights of way, we noticed how many footpaths there were and all the small country lanes. Often we had been told more tourism was needed in the Kent Downs, there had been a YHA Hostel near the village which closed around 1980. It was decided to convert our old farm buildings and open a hostel. We obtained planning permission in 1999 and after years of research, numerous courses, many nights hostelling in England and in Europe and desperate searching for grant funding, work started on the last day of October 2003, we opened at the beginning of June 2004. The campsite opened in 2007 after many requests for a campsite in Doddington. In 2009 we gave up the rented ground to concentrate on Palace Farm and the hostel and campsite. We decided that if we didn't convert the granary it would soon be beyond converting so work started in spring 2010, it was completed in April 2011.
 

Green Tourism
At Palace Farm we are committed to providing excellent quality hostel accommodation whilst minimising the environmental impact of our activities. A symbol of this commitment is our membership of the Green Tourism Business Scheme. This scheme provides accreditation and encouragement for tourism businesses to reduce the environmental impact of their activities. By encouraging sustainable practices it ensures the continued enjoyment of the environment of England for future generations.
In the Courtyard rooms we have used mostly low energy lighting, thermostatic radiators, where possible exceeded the insulation requirements, and installed solar water heating and a "clean burn" log burning stove to burn waste wood from the farm, and we are already saving far more than £1,000 per year in fuel bills.
For our final phase of conversion, the granary, we were determined not to use fossil fuels for heating. Completed in 2011 the building is very successfully heated using an air source heat pump with under-floor heating and solar panels for all the hot water. Insulated to a very high standard we have not needed to light the wood burning stove we installed for back up warmth! The campsite has a modern environmentally friendly toilet and shower block, all lighting is low energy and lights in toilets and showers are switched on by PIR sensor and automatically turn off when all movement has stopped for several minutes so we don't waste any electricity.  The lights on the outside of the block are switched on and off by a light sensitive switch, the total consumption is just 160 watts, that is six and a quarter hours per unit of electricity.

 
Woodburning Stove in the Courtyard Lounge
Clear Water Treatment Unit
Fungi at Palace Farm
Chestnut Fencing used as fuel at end of life
Christmas Trees at Palace Farm

During the renovation of the farm buildings we have saved and reused much of original building materials. Our fencing is made from locally coppiced chestnut and when it needs replacing the old fence can be burned on the wood burner to help heat the hostel
We encourage all of our guests to recycle glass, plastic, metal and paper.
To make it easy we have recycling bins in the hostel and in the camp site.
We are still researching wind generation and the use of a small solar PV panel to light the covered patio area and other outside seating areas. Although we do have electric lights to most of these areas 230 volt electrics needs an electrician to install, with a 12 or 24 volt system we will be able to put in lights ourselves and explore different lighting moods.
Palace Farm is a working farm growing Wheat, Plums, Christmas Trees, Pumpkins and other vegetables for local sale, we have our own fully free range chickens and when we can find them enjoy some wonderful eggs with bright orange yolks, all of these are available to our guests in season.

In past years the farm had been meticulously manicured, weed killers were used liberally between trees and under hedgerows. In orchards closely mown grass separated bare earth strips in which only the fruit trees were allowed to grow. Following a visit that we requested from a Conservation Consultant we reverted to leaving the weeds under hedges unsprayed this has greatly increased the stock of natural insect predators, we seldom use sprays for pest control now, there is one big drawback rabbits everywhere!

Graham & Liz Cuthbert

 
 
© Palace Farm Hostel, Down Court Road, Doddington, Nr Faversham, Kent ME9 0AU, England, UK. +44 (0)1795 886200