North East Kent via Faversham to Whitstable along the sea

via High Halden (9 miles N of Tenderden on A28)

B&B Durrants Court, on A28, Ashford Rd,Mrs. Jennifer E. Gentle ph 01233 850027, gsm 07729 378496, 

B&B Hopesgrovecottage (on A28,

The Chequers, High Halden: pub sign two gentleman in Elizabethan costume playing a board game; older Whitbread sign shows Chinese Chequers board; Inn, circa 1620, is known to have been used by smugglers and the various gangs such as the "Hawkhurst" and "Cranbrook" gangs that were active in the mid 18th century.

to Bethersden, (9 miles NE of Tenderden on A28)

Stone Green Nurseries, Pluckley Road, ph 01233 820998

to Smarden, (12 miles N of Tenderden on B2077) despite the heavy traffic, its main street is one of the finest in the county, lined with beautiful old houses on either side. Around its 14th century church, called the “Barn of Kent” (scissors-beam roof with intersecting timbers), stands a picturesque group of weatherboarded houses with tiled roofs and trees. The overhanging first storey of the Penthouse forms a low arch hiding access to the churchyard.

on A251 N to Challock (11 miles SW of Canterbury) on A252 E

to Chilham, (6 miles SW of Canterbury on intersection A252/A25), is one of the loveliest villages in Kent used for many film sets; displays well-preserved medieval timbered cottages and hall-houses. Its houses and cottages (14th-16th century) of primarily Tudor or Jacobean style, with projecting gables and undulating roofs, blend harmoniously at an airy and spacious square. Chilham Castle, with large gardens around a Jacobean mansion (1616) and a 12th century keep, is privately owned, open to the public only on special events e.g. end Aug castle jazz. The White Horse Inn, a lovely village inn from 1422, provides a cosy atmosphere with its centuries-old beams and an inglenook fireplace; most photographed pub. Parish church of St. Mary’s (15th century, Perpendicular Gothic) with stone and flint tower.

The Woolpack Inn, chilham

The Old Weavers House, 1 St. Peter’s Str (trad. Cream teas)

Thomas Becket, 21 Best Lane (good pub food, bruine kroeg)

Best route continues (walking or driving) over local roads towards Selling  past orchards, through woodlands to the high grounds of Perry Wood (12 miles W of Canterbury). The Rose and Crown, ((FP), ph 01227 752214 a friendly, mellow and inviting pub in a lovely setting perched at the top of Crown Hill. It dates back to 16th century, has local hops garland the beams, a unique corn dolly collection and two inglenook fireplaces and a large patio, prize-winning cottage-style garden with fairy lights and an aviary,  try the Bat and Trap pitch, children playground, dogs welcome, ample parking incl. hitching posts for horses; it serves Harvey’s Sussex Best Bitter, Goacher’s Real Mild Ale and Adnams Southwold and a wide-ranging menu of food.

Cobham (4 miles W of Rochester off A2) is a picturesque village: half-timbered Leather Bottle Inn (dated 1629, Royalist meeting place during the Civil war, often visited by Charles Dickens) , Cobham Hall (1584, late Tudor architecture, now girls college) with courtyard, Owletts (17th century red brick house, charming rural house & beautiful garden, TNT), Darnley Arms is Cobham’s oldest pub (4o The Street, 01474 814218)

The Ship (14 The Street, Cobham, Gravesend, 01474 814326)  

(Rochester/Chatham: historic around cathedral, empty Rochester castle; Bakers Walk, College Green & Minor Cannon Rd (16th century houses), Charles Dickens.)

Via Hogben’s Hill to Sheldwich, onto A251 to Faversham, (12 miles W of Canterbury) still functioning as a port today, but kept a charming historic center with a splendid arcaded Guildhall (1574); with markets Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Over 400 listed buildings: pastel-washed cottages blend in with elegant Georgian dwellings, Court-, Market- and West Str.

The Anchor (Abbey St) is the oldest pub in Faversham, serves traditional bar food 12-03:00 pm and Harveys.

The Albion Tavern (Shepherd Neame) is a quaint, white weatherboarded gem built in 1748 overlooking Faversham Creek, on opposite banks stands Shepherd Neame brewery, Its bar has a distinct nautical atmosphere; it serves Spitfire, Master Brew and modern cooking style menus.

Shipwrights Arms, Hollowshore (FP) ph 01795 590088) classic pub since 1735; serves frequently changing Kent brews and home-cooked foods; features English pies and puddings in the winter time.

For garden lovers, do not miss out on Brogdale Farm, Brogdale Road, Faversham, Kent ME13 8XZ, 01795 536250  housing the UK National Fruit Collection - (2,200 different varieties of apple, 550 of pear, 350 of plum, 320 of cherry and smaller collections of bush fruits, nuts and grapes) in 150 acres of orchards.

Front Brents (parallel to Church Rd)

Read’s restaurant (lunches £20, dinner £40

The Plough Inn (() Lewson Sreet, Norton, near Favershan, Kent  ME9 9JJ, ph 01795 521348) is a genuine hidden gem, a throwback to long gone times and timeless warmth: building dates back to 1260 and has been used as a pub since mid 18th century; exterior features black shutters and trellises offsetting the overall white historic peg-tiled front and picket fence; in 1997 NEAME pub garden of the year with magnificent hanging baskets, inside hop bines hanging from low oak beams, agricultural memorabilia incl. a 1910 cash register behind the bar; it offers an enviable selection of fish specialties with imaginative less commonly served varieties.

Shepherd Neame Brewery (Court St, shop, guided tour & tasting £7, brewery & museum) since 1698, proudly independent family company, is Britain’s oldest.

Early Sep popular and colourful traditional hop harvesting celebrations Faversham Hop Festival, music & Morris dancers, vintage Neame vehicles, beer & food tasting at pubs, free brewery tours, 01795 542285

Follow a winding lane via Graveney across open marshland to Seasalter (12 miles N of Canterbury) for The Sportsman, tucked behind the sea wall (Shepherd Neame), 2004 AA Pick of the Pub, Faversham Road, ph 01227 273370; modern rustic but comfortable interior gives a warm and welcoming feel;  serves local produce especially imaginative fish dishes; serves full range of Shepherd Neame ales incl. seasonal brews, e.g. Bishops Finger, Spitfire, Masterbrew, Porter; large patio.

and further to Whitstable (12 miles N of Canterbury), a working town by, and of, the sea. Whitstable is not the typical run-down seaside resort with traditional seaside entertainment. Rather it is a busy commercial harbour which has recaptured its charme with old-fashioned streets lined with fisherman’s cottages, shops and taverns  linked by a fascinating maze of narrow alleyways. Many good restaurants offering famous Whitstable oysters and seafood dishes, e.g.

Giovanni’s (49-55 Canterbury Road, 01227 273034),

Crab & Winkle Seafood (South Quay),

East Quay restaurant ((Wed-Sun 12-4, Fri-Sun 6-8:30), simple cafeteria, good oysters & fresh fish)

stroll along the beach, watching boats and all-year wet-suit watersports

No need to continue to Herne Bay (a hopeless English seaside resort) and Broadstairs (seaside village with a bit of Victorian heritage)

However go to see Sandwich (12 miles north of Dover), is one of the ancient Cinque Ports (now 2 miles from the sea!)and its small town but full of historical interest: follow self-explanatory Sandwich Town Trail through historic center; most preserved medieval own walls, Cattle Market; Guildhall (1579) with its museum: brass Moot Horn and Hog Mace; evening curfew still rung every day at 08:00 p.m. ; Dutch House in King Street, fine timbered houses in Strand Street, and St. Bartholomew’s Hospital at New Street (12th century, a chapel amidst a quadrangle of almshouses).

John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, ordered a slice of beef between two pieces of bread as a substitute for a more conventional meal – a snack he could eat without leaving the gambling table. The sandwich was born.

St. Crispin Inn (at Worth, The Street; country pub since 1604 with exposed beams and open fires; it serves Shepherd Neame MasterBrew, Wadworth 6X, Theakstone Old Peculier; favourite dishes are pound pies, venison stews and Oh My Cod! (enormous fish and chips); bat and trap game in larg summer garden.

George & Dragon Inn on Fisher Street, Kings Arms Hotel, Fisherman’s Wharf on The Quay for fish, Strand on 19 Strand Street (TBD)

and continue to Ham (a little hamlet of thatched cottages; well photographed Ham-Sandwich signpost at West Street junction)


or continue via Dover

The Jackdaw, (The Street, Denton, 10 miles NW of Dover on A260, midway between Canterbury & Folkestone), ph: 01303 844663 the "Pub" is only about three miles from Hawkinge, the site of the WWII fighter station. A nice spot to stop for lunch or dinner or just to sit in the garden with a pint. Lovely home cooking and a great pint make this place a superb place to eat your traditional sunday roast, its got a real oldie worldie atmosphere with its exposed oak beams. Super meal, plenty of choice, a really nice pub. Portions are very generous; veggie, beef and guinness pie were fabulous; reserve for their Saturday evening dinner.

Elham, (pronounced eelham; 15 miles W of Dover on B2065) a picturesque village,is situated in the Elham Valley which runs from the A20 at Folkestone towards Canterbury; offers a Restaurant called The Blue Vinney and three pubs: The King's Arms located in the village Square and The Abbots Fireside and the Rose & Crowneach of which can be found in the High Street.

The Black Robin pub, (Valley Road, Kingston, five miles south of Canterbury in the Elham Valley), built 18/19th century, was named after the highwayman, Black Robin, who was eventually caught and hanged for his dastardly deeds.

and Folkestone to Hythe for the Romney, Hythe & Dumchurch Railway (RH&DR, New Romney Station, New Romney, Kent 01797 362353 2005, fares Hythe-Dungeness £10.50, Romney Rover daypass £10.50; end Mar-end Sep) was opened in 1927 as 14 miles of a public railway mainline in miniature (1/3 full size, ) and large model railway exhibition; features a superb fleet of 15”(38 cm) gauge steam and diesel locomotives: Green Goddess (LNER apple green), Northern Chief (Brunswick green), Southern Maid (RH&DR green), The Bug (Brighton umber), Hercules (Midland railway green), Samson (Great Eastern blue), Typhoon (British Racing green), Hurricane (Caledonian blue), Winston Churchill (red), Dr Syn (black), Black Prince (DB black & red), John Southland (black with yellow), Captain Howey (blue with silver); special events: diners, jazz trains, Santa specials

farmers market (2nd & 4th Sa of month, 10-12, in the Hall behind light railway restaurant.

and Finglesham (plant nursery, Crowne Inn (16th century country pub) TBD

back via Canterbury or Dover, Folkstone, and Ashford to

Woodchurch, (5 miles E of Tenderden off the B2067) there are many lovely Tudor and  Georgian homes facing its large green. In 1826, on this green a smuggling gang fought the dragoons and the culprits were sentenced to transportation to Australia.

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