10 pubs with walks
January - eurgh! Blow away the cobwebs with Kent's best winter warming pubs with walks
January – it’s a time of low mood (one in three of us experience SADS and women are more likely to suffer dontcha know), low vitamin-D (remember the feeling of sun on your skin? Nah, me neither) and low bank balance (nuff said).
Nothing for it, then, but to dig out the ski socks, pull on a wooly hat and enjoy a brisk country walk. After which you’ll want to take refuge in one of these supercosy pubs (with great food of course) and order in a bottle of red. We have personally contacted all of the pubs listed and they promise their staff can recommend a decent local walk, should you so wish. So go, mention Muddy, and blow away the cobwebs.
The Dog, Wingham
Found in picturesque Wingham, which is rather superbly located on the road that links Canterbury and Sandwich, this pub has just undergone a total refurb. And to welcome you, dear Muddy reader, through their doors they are offering an exclusive 15% off all meals and rooms booked in Jan & Feb. To make the most of this offer you must quote: ‘Muddy Stilettos’ at the time of booking. If you need any further incentive The Dog at Wingham has been awarded the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2017 and was the county winner for The National Pub and Bar Awards 2017. Read my full review of the pub here. The pub boasts 8 beautifully designed bedrooms – all with en suite bathrooms. Also on the last Wednesday of every month you can join in The Dog, Walking Club. Cheeky night away, anyone?
Henry VIII, Hever
This pub sits right opposite the entrance to Hever Castle so when I visited recently I jumped out to have a little nosey. It was very pretty looking and busy on a mid-week lunchtime – always a good sign. I didn’t have time to stop for food *sob* but several locals have sung its praises and I particularly loved this cool and cosy covered outdoor area, where you could comfortably sit with a dog after a muddy ramble and enjoy a cheeky glass (Hever Castle let dogs in on a lead – bonus).
The George and Dragon, Speldhurst
Formally a rustic 13th century inn – it’s got roaring log fires and dramatic oak beams, as well as seriously tasty food. Just recently taken over by new ownership, the pub promises to maintain its combination of classic offerings sitting alongside more elaborate dishes – like The Sunday Lunch Menu that offers Prime Aged Sirloin of Beef Roast to Speldhurst Sausage & Mash. Historically one for the foodies.
The Milk House, Sissinghurst
This stylish eatery prides itself on a menu that changes with the seasons and uses only the freshest produce from local suppliers. A blazing fire surrounded by a beautiful stone fireplace creates a homely atmosphere throughout and alongside a seasonal Dining Menu, there’s also a range of classic pub fare, for those that prefer less fuss, a light Grazing Menu and good choices for kids too. Sissinghurst Castle and Gardens is just half a mile’s walk away and upstairs you’ll find four characterful en-suite bedrooms, should you want to make a weekend of it.
The Three Chimneys, Biddenden
To step into the in The Three Chimneys is to step back in time, the low beams, adorned with dried hops, candles and the roaring fires together create a relaxed and inviting authentic pub experience. On entering the bar is all low beams wrapped in hops and dusty books decorating inglenook fireplaces. Beers, bitters and the like are sold from casks behind the bar – in short it’s the kind of gastro pub that Mr Muddy Kent loves – no glossy Farrow & Ball refurb here.
The Duke William, Ickham
Sitting deep in the chocolate-box depths of the Kentish countryside, this pub boasts a big-name chef, Mark Sargeant who is ex-Ramsay. Low timber ceilings, a wood-burning fire, candles burning in old ceramic beer bottles, mismatched wooden tables and chairs – it’s gone for the classic and quirky vibe. With a seriously picturesque setting, perfect walking territory and top notch food, you can’t go wrong here. Situated just 10 minutes outside the historic City of Canterbury and surrounded by some beautiful country walks, there pub has stylish rooms, one of which can accommodate a pooch if you’re pushed after a pint.
The Barrow House, Egerton
This gorgeous new pub in Egerton (previously The George Inn) had been sitting empty when it was recently taken over by husband and wife Dane and Sarah Allchorne, the team behind ever popular The Milk House in Sissinghurst. Named after the ancient burial mounds dotting the local landscape (the local area is great for walking). Thoroughly modernised throughout, like it’s bigger sibling, it has all the same foodie credentials and three boutique rooms upstairs.
The Poet, Matfield
Named after the famous World War 1 poet, Siegfried Sassoon, whose family home was just up the road, The Poet offers very refined British fare. With its sophisticated menu this is another one for the foodies, each main dish is accompanied by a carefully-chosen wine recommendation and there’s craft gins on offer too. However the pub itself has a very laid back feel – so you’d be equally as welcome to just nibble on some bar snacks with a glass of wine after a winter’s amble. Matfield is a very pretty village and there’s loads of good walks on the doorstep.
The Beacon, Rusthall
Sitting high on the hill at Rusthall The Beacon falls somewhere between a pub and a restaurant. Combining elegant Victorian interiors with effortless countryside charm, the warm and inviting bar offers the perfect place to sink into scrumptiously soft leather sofas around a crackling fire. There’s a dog-friendly-area near the back door complete with a jar full of doggie treats and lots of great walking right outside the door.
The Kings Head, Wye
This cosy and recently refurbed pub, set in the beautiful country village of Wye, serves fab home-made and fresh twists on classic pub dishes. The owners, Mark and Scott, go to great lengths to make sure you are well looked after and are hitting the headlines for their culinary skills that wonderful mix of urbane cool interior in a gorgeously quaint historic village setting. Listed in the Top 50 Gastropub Awards, they are dog friendly, making it the perfect place to relax with pooch in tow, after a stroll in the stunning countryside of the North Downs. There’s modern snug bedrooms too.
Addition reporting by: Izzy Bryant