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Top cosy winter pubs

Lana Crouch
21st September 2020

When there's a chill in the air and the first frost of the year on the ground, there's nothing like some hearty fayre, a local tipple and a local pub’s cosy corner to help you get toasty. Whether it's a pub with a roaring fire, gastronomic delights or windswept sea views you're looking for, our top Kentish pubs all offer a retreat from the cold and a refreshing local pint or two!

Photo: The Mount Edgecumbe

The Mount Edgecumbe

With the spa town of Tunbridge Wells being a favourite winter haunt with its quaint streets and warm and welcoming feel, The Mount Edgecumbe is a classic countryside pub in the center of town. Unusually it sits within a cave and features a warm copper bar and soft sofas sit alongside a seasonal menu, topped of by six boutique bedrooms so you can have a weekend in the spa town to remember. 

The Sun Inn

Escape from the everyday to one of the most popular pubs in historic Faversham. With a tale to tell that dates back to the 14th century, The Sun Inn bursts full of history, charm and character. Explore this traditional Kentish pub brimming with intriguing original features – indulging the nostalgic with its inglenook fireplaces and oak beams. Just a short stroll from the Shepherd Neame brewery, The Sun Inn naturally serves distinctive Kentish cask ales in peak condition. It’s also a great place to eat and even stay - with twelve comfortable and characterful bedrooms providing stylish accommodation. 

The Pepper Box Inn

A short distance from Leeds Castle on the Greensand Way and the South Eastern Toll Ride, the Pepper Box is in an ideal place to stop and refresh for those out on a winter walk or ride. The Pepper Box Inn is a traditional pub in the heart of the Kent countryside which has been run by the same family since 1958. Customers can nestle in to the pub’s comfortable leather sofas next to large inglenook fireplaces in the winter months. It is renowned for its delicious á la carte restaurant menu, particularly the game dishes. 

King Henry VIII

A truly historic English pub, with dramatic Tudor chimney stacks, oak beams, open fires and panelled bars – which have all been restored using traditional Tudor craftsmanship. There's been a pub on this site since 1597, but the current King Henry VIII building dates from 1647. Situated opposite the entrance to Hever Castle, where Anne Boleyn spent her early years, this half-timbered and peg-tiled pub is a real gem. In winter, it boasts roaring fires. 

The Griffin's Head

This picturesque country pub offers real ales, good food and great views of the Kentish countryside. It is popular during the winter for its two blazing log fires roaring in inglenook fireplaces. Built as a farmhouse in 1405, during the reign of Edward I, The Griffin’s Head building remained a farm until 1766 when it became fully licensed, serving travellers on the main Canterbury to Deal road. 

The Peacock Inn

A traditional family-run 14th-century country pub nestled in the Kentish countryside near Goudhurst, The Peacock Inn offers a menu of warming locally-sourced fresh food, beer and wine. Settle down by the pub’s open fire after a walk through this picturesque hill village in the High Weald area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The George Hotel & Brasserie

Halfway between Maidstone and Hastings, Cranbrook is a small town in the middle of the High Weald, at the very heart of Kent. The George Hotel is one of the town’s landmark buildings dating back to 13th century. The perfect place to stop for a pint or a plateful, with Kentish ales at the bar and seasonal, local produce on the menu. It’s also a great place to bed down for the night, with rooms available above the bar and restaurant. 

The Botany Bay Hotel

If it’s a blustery walk or a brooding sea view you’re after, head to The Botany Bay Hotel in Broadstairs. Situated on the magnificent clifftop at Kingsgate, the hotel overlooks one of Britain’s most spectacular beaches with 200 metres of golden sands, stunning cliffs and rock pools. Stay in one of the 30 en-suite bedrooms, many offering sea views, enjoy a drink in the welcoming lounge bar or sample some delicious food in the á la carte restaurant, both also boasting direct views of the English Channel.

The Woolpack Inn

Dating from 1410, The Woolpack Inn on Romney Marsh, was once the haunt of smugglers and retains many of its original features such as wattle-and-daub walls and a low, beamed ceiling. Located in great walking country, The Woolpack is a perfect place to stop and satisfy the thirst and appetite during a day out in the country. Excellent traditional pub food is served with all fish and game locally sourced.

The Millers Arms

Are you looking for somewhere that isn’t too far away from the heart of Canterbury? Then The Millers Arms is the place to go, being just walking distance from some of Canterbury’s best tourist attractions. With fine ales and a delicious menu, one of Canterbury’s top-rated pubs offers superb service while you relax and unwind. This pub offers stylish, modern decor with an inglenook fireplace and a stunning courtyard garden for you to enjoy a fresh pint and maybe even a Sunday roast, before staying the night in their cosy accommodation.  

The Restoration

Give your arms a break from all of those shopping bags and head to The Restoration in Sevenoaks High Street, where you can enjoy a warm fire with a freshly prepared meal and one of their local ales. Dated back to 1616, this pub manages to stay stylish but also remain traditional, with their large seating area being extremely popular with customers. And for those early risers; breakfast is served! Fancy smashed avocado on toast? Or even some spicy beans and eggs? Then you better head down to the Restoration where you have all this offered to you and more. 

The Vine Inn

With a combination of traditional and contemporary style, The Vine Inn offers a warm conservatory filled with natural light perfect for a daytime visit. Head outside to the beautiful walled garden, where you can enjoy the sunshine while feasting on the scrumptious cuisine. Whatever the occasion, you are guaranteed good food, comfort and pure relaxation here at The Vine Inn. 

The Royal Hotel 

After a long walk along the seafront, there is no better place to relax and unwind than at the Royal Hotel. Whether you're spending time with family or you want to treat that special someone; the Royal Hotel offers a delicious menu made up of locally sourced ingredients. With cosy fires, a menu which includes many different international and local wines and beers and with a terrace that overlooks the sea, the Royal Hotel promises a visit you will never forget. 

The Guinea

In the heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells The Guinea has that festive feel with a highly recommended Christmas dinner. You can relax in the comfort of their luxury arm chairs and warm up in front of the blazing log fires. Whether you fancy a three course meal with locally sourced traditional foods or a quick stop off drink at the bar, this pub caters for all with its warm and welcoming atmosphere.

The Chance Inn

Just a short drive from Dover Castle you can find one of Dover’s “best kept secrets”. The Chance Inn has that cosy feeling, serving home cooked popular British dishes. With a great location you can find yourself relaxing here with a tipple or two after a stroll from the White cliffs of Dover. It might be chilly in the winter so be sure to warm up in front of their log burners and bring your furry friends inside to warm up too because they are pet friendly!

The Dove

Known for its award winning menu The Dove is exactly the place you’d want to be if you’re looking for a delightful dining experience. Whether you need a change of scenery from the spectacular sights of Canterbury or have finished a day surrounded by oysters in the Whitstable Harbour, The Dove is a short 15 minute drive from both so it’s the perfect place to unwind after a busy day and to experience a taste of their finest English and international wines.

The Three Chimneys

Located in the land that lies between the North and South Downs, The Three Chimneys has it all. A deep history that dates back to approximately 1420 and began as a simple country alehouse. It has since doubled in size, now having five dining areas and high furnished rooms for those who can’t escape the warm and relaxing atmosphere of this traditional Kentish pub.

The Blackhorse Inn

Decorated with beams and open fires the family run Blackhorse Inn pub is the perfect base for those visitors exploring the historic Kentish countryside and landmarks. With meat delivered by the local butcher, wine from the local vineyard and fresh food prepared by their talented chefs, The Blackhorse Inn is sure to deliver that 5 star experience.

The Dirty Habit

Originally built in the 11th century as a monks ale and cider house, The Dirty Habit pub is rich in history with some interesting stories to tell. It has been renovated to modern expectations however, keeping the historic charm with Victorian tables and chairs and a private dining area known as “The monks corner”. From hosting events to providing you with local walks, The Dirty Habit has something for everyone to enjoy.

The Potting Shed

If you’re looking for an unforgettable countryside retreat, you’re looking in the right place. Situated in Langley, only a 15 minute drive from Leeds Castle, The Potting Shed aims to bring the outside in by creating a rustic, country feel. This Scandinavian inspired pub Includes 6 distinctive, quirky, eco living bedrooms and an open plan restaurant, with a large outdoor area.

White Hart Inn

The hidden gem of Canterbury. The White Hart Inn is a dog friendly, traditional pub serving up some of the best pub classics, complemented by a variety of drinks including Canterbury’s largest wine selection. The pub is blessed with a large outdoor seating area to drink and dine but don’t worry there is also a warm and cosy interior for those winter days.

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