With over 400 towns, choosing the 10 prettiest villages in Kent is almost impossible since the region has dozens of fascinating places, each with its distinctive characteristics.
Kent offers a little bit of everything and for every taste. From families to young professionals, including retirees and people who want a more relaxed pace of life, Kent’s towns are characterized by their welcoming nature.
The region attracts visitors with unspoilt landscapes, winding roads, castles, beautiful medieval houses and mansions, and pretty well-maintained gardens and parks.
Known as the “Garden of England”, Kent impresses with its historic charm, revealing the English countryside’s authentic appeal.
One of the attractions is the famous oast houses designed to dry hops as part of the fermentation process for beer. Many oasts have been converted into houses, but the cone-shaped architecture still enhances the landscape.
In addition to all the attractions, Kent is great for those seeking a good culinary, with hundreds of gastro pubs and fine Michelin-starred restaurants.
I love spending the day visiting the area and the best way to see these pretty villages is by driving around, as some don’t have public transport access. Thinking about that, this list focuses on their unique rural characteristics.
Owned by the National Trust, the village is described as “the best surviving example of the Tudor style”.
It’s lovely to stroll around the main street, stop for a cake at Tulip Tree Shop – the oldest shop in the country; for a pint at the Castle Inn – one of the 60 pubs owned by the NT; see the 13th Century church or visit the Chiddingstone Castle.
Another thing to notice is the ‘Chiding Stone’, a rock formation believed to be behind the village’s name.
The closest train station is Penshurst (2.5 miles). Read more about it here.
Dotted with local shops and restaurants, with The West House proudly wearing Michelin stars, Biddenden is an authentic Kent village.
The medieval half-timbered buildings flank the cobblestone High Street, and it is pleasant to walk through the narrow roads and wonder how little has changed since centuries ago.
The village is home to Kent’s oldest commercial vineyard, the Biddenden Vineyards, producing various wines and selling local produce.
The closest train station is Headcorn (3.7 miles).
Offers a fascinating history, wealth of architecture and excellent stores, Tenterden bestows the idea of a typical rural town by the tranquil Kent countryside.
The village has Georgian buildings that divide the streets with Victorian houses and small cottages, creating a timeless air.
The local tourist attractions draw many visitors, especially the train line from Kent & East Sussex to Bodiam Castle, the Chapel Down (a local vineyard) and Smallhythe Place Museum and Theatre.
The nearest railway station is Headcorn (9 miles) or Ashford (12 miles).
With little more than one street, Smarden has a mixture of styles from several periods. Some buildings have timber frame roofs or are medieval with strong timber uprights, while others are painted white brick with weatherboarded.
Several houses from the 15th and 16th centuries are still intact and one of the oldest buildings is The Chequers Inn, from the 14th-century.
Other attractions include the church of St. Michael, known locally as ‘The Barn of Kent’, a vineyard and the Union Mill.
The nearest train station is Headcorn (2.7 miles).
The small community was once home to the most impressive palaces in Europe, even bigger than Hampton Court, though all that remains is the tower and gatehouse ruins.
This Heritage Village has many listed buildings, including the only Grade II duckpond in the country.
You can find several shops, historic houses, and cottages dating back to the 15th Century on the high street.
The village is home to the largest scale model of the solar system in the world – the Otford Solar System and the Millennium mosaic showing life in Otford from prehistoric times.
There is a train station with connections from London Victoria and London Bridge.
If you consider spending a lovely day appreciating the countryside, Shoreham, in the beautiful Darent Valley, is an enjoyable place to stroll around or hike on several trails within the area.
In the village centre, there are four pubs, the Battle of Britain Museum and the beautiful centuries houses.
Another popular attraction is the Castle Farm and The Hop Shop, where you can visit a lavender plantation in the summer.
There is a train station with connection from London Blackfriars.
Despite its rural charm, this small village has many things to explore, including pubs, the Eynsford Castle, a tea room, a medieval bridge and elegant half-timbered houses.
Just south is Lullingstone Castle and the Lullingstone Roman Villa, from around AD 100 and contains some of the best remains of a Roman villa in Britain, including a chapel.
There is a train station with direct connections from London Victoria and Blackfriars.
The pictorial village has changed little over the years and features many buildings in the traditional timber-framed style and a 12th-century church where it is possible to climb and have a sensational view of Weald.
Around 3.5 miles away is the Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest, an international conservation centre and a park offering picnic setting and trails for cycling or hiking. It is also home to the famous GoApe.
The closest train station is Etchingham, Tunbridge Wells, Wadhurst and Staplehurst.
Set hidden in the quiet countryside, the village offers half-timbered houses, three pubs, a medieval church overlooking the town and a farm shop.
Over 2 miles from the village is the Ightham Mote, a 14th-century preserved medieval manor house owned by the National Trust and cuddled within peaceful gardens, lakes and woodland walks. More about the Manor here.
The closest train station is Wrotham (3½ miles), Hildenborough (4 miles) and Sevenoaks (7 miles).
This typical Kentish village sits on the River Medway amidst many historic buildings, including the 14th-century Medieval bridge, the Aylesford St Peter & St Pauls Church, dating back to the 11th Century.
The Priory, or Friars, founded in 1242, contains England’s finest medieval courtyards and one of England’s best collections of modern religious art.
The area provides a tranquil retreat with picnic areas, pottery workshops, and tea rooms.
Aylesford is 15 minutes walk from its station.
Bem, esses são os vilarejos que eu não canso de visitar e passar o dia sempre que possível. Além disso, como já comentei anteriormente, só o fato de dirigir pelas estradas do interior já fazem o passeio valer a pena!