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Kent really does have everything – it’s no wonder the conquerors wanted to settle here. With its historic towns like Canterbury, Sandwich and Royal Tunbridge Wells, wild coastline and flourishing countryside, the Garden of England is a truly magnificent spectacle all year round. It's also the gateway to France and Europe with the ferry from Dover and channel tunnel at Folkestone.
Our selection of the best places to stay in Kent are ideal properties to visit whichever season you choose. We have something for everyone from boutique B&Bs to pubs with rooms to country house hotels (for those who want a holiday cottage or apartment we recommend our online partner, Booking.com).
Whether it’s looking over the rolling Weald countryside, peppered with orchards and oast houses, or taking in the sea air at Whitstable, strolling its unspoilt high street lined with independent shops and tucking into world-famous oysters, this county will not disappoint!
The lesser known towns and villages offer some of the best places to stay in Kent, most set amid the stunning countryside of this corner of the South East.
- You need look no further than Thurnham Keep for one of the best examples. It's a grand Edwardian country house B&B set amid seven acres and enjoys stunning views over the Weald.
Kent for foodies
For foodies, Kent certainly has its place on the map, and the majority of our picks of the best places to stay in Kent offer decent food. The county boasts a high concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants and pubs. We recommend:
- The old-fashioned grandeur of Reads Restaurant with Rooms, where you can expect fabulous food, plus large elegant, bedrooms.
- The Marquis at Alkham is another good option. This former village pub is now a chic restaurant with rooms a stone's throw from Dover. A great spot to spend the night before heading across the Channel.
Well known for the Shepherd Neame brewery in Faversham, Kent has plenty of quality pubs with their historic charm preserved and award-winning ales to keep any enthusiast happy.
For wine drinkers, the low Weald is the place to be with the superb Chapel Down and Biddenden vineyards on the doorstep.
For Outdoor Activities
After all that eating, there’s plenty on offer in terms of outdoor pursuits, from a leisurely ramble around the numerous areas of outstanding natural beauty, wildlife reserves and heritage properties, such as Sissinghurst and Hever Castle, to more energetic activities like cycling the Viking coastal trail, kite surfing in Margate or playing 18 holes on one of the country’s best golf courses – Royal St George’s Golf Club in Sandwich. The best places to stay in Kent for any of these would be:
- The Salutation a smart grown up retreat in the heart of historic Sandwich with famous Jekyll designed gardens
- or The Bell, another option in Sandwich, overlooking the river.
It’s not just the Vikings who took a liking to Kent; the county has been the backdrop for many great literary masterpieces such as Dickens’ David Copperfield and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, as wells as inspiration for artists such as Tracey Emin and JMW Turner – now celebrated in the Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate.
- For cultural activities our pick of the best places to stay in Kent is ABode Canterbury - where ancient wooden beams meet contemporary design, just yards from the Cathedral.
When looking for somewhere to rest your head after all that excitement the possibilities are endless, but it’s the quaint B&Bs that shine through as some of the best places to stay in Kent.
From a wind-swept captain’s house on the Kentish coastline to a three-storey former fire station, there’s a style to suit everyone, whether it’s shabby-chic vintage or cutting edge contemporary.
- 7 Longport is a lovely one room B&B in the centre of Canterbury, a stone's throw from the cathedral.
- The Linen Shed in a village near Faversham is a charming cross between New England style and French chic.
- The Arthouse in Canterbury started life as a fire station and now operates as a retro style B&B, full of art and fun.
- The Victorian B&B in Tunbridge Wells is an experience! The owner is a former royal butler and is obsessed with all things Victorian and interiors to match.
For a holiday cottage
- What better way to explore the region than from your own home from home? For a full range of holiday cottages and apartments, visit our online partner, Booking.com.
By far one of England’s loveliest and most varied counties, it’s easy to become addicted to exploring the nooks and crannies of this cultural hotspot. Browse our list of the best places to stay in Kent and start to plan your visit.
Best Hotels in Kent
The Arthouse 2 rooms from $73Canterbury, Kent
Modern, retro styled B+B for the design savvy in a former fire station in the heart of Canterbury - appealing, lively and original, with just two rooms. Book both for a foursome.Sights nearby - 5 mins walk to the historic centre of townQuirky - An experience!
Romney Bay House 10 rooms from $86Kent
Ten bedroomed 1920s mansion perched on a totally unspoilt stretch of coastline, with superb views of the English Channel. This seafront hotel offers traditionally decorated rooms, a restaurant, bar, library with games and a first floor lounge with telescope. Perfect for a quiet getaway.Golf - Littlestone Golf Club, an 18 hole Championship Links Course next door.Sights nearby - Leeds & Bodiam castles are within easy reachBirdwatching - Dungeness Bird ObservatoryGreat walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - Good Hotel Guide
Bishopsdale Oast 4 rooms from $92Kent
Gorgeous 18th century oast house turned B&B set amid Kent countryside. Five elegant bedrooms, with loads of original features - think beamed ceilings, fireplaces and brickwork. Delicious breakfasts and a pop-up restaurant on Friday and Saturdays. Perfect romantic retreat or escape from the city.Sights nearby - A great base for exploring Kent and East Sussex - country houses, gardens, castles and the south coast.Birdwatching - Spot the wild fowl from the comfort of your own room!Views - Lovely views over the pond or deer filled parkland.Restrictions on children - No children under 14 years
The Victorian B&B 3 rooms from $98Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Former royal butler and Aussie Harold Brown’s devotion to Victoriana and service below stairs make this captivating Victoriana themed B&B in the centre of Royal Tunbridge Wells. An experience, with great stories from Harold included.Quirky - An experience!
Botany Bay Hotel 30 rooms from $98Broadstairs, Kent
Comfortable, modern seaside hotel, overlooking the sandy beach at Broadstairs. Tastefully decorated rooms, in neutral tones with plaid throws and pine furniture, many with sea views. Restaurant serves delicious locally sourced seafood specials and fine ales, and has spectacular views.Value chic - Standard doubles start from just £80 B&B.Seaviews - From some rooms.Sights nearby - Explore Broadstairs' cobbled streets, including Bleak House Charles Dickens' summer retreatLocal markets - Broadstairs has a delightful range of independent shops
The Linen Shed 3 rooms from $98Faversham, Kent
A pretty vintage-laden B&B, a cross between New England style and French chic, in a glorious corner of Kent. Comfortable rooms, charming garden, very relaxed.Recommended by - Sawdays
Chart Hill Cottage 3 rooms from $98Kent
Charming b+b for seclusion, unspoilt rolling countryside views and thoughtful comforts. Ideal for a quick rural escape, with good local walking and country pubs.Great walks - The Greensand Way is on the doorstepViews - Great views over the Weald of Kent
Brandshatch Place Hotel & Spa 38 rooms from $116Fawkham, Kent
Georgian manor house turned country house hotel set amid twelve acres with excellent facilities including spa, health club, creche and much more. 2 AA Rosette standard fine dining. Easy access to the channel tunnel and Kent sights.Sights nearby - Very close to Brandshatch plus plenty of stately homes and gardensSwimming Pool - Indoor PoolSpa
ABode Canterbury 72 rooms from $116Canterbury, Kent
Stylish conversion of historic buildings in the the heart of Canterbury, spitting distance from the Cathedral. Good mix of ancient wooden beams and sleek contemporary designs. Great dining and drinking options with Michael Caines restaurant and well equipped bedrooms across the board.Restaurant - Michael Caines restaurant with chef's table in the kitchen area.Sights nearby - Situated within the ancient city walls, just minutes from the Cathedral
7 Longport 1 rooms from $122Canterbury
A lovely one roomed B&B plus 2 cottages sleeping up to 5, just a stone's throw from Canterbury's cathedral. With stylish interiors, your own sitting room and wet room, it's the perfect romantic bolthole and haven for local exploring.Local exploring - Ideally located in the centre of Canterbury for exploring the town and wider area.Sights nearby - Walking distance to all of Canterbury's highlightsQuirky - An experience!
Chilston Park 53 rooms from $133Maidstone, Kent
Classic country house hotel set amid twenty two acres of Kent countryside. Traditionally furnished with many period antique pieces. Ideal location for a country weekend getaway. Popular venue for weddings and business events.Sights nearby - Leeds Castle is only 3 miles awayGreat walks - Good for walkers.
Thurnham Keep 3 rooms from $147Nr Maidstone, Kent
Grand Edwardian country house b&b, with beautiful interiors, gardens and views over the Weald. A great rural escape, especially in summer, with pool, tennis, croquet.Garden - Attractive outside space.Romantic - Good for couples.Great walks - The North Downs Way is just behind the houseSights nearby - 5 miles from Leeds CastleRecommended by - Good Hotel Guide
The White Cliffs Hotel 16 rooms from $159Dover, Kent
Charming hotel at the feet of the White Cliffs of Dover. Rooms are modern and stylish, some with rustic touches - wooden beams and four poster beds. Family friendly, with beautiful views of the French coastline. Guests can relax in the beach garden and enjoy breakfast on the terrace in summer.Spa - Garden of England Spa is a 15-minute walk from the propertySurfing - Available at sites close to the hotelViews - Overlooking the English ChannelSeaside - On the White Cliffs of DoverRecommended by - Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
Wallett's Court Country House 17 rooms from $171Dover, Kent
Old Jacobean manor house in country setting. Views over sweeping landscape towards white cliffs. Rustic bedrooms, spa, restaurant.Swimming Pool - Indoor PoolFour poster beds - For romantics.SpaRecommended by - Frommers, Johansens, Sawdays
The Salutation 9 rooms from $196Sandwich, Kent
Impressive Lutyens mansion in town centre with rooms/cottages for guests in the wonderful garden. Private and secluded stay, ideal for groups of friends or grown-up families.Garden - 3 and a half acres of Lutyens and Jekyll designed gardensRestrictions on children - No children under 16.Full of characterRomantic - Good for couples.Recommended by - Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
Read’s 6 rooms from $202Faversham, Kent
A gracious and calming restaurant with rooms in a Georgian manor, run with commitment. Excellent restaurant, large elegant bedrooms with Savoir beds, surrounded by tranquil gardens.Restaurant - Recommended.Garden - Attractive outside space.Sights nearby - Close to Canterbury.Recommended by - Good Hotel Guide
Albion House 14 rooms from $220Ramsgate, Kent
Following a very recent renovation, original features of this magnificent building have now been combined with modern luxuries. Bedrooms are elegantly decorated and spacious. A magnificent bar with sea views and an exquisite restaurant menu. Log fires and afternoon teas. Seaside elegance.Learning - UK’s Most Inspiring Museum, the Powell-Cotton museum in Quex House, BirchingtonCycling - The Isle of Thanet is perfect cycling and walking territoryOther Activities - The Summer Squall - a summer arts festival.Sights nearby - The Turner Contemporary GalleryRecommended by - I Escape