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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 is a list of ideal properties to book 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).
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.
There’s also 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.
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.
What Not To Miss
- Canterbury Cathedral is an absolute must visit! Forming part of a World Heritage Site, it's the Cathedral of the leader of the Church of England (the Archbishop of Canterbury) and is littered with tombs of historical figures. You'll love the wonderful architecture and grandiose feel of the place!
- Head over to Dover Castle, built in the 11th century and named the "Key to England" due to its strategic importance. England's largest castle, it's home to a military museum, medieval underground works and various war-time tunnels.
- The iconic White Cliffs of Dover are some of England's best known geographic features. Spend the day wandering along the coastline and enjoy a picnic on the beach at this picturesque spot.
- Visit Chartwell House, a National Trust Site and the long time home of Sir Winston Churchill. Enjoy a tour of the house, which is crammed with photos, documents and mementoes of one of Britain's modern heroes.
- Howletts Wild Animal Park is a great family day out. This 90 acre property is home to gorillas, tigers and monkeys as well as England's largest collection of African Elephants.
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! And neither will our pick of the best places to stay in Kent.
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.
- Bishopsdale Oast, set amidst 2 acres of gardens, is an 18th century rural house turned B&B. Offering 5 elegant rooms with beamed ceilings and brickwork, there's also a delicious breakfast served each morning. Wonderfully romantic.
- The Linen Shed is a pretty B&B with a mix of New England and French décor. With comfortable rooms, a charming garden and lovely breakfasts, it's a splendid rural retreat.
- Chilston Park, set amid twenty two acres of countryside, is traditionally furnished with plenty of antique pieces. Culpeper's Restaurant (located in the old dining hall), serves 2AA Rosette food. A superb country escape.
- Wallett's Court Country House offers splendid sweeping views towards the White Cliffs of Dover. An old Jacobean manor house, this charming spot offers traditional accommodation with four poster beds and an indoor hot tub.
Kent for foodies
For foodies, Kent certainly has its place on the map, and the majority of our recommended hotels in Kent offer decent food. The county boasts a high concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants and pubs. We suggest you try:
- Brandshatch Place Hotel & Spa is a Georgian manor house turned country hotel. Set amongst 12 acres and offering a spa, health club and 2AA Rosette fine dining, it's a splendid 4* spot.
- Located in the characterful Royal Tunbridge Wells, One Warwick Park offers smart and unfussy accommodation, wonderful cuisine served up at their L'Amore restaurant and cocktails available in the lounge bar.
- 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.
For Outdoor Activities
- The Salutation, a smart grown up retreat in the heart of historic Sandwich with famous Jekyll designed gardens, is just a stone's throw away from The Royal St George's Golf Club.
- The Bell, another option in Sandwich overlooking the river, is also located within easy access of the golf course as well as Sandwich & Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve.
- 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.
- The Arthouse is another splendid option for getting to know historic Canterbury. A retro styled B&B featuring pieces of modern artwork on the walls, it's also just 5 minutes from the centre of town.
- For exploring Royal Tunbridge Wells and the nearby sights, Hotel Du Vin & Bistro is a great choice. Stylish, modern accommodation as well as a restaurant.
When looking for somewhere to rest your head the possibilities are endless, but it’s the quaint B&Bs that shine through as some of the best places to stay in Kent. 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. Think classy interiors and splendid breakfasts.
- 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 there are interiors to match.
Beach Spots in Kent
- Botany Bay enjoys a superb location overlooking the sandy beach at Broadstairs. With tastefully decorated rooms featuring muted tones and pine furniture, there's also a superb seafood restaurant specialising in local produce.
- Romney Bay House is a ten bedroom 1920s mansion perched on an unspoilt stretch of coastline. There's traditional accommodation, wonderful views of the Channel and a library in which to curl up with a good book.
- The White Cliffs Hotel is a charming spot with modern, stylish accommodation featuring four poster beds. Wonderful views of the French coastline and a lovely beach garden.
- The recently renovated Albion House boasts spacious contemporary accommodation and an exquisite restaurant. Cosy in by the log fire and enjoy a cuppa after a day spent walking along the coast.
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.
- It's best to visit Kent in July or August, when the average daily temperature reaches a pleasant 21°C and the days are at their longest. Autumn is also a great time to visit the region as bustling spots like Canterbury are far less busy with tourists.
- International visitors should fly into Gatwick Airport. Whilst not in Kent itself, there are trains serving the region (setting off from Tonbridge and now including a change at Redhill).
- For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Holiday Autos.
Still Not Sure Where To Book?
Best Hotels in Kent
The Arthouse 2 rooms from $78Canterbury, 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 $91Kent
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 $98Kent
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 $104Royal 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 $104Broadstairs, 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
One Warwick Park 39 rooms from $104Royal Tunbridge Wells
One Warwick Park is located in the peaceful Royal Tunbridge Wells. This property offers smart, contemporary and unfussy accommodation with each room featuring a flat-screen TV. Their L'Amore restaurant serves up truly marvellous dishes! Enjoy a cocktail in the lounge bar. A great stay in a top spot!Local exploring - One Warwick Park is the perfect base from which to get to know Royal Tunbridge WellsShort fly break - Located just 20 miles away from Gatwick Airport!Value chic - A splendid stay at a very decent priceLocal markets - A Farmers' Market is held outside the Town Hall every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month
Brandshatch Place Hotel & Spa 38 rooms from $124Fawkham, 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 $124Canterbury, 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 $130Canterbury
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 $142Maidstone, 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.
Duke William 4 rooms from $143Canterbury (Ickham)
Duke William is located in the village of Littlebourne, a short distance from Canterbury. This pub come B&B offers chic rooms decorated in an unfussy style with each featuring king-sized beds and flat-screen TVs. Choose between a morning full English or a continental breakfast. An intimate spot.Romantic Break - Duke William offers a quiet atmosphere, great food and beautiful surrounding countrysideLocal exploring - Head off sightseeing around the historic city of CanterburyValue chic - Accommodation at truly wonderful value!Sights nearby - The magnificent Canterbury Cathedral is an absolute must visit!
Thurnham Keep 3 rooms from $156Nr 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 $169Dover, 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 $182Dover, 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 $208Sandwich, 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 $215Faversham, 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 $234Ramsgate, 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