As part of our Green Traveller's Guide to the Kent Downs, Paul Bloomfield picks out a selection of B&Bs, self-catering, pubs and camping in this glorious Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in southeast England.
Stay on a farm; enjoy the comforts of a Kentish country inn; bed down – inexpensively - in a bunkhouse; rent a rural retreat for a few days; or simply pitch a tent in a glorious campsite. There are wonderful accommodation options to suit all requirements – and wallets. You can even bring a horse to several B&Bs here.
We have selected places with distinctive character, from a self-catering oast house and ancient timber-frame cottages to refurbished pubs and a B&B at a working forge.
Many have a terrific commitment to minimising their impact on the environment and take great pleasure in nurturing wildlife on their doorstep. Many are part of the Our Land initiative in which businesses describe how they sustain their environment, support their local communities, and offer a great deal of insight about the region they keenly protect - the remarkable landscape of the Kent Downs.
Brenley Farm, Kent Downs, England
Producing hops, fruit (apples, pears, there’s even a small vineyard) and cereal crops, Brenley Farm near Faversham exudes an air of plenty. Where possible, owner Maggie Berry serves the farm’s produce at her epicurean breakfasts. brenley-farm.co.uk
Twitham Court Farm, Kent, England
Twitham Court Farmhouse is a luxurious boutique B&B nestled in three acres of lovely Kent countryside. It is modern yet traditional with light, large beautiful bedrooms and organic bedding and towels. It serves tasty organic breakfasts. twitham.com
Elmsted Court Farmhouse, Kent Downs, England
A working, family-run sheep and arable farm, Elmsted Court is set in pretty, rolling downland within easy reach of Ashford and near ancient Spong Wood which is managed by Kent Wildlife Trust - badgers, hare and deer can sometimes be seen. bandbcanterbury.co.uk
The Woolpack Inn, Chilham, Kent Downs, England
A beautiful 600 year old coaching inn nestled at the bottom of the hill beneath Chilham castle. With its vast oak beams and inglenook fireplaces this guest inn offers all the charm of yesteryear. woolpackinnchilham.co.uk
Beechborough B&B, Kent Downs, England
This stylish cottage B&B is hidden in Bishopsbourne village, which lies in a very rural location in the lovely Elham Valley yet also offers swift access to the centre of Canterbury. It’s ideal walking and cycling country here. beechborough.com
Thurnham Keep, Kent Downs, England
This is quite some B&B: a wisteria-clad Edwardian country mansion with beautifully kept gardens, terraces, heated swimming pool, conservatory and three gracious guest rooms stocked with homemade shortbread and fruit from the garden. thurnhamkeep.co.uk
Sandhurst Farm Forge, Kent Downs, England
Stay on a working forge. Charles Dickinson was a professional blacksmith for more than 40 years and now uses his traditional skills to create ornamental items, from village signs to candlesticks. His beautifully devised works are much inspired. sandhurstfarmforge.co.uk
Palace Farm Hostel & Campsite, Kent Downs, England
A family-run B&B, hostel and (quiet) campsite with tipis & yurts in a small quiet village in the heart of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Fantastic for relaxing, wildlife watching, cycling and walking in the beautiful surroundings. palacefarm.com
Welsummer Camping, Kent Downs, England
Set in lovely landscape near Lenham, this small and generously devised campsite aims to highlight the natural wealth of the area. Owners Laura and Med Benaggoune have been restoring hedgerows and planting fruit trees. welsummercamping.com
Green Cottages, Kent Downs, England
Two 1860's restored homes, Old Post Cottage and Candy Cottage; cosy, self-catering and situated in the heart of the Kent village of Rodmersham Green, opposite the village pond, green and open countryside. The village pub and cafe are opposite. green-cottages.com
Bore Place, Kent Downs, England
Embrace nature staying in an historic manor house or 2 converted farm buildings, set in organic gardens & farmland in the beautiful Kent countryside within easy reach of central London. 3 unique self-catering properties, sleeping from 4 - 23 boreplace.org
Great Field Farm, Kent Downs, England
Ideally located for exploring some of Kent's prettiest villages, historic buildings, places of interest, traditional seaside towns and beaches. An excellent farmstay base for walkers and cyclists, being near the North Downs Way great-field-farm.co.uk
Little Shuttlesfield Farm, Kent Downs, England
A high quality, self-catering cottage with a pool on a rural farm above the Elham Valley in the East Kent Downs. Dogs (and other pets), families, walkers, cyclists, horses and disabled guests are all welcome! shuttlesfieldbarn.co.uk
King's Head, Wye, Kent Downs, England
The King's Head, Wye, is a traditional pub with four rooms. Dog friendly and perfect for a romantic stay, this Kent dining pub of the year finalist, offers everything you could possibly want for a weekend away in the Kent countryside. kingsheadwye.com
For information on local food and drink, nearby visitor attractions and activities, see our