Pretty village an hour from London with a traditional 500-year-old inn named ‘pub of the year’

The season to get away from London for the quaint villages is upon us. However, not just any pretty village, with convenient transport routes and a decent pub only as important as it seems to most Londoners looking for a holiday.

Well, if those are your terms, be sure to visit Newenden, a small but charming Kentish village that’s both historic and pretty… but also boasts an award-winning former pub. In fact, the charming riverside settlement is said to be the oldest and smallest village in the county, with roots dating back at least to the 8th century.

Thanks to its prime location by the River Rother, Newenden was a bustling port village, with as many as 16 inns believed to have been located there during the medieval period before the 16th century. Of our time, The white deer is the only one left.

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Charming Newenden is said to be the oldest and smallest village in Kent

And while there may not be much choice left when it comes to pubs, the last one left in Newenden is a good one. Dating back over 500 years, this traditional 16th century inn has been run by the same family for 22 years and was named ‘Pub of the Year’ by the evening standard. Over the past few years, the place has continued to be praised by Tripadvisor users as both a great place to eat and drink or to stay.

A user recently wrote: “Stayed at this lovely old English inn full of character. The staff are extremely accommodating and the service is second to none. Nothing too difficult. The dishes are tasty and plentiful. Very comfortable beds and pillows. Clean, well presented accommodation. Recommended for long or short stay. »

The White Hart is Newenden's only inn and pub
The White Hart is Newenden’s only inn and pub

The place has a large garden with a play area for children and accepts dogs. Paranormal hunters may also be intrigued to know that it is rumored have a ghost – a middle-aged man holding a mug of beer, no less.

After lunch, you’ll want to stroll around the beautiful village to see its other sights. Right next to the pub is the village playground and St Peter’s Church, an original chapel dating from 1300 with an intricately carved font that features mythical creatures, plants and flowers.

Newenden Bridge, also known as Rother Bridge, is a magnificent Grade 2 listed 18th century bridge
Newenden Bridge, also known as Rother Bridge, is a magnificent Grade 2 listed 18th century bridge

A little further south there is also Newenden Bridge (also called Rother Bridge), a Grade II listed 18th century architectural feat, made of sandstone and still supported by its original beams. Or, you can explore the beautiful river landscape and surrounding countryside on foot or by boat.

Pick up canoes, kayaks and SUPs, or hire a private river cruise, from Bodiam Nautical Station. Railway enthusiasts can also check out the Kent and East Sussex Railway. The Heritage service departs from several nearby stations, including Bodiam, and offers afternoon tea, lunch and dinner experiences on board.

You can travel up the River Rother by boat or kayak
A peaceful boat ride along the River Rother in summer.

As well as The white deer, there are also a number of other scenic places to stay within walking distance of Newenden. This includes the pretty Chestnut Lodge Bed and Breakfast in Beckley and Knelle Dower Studio B&B to Northiam, just a 10 minute drive or an hour’s walk.

Or, for a particularly unusual stay, you can rent The Coast Going through The traditional Kent house has been converted into a four-bedroom holiday home – but still features its distinctive pointed tower, where hops harvested from nearby fields would have been hung to dry before going to the brewery.

If you want a unique stay, The Oast holiday home is available on
If you want a unique stay, The Oast holiday home is available on

Other well-rated pubs in the area, meanwhile, include The Swan Inn in Sandhurst and The ewe and the lamb and The Taurus Inn, both in Rolvenden. None are more than eight minutes away by car, and you can reach the former in just an hour’s walk from Newenden, or the latter two in around an hour and a quarter.

Whether you are looking for a trip to sea ​​side or a chance to escape into the wilderness of Scotlandholiday companies are keen to ensure that British travelers are not tempted abroad this summer.

Companies such as Sykes Cottages, Snaptrip, Airbnb, Rural retreats and Coolstays have offers and discounts on all types of vacation homes and homes throughout 2022.

From romantic last minute getaways plan ahead for a big family vacation later in the year, there are already plenty of options to explore to find your dream break.

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Alternatively, if you fancy a lighter bite, there are also two lovely cafes in Newenden. Place by the river Lime Wharf Cafe is located in a Scandinavian-style boathouse and offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with options like brownies, burgers, and Spanish tapas.

The casual, dog-friendly dining option is especially popular with kayakers and campers. There are also original Nibbles, which are located in a shepherd’s hut and offer delicious treats like donuts and bacon rolls at affordable prices.

How to get there

Thanks to its location in Kent, a Home County that borders London, you don’t need to travel far to reach Newenden. By car from the capital, you can get there in less than an hour depending on your starting point.

To reach Newenden by trainin the meantime, take the direct train from London Charing Cross near robertsbridge (1h18) followed by a 20 minute taxi. Book your train tickets at Railway line.

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