Goudhurst is a picturesque village nestled in the Kentish Weald, retaining a gentleness reminiscent of a by-gone era. With its historic buildings, white weatherboard and half-timbered houses, and duck pond, you could easily believe you had stepped into an episode of the Darling Buds of May!
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Goudhurst’s duck pond is a lovely setting to sit for a while and enjoy the village vibes, though be warned – the village gets a lot of traffic so it can sometimes feel quite busy!
If you have a head for heights climbing to the top of the ancient St Mary’s church will give you stunning views of the beautiful Kent Weald. The church tower is open on Saturday and Sunday afternoons between Easter and mid-July.
Afterwards, head to Weeks Tea Rooms and Bakery for a sweet treat. If you are a fan of cherry Bakewell tarts, they serve the biggest and tastiest ones around!
Exploring Goudhurst and Surrounding Areas
I have been to Goudhurst several times, usually because we were camping with the kids on the nearby Bedgebury Camping Site, and we would come into the village for provisions at Burgess General Stores.
I love being outdoors, and now the kids have flown the nest, I think I might try the more comfortable option of a stay at Forest Edge Glamping Site in one of their bell tents or the shepherd’s hut.
On this visit to Goudhurst, there was no camping involved as hubby, and I had slipped out for lunch at the Star and Eagle Hotel before heading to Bewl Water for an afternoon walk.
In the 18th century, The Star and Eagle became the headquarters for the infamous smugglers known as the Hawkhurst Gang. They terrorised the Kent countryside and all the way down to the Kent coast. In the medieval town of Rye, they also favoured The Mermaid Pub, where they carried out their illicit dealings.
Inside the Star and Eagle Hotel, expect to be met with low, dark-timbered ceilings and snug eating areas. A heavily carved staircase leads to comfortable guest rooms indicating why the pub is listed as one of the 200 historic properties in this small Kent village.
If you are looking for somewhere historic and authentic to stay, then this is the place for you. They also serve a good selection of daily specials, and my beetroot and butternut squash wellington was delicious.
Room reservations for the Star and Eagle Hotel in Goudhurst can be made here on Booking.com
How to Get to Goudhurst
Goudhurst is 10 miles east of Tunbridge Wells and 14 miles south of Maidstone. It is at the junction of the A262 and the B2079 between Lamberhurst and Cranbrook.
Parking can be found on Balcombes Hill, Goudhurst, Kent, TN17 1AT
Accommodation in Goudhurst
If you want to stay in Goudhurst, you may like to book one of the following:
Goudhurst Oast – stay in one of Kent’s finest oast houses featuring an outdoor swimming pool and 9 bedrooms and bathrooms!
Starvegoose Cottage – for couples looking for a cosy country bolthole for two then this Kent cottage is perfect for you.
Baley Holiday Home is another property perfect for two and close to the village.
The Goudhurst Inn – comfortable accommodation in the local gastropub/hotel.
Winchet Hall B & B – a manor house set in beautiful gardens.
In The Surrounding Kent Countryside
While Goudhurst is a great place to stop for a quick wander and a maybe spot for lunch or afternoon tea, it is also a good place to base yourself to visit other nearby Kent landmarks.
Bedgebury Forest has miles of cycling and mountain-biking routes, walking and running trails, as well as Go Ape and an adventure play trail. There is a daily parking fee of £10 per car.
The largest reservoir in the South East of England, Bewl Water, has a 12-mile circular walking trail, cycling routes and the opportunity to get out on the water and enjoy the Kent countryside.
Sissinghurst Castle and Gardens
Sissinghurst Castle and Gardens was created by the poet and writer Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson, diplomat and author. It is one of the most famous historic gardens in England.
Scotney is a National Trust property and one of Kent’s many fairytale castles. It is a beautiful place to visit in Kent.
Bayham Old Abbey
Pin for Future Visits to Kent