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10 beautiful riverside pubs in Kent

PUBLISHED: 15:27 11 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:05 12 September 2017

The Old Weavers, Canterbury (photo: Tony Hisgett, Flickr, http://bit.ly/2xZaLcb)

The Old Weavers, Canterbury (photo: Tony Hisgett, Flickr, http://bit.ly/2xZaLcb)


There’s nothing like finding a quiet spot in a beer garden with the sound of a river running along beside you. We have picked 10 places to do just that

1. The Man of Kent, East Peckham

Late 16th century inn, The Man of Kent, backs right onto the River Bourne complete with red brick bridge. The interiors are cosy in the winter and feature a wood burning fireplace and exposed beams. Or, when the sun’s out, head into the garden for a pint of something cold as you watch the river babble by. Children can even ask behind the bar for scraps to feed the fish!

What to eat: burgers come juicy, stacked, dripping with cheese with a side of fries and onion rings. What more do you need?

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2. Fordwich Arms, Canterbury

Perched near the Great Stour is the Fordwich Arms, the bucolic red brick pub that serves a menu of daily changing food that is augmented seasonally with new produce. It also hosts plenty of events including an open mic folk club that’s held on the second and fourth Sunday of the month.

What to eat: Sunday lunch is a speciality at the Fordwich Arms with “melt in the mouth” lamb with mint sauce or roast topside of beef with Yorkshire pudding. If you have room, there will be plenty of desserts to quell a sweet tooth afterwards.

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3. Tudor Rose, Upper Upnor

Decorated sympathetically, contrasting modern and traditional, the Tudor Rose in the pretty village of Upper Upnor is situated on a cobbled street that runs up to the historic Upnor Castle and the River Medway – a perfect setting for riverside drinks.

What to eat: tuck into a tempting British pub classic such as steak and stout ale pie with potatoes and seasonal vegetables or a fresh seafood platter of smoked salmon, mackerel, king prawns and crayfish tails with salad and crusty bread – yum!

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4. The Fighting Cocks, Horton Kirby

With a glass conservatory restaurant backing onto the large pub garden, The Fighting Cocks in the village of Horton Kirby is a delightful place to enjoy the natural surroundings of the River Darent.

What to eat: the menu is extensive with an eclectic mix of dishes from half a piri piri spiced chicken with fries, coleslaw and salad or the rustic riverside ploughman’s with apple, celery, pickled onion, chutney, olives and your choice of cheese, ham or paté.

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5. Three Daws, Gravesend

Having stood over the River Thames in Gravesend for over 570 years, the Three Daws is a historical pub packed with character. With a tumultuous history that reportedly includes smugglings and hauntings, this waterside inn is now a popular local that features live bands for entertainment and plenty of food and real ales to boot.

What to eat: food is made using ingredients that are sourced locally to support Kentish producers. Expect dishes such as the raved-about “Grandads Suet” consisting of two five ounce puddings, one with a rich beef stew and one with vanilla custard served in two courses.

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6. The Penny Farthing, Crayford

The building that now houses this micropub in Crayford was once a bicycle shop, hence the quirky name, The Penny Farthing, next to the River Cray. The micropub trend started in Kent and quickly caught on, seeing a revival of small taverns serving great beer.

What to eat: There’s no food! But The Penny Farthing is an archetypal micropub; you won’t find TVs or game machines, just well kept real ale and a welcoming atmosphere.

7. The Millers Arms, Canterbury

Mismatched tables and antique-style wooden seating freshened with a contemporary lick of paint greets visitors to The Millers Arms in Canterbury, another riverside local overlooking the Great Stour River. As the name hints, local mill workers once used this inn in the early 19th century after a hard day’s work, and not much has changed since!

What to eat: for food, you can start with sticky chimichurri chicken wings, followed by a half pound burger with cheese, bacon, chilli jam and jalapenos – tempted yet?

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8. The Old Weavers, Canterbury

For the ultimate riverside pub experience in Canterbury, The Old Weavers Restaurant has a riverside terrace bursting with plants and flowers to create a restful oasis at the water’s edge. That’s not all, for £16.99 diners can do a “dine and punt”; enjoy a homemade lunch before a 40 minute punt to digest in tranquillity.

What to eat: traditional roasts aren’t restricted to Sundays; they’re served throughout the week, or order something from the extensive a la carte menu which includes pies, pasta, stuffed Yorkshire pudding, and changing house specials.

9. The Shipwright’s Arms, Hollowshore

First licensed in 1738, The Shipwright’s Arms in Hollowshore is an unassuming tavern to escape from the overstimulation of modern life. There’s no music or games machines to interrupt your visit to this pub that has commanding views over the The Swale.

What to eat: traditional pub grub is served at lunchtimes to hungry patrons. Think crispy battered cod with chips and peas, moules frites or a stilton and cheddar ploughmans – perfect for a post-ramble meal and tipple.

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10. The Ship & Trades, Chatham

A social hub on the waterfront in Chatham, The Ship & Trades specialises in good food that’s best enjoyed on the terrace overlooking the Chatham Maritime Marina and The Quays.

What to eat: dishes include buttermilk fried chicken, pan fried monkfish with crushed new potatoes, cauliflower puree, sautéed kale and caper lemon butter sauce or tempura battered soft shell crab and coconut curry with noodles. Afterwards, there’s plenty to see including the Historic Dockyard, a filming location favoured by Hollywood directors and British television studios.

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