10 beautiful riverside pubs in Kent
PUBLISHED: 15:27 11 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:42 22 June 2018
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
226 Tonbridge Road, Little Mill, 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, with lots of cheese and a side of salad, fries and onion rings. What more do you need?
1647 King Street, Sturry, 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 updated 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 black garlic, morel and crisp potato. If you have room, there will be plenty of desserts to quell those sweet cravings.
29/31 High Street, 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 fisherman’s board of smoked salmon, mackerel fillet, king prawns, crayfish tails and crusty bread.
The Street, Horton Kirby, Dartford
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 slow cooked BBQ pork ribs to smoked salmon tagliatelle in a light cream sauce.
Town Pier, Gravesend
Having sat along 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 comfort dishes such as tarragon battered-monkfish steak with crushed minted peas and chunky chips. Order the traditional gypsy tart for dessert for a true taste of Kent.
3 Waterside, Crayford
The building that now houses this micropub in Crayford, next to the River Cray, was once a bicycle shop, hence its quirky name, The Penny Farthing. 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.
2 Mill Lane, 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 cranberry and chilli chicken wings with a creamy peppercorn sauce for dipping, followed by a half pound burger with cheese, bacon, house burger sauce and crispy onions – tempted yet?
1-3 St Peters Street, 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 £17.99 diners can enjoy the ‘dine and boat deal’; enjoy a homemade lunch before a 40 minute punt to digest in tranquillity.
What to eat: try a stuffed Yorkshire pudding with lamb, plum and fresh rosemary or beef with sage and red wine sauce, or order something from the extensive a la carte menu which includes pies, pasta, salads and changing house specials.
First licensed in 1738, The Shipwright’s Arms in Hollowshore is an unassuming tavern to escape the hubbub. There’s no music, wifi 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.
Chatham Maritime, 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 pizzas, stacked burgers, doorstop sandwiches and more. Afterwards, there’s plenty to see including the Historic Dockyard, a filming location favoured by Hollywood directors and British television studios.