10 reasons to love Faversham
PUBLISHED: 12:35 30 August 2018 | UPDATED: 12:35 30 August 2018
This historic town is known for its markets, its brewing industry and its pretty creekshide setting
1. Back in time
Thought to have more listed buildings than anywhere else in England (around 500), the architecture of Faversham is mainly Tudor and Georgian. It’s been well preserved, with a large conservation area: Abbey Street, Court Street, Tanners Street and West Street look much as they did 400 years ago. Look out for the impressive part-Elizabethan, part-Regency Guildhall, built on stilts, the medieval barns at Abbey Farm and the Fleur de Lis Heritage Centre, housed in interconnecting ancient buildings.
2. Pretty waterway
Faversham would be nothing without its creek. Once so deep that huge vessels were able to load and unload their cargos at its busy port, it became a wealthy town thanks to this vital link to the sea. It has silted up somewhat over the years but it’s still home to pleasure boats and barges and a delightful place to walk and explore. An associate member of the Cinque Ports, one of Faversham’s greatest treasures is the original Royal Charter bestowed to it in 1260.
3. Ancient market
Known as the ‘market town of kings’, Faversham market is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086 and has been held in the medieval heart of the town for centuries. A traditional street market is held on on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays in Market Place, and on two Saturdays a month there’s the added extra of the Best of Faversham craft, arts and artisan food market in Preston Street. The first Sunday of each month sees the popular Antiques and Vintage Market.
4. Fruity favourite
Just outside Faversham, Brogdale is home to the National Fruit Tree Collection, one of the largest in the world. With acres of orchards packed with more than 4,000 different varieties of apple, pear, cherry, plum, quince and nut trees, it celebrates the heritage of this fruit-producing region. There are guided tours, seasonal tastings and annual events including a pear day (16 September) and an apple festival (13 and 14 October).
5. Eating out
Faversham is great for foodies; a few to try include the fabulous Read’s Restaurant, The Yard, Carriage Restaurant at The Railway Hotel, The Sun Inn, The Albion Taverna and Havishams Coffee House. Look out for the café at Creek Creative, highly commended in our Food & Drink Awards 2017. Drink at one of the town’s historic pubs or visit Bin Ella wine bar at Standard Quay or Soiree cocktail lounge.
The work of Georgian architect Samuel Wyatt, Belmont is home to six generations of the Harris family. Visitors to this beautiful house can see the stunning collection of clocks amassed here by the 5th Lord Harris (thought to be the largest personal collection in the UK).
7. Annual events
This month sees the Faversham Hop Festival (1 and 2 September). Celebrating the traditional hop harvest, entertainment will include live music, Morris sides and processions through the town. There’s even the option to camp at nearby Abbey School. Also not to be missed this month is the Faversham Food and Drink Festival (14-16 September).
8. Creative hub
An art and design hub, set in part of a former brewery in Abbey Street, Creek Creative is a community interest company with studios for local artists and craftspeople, performance and teaching space, courses and workshops, exhibition galleries and a local artisan shop. It also has the Gallery Kitchen Café, a finalist for the last three years in our Food & Drink Awards.
9. Independent gems
Standard Quay is a hidden gem beside the creek, close to the town centre and offering everything from antiques shops and a studio art gallery at the Furniture Barn to a wine bar and a garden centre with its own secret garden café. Some of our favourites are vintage and home interior stores Meadowlarks and Archemelia’s Nest.
10. Brewing icon
Shepherd Neame is one of Kent’s biggest brands and Britain’s oldest brewery, founded in 1698. Based in Court Street, and with a visitor centre offering tastings and special events, its ceo Jonathan Neame was named Food & Drink Hero at our 2017 Food & Drink Awards. Visitors can tour the brewery and taste some of the excellent ales and lagers produced, including Spitfire and Bishops Finger.