Travel

Bethersden – a guide for visiting this Kent village in 2023

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Kent is full of interesting towns and villages, and although Bethersden is small, it's one of our favourites to visit. Not only will you find a lovely village community feel here, but you're also well connected to places like Ashford and Tenterden.

We wanted to publish a guide about Bethersden for anyone planning to visit in 2023, let's get into it:

Where is Bethersden ?

Bethersden is around 6 miles to the south west of Ashford in east Kent, and it's around 6 miles from Tenterden too. If you're heading further afield then you're about 30 miles to Dover and about 25 miles to Whitstable (read our guide about Whitstable here).

What is there to see and do in Bethersden?

You'll find a few things to see and do in Bethersden. Here are some of the highlights:

St Margaret's church

This Grade I listed church is well worth a visit - parts of the church date back to the 13th century, but most of the church is 19th century as this is when the church was restored. There are a few features of this church which are really notable, including the typical Kentish tower and the various stained-glass windows which adorn the walls. The graveyard features 'Oven Vaults' which are burial crypts that look like large ovens. We think you'll find a visit to St Margaret's Church very peaceful, learn more here - bhhw.org.uk
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Visit the shops

Bethersden is a small place, but you'll find everything you need for a short stay - Marchants of Bethersden butchers is a wonderful independent butchers which also sells fruit and vegetables.
Ripleys Garden Centre is really enjoyable to walk around and you can also eat some delicious homemade food here, with the breakfasts being a real highlight.
Bethersden is home to The Bull, where you can find proper pub grub as well as an excellent choice of Kentish ales and other local beers. The George is a community pub in Bethersden which is home to a cafe, so it has a very relaxed atmosphere. It's a pub/cafe hybrid -  you can enjoy pub lunches and evening meals here, plus a wide range of beers and wines. The cafe at the George is open Weds to Saturday 10:30am - 4pm, and serves coffees and teas from local suppliers as well as delicious home-made cakes. The George has excellent wifi and is a good venue to 'work from the pub'.
If you're looking for a nice sandwich or small bite to eat then the Post Office actually makes fresh sandwiches and baguettes which are very tasty.
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The Reindeer Centre

If there is a time of the year to visit Bethersden then we'd have to say it's Christmas, because The Reindeer Centre is such a fun and interesting place to visit, especially if you've got young kids. During the Christmas period, you'll find a Christmas Grotto here where kids can meet Santa, as well as get up close and personal with real reindeer. It's a really special and memorable experience, and the reindeer are very tame and well-behaved which makes it great for kids who are a bit nervous. In fact, this is one of the largest private herds of reindeer in the UK with more than 80 of these lovely creatures here, which is quite amazing. Learn more about the centre here - reindeercentre.co.uk
FireShot Capture 011 - The Reindeer Centre - Hire Reindeer, Visit Santa, Interact with the a_ - www.reindeercentre.co.uk

Getting to and from Bethersden

The village has excellent access to transport links, including the A20 motorway (15 minutes away) and regular bus services to Ashford and Tenterden.

 

But for us, the real highlight is the Ashford International train station - it's just a stone's throw from Bethersden, and it's quite amazing to have high speed connections to London and other major European cities such as Paris so close to a small village like Bethersden.
Hopefully, this guide has inspired you to visit this lovely Kent village. We have other guides about locations in Kent such as Whitstable and Tenterden, as well as The Vanguard Way which takes you right through Kent.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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