The Best Hotels to Book Near Leeds Castle, Kent

The Black Horse Inn is perfect for those who are looking for exposed brick walls and cosy fireplaces in a storied setting
The Black Horse Inn is perfect for those who are looking for exposed brick walls and cosy fireplaces in a storied setting | Courtesy of the Black Horse Inn, Thurnham / Expedia
Photo of Jo Fernandez-Corugedo
9 October 2021
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Leeds Castle is beautiful any time of the year, from golden autumn to bright-green spring. Chances are, you’ll want to visit this South East England gem more than once while you’re here, so stay somewhere close by – these neat retreats are all bookable on Culture Trip.

The name may confuse you – Leeds Castle is nowhere near the city of Leeds. It’s believed the title came from Ledian, after the man who built its first timber incarnation in the 9th century. Whatever the story, the reality is breathtaking: set on a trio of islands ringed by an artificial lake, this Norman stronghold-turned-Tudor palace-turned-Georgian mansion cuts a classic turreted and crenellated profile. Make your exploration easy by booking into one of these nearby boltholes.

The Dog & Bear, Lenham

The Dog & Bear, Lenham
Courtesy of the Dog and Bear, Lenham / Expedia
It was built in 1602, but this classic Kentish-village pub, 14km (9mi) east of Maidstone, keeps things firmly in the 21st century. Rooms – from singles to doubles and family rooms – have on-trend mustard and grey tones as well as old beams. Book the feature room for its grey-painted four-poster and ornate fireplace. You’ll sleep soundly – and rise to more cosy beams and open log fires downstairs. After bacon and eggs overlooking Lenham’s village square, go for a stroll, taking in the medieval ambience, then make for Leeds Castle under 10 minutes’ drive away.

The Vineyard, Lamberhurst

The Vineyard, Lamberhurst
Courtesy of the Vineyard, Lamberhurst / Expedia
This 17th-century inn takes its name from the well-established Lamberhurst Vineyards adjacent, and behind its whitewashed facade it’s as elegant as a fine wine itself. Four stellar suites, named after county beauty spots, occupy the 13th-century coach house, with its sun terrace overlooking the grounds. After you’ve returned from Leeds Castle (40 minutes by car), settle in for a chilled bottle of local Chapel Down fizz in the wood-beamed and panelled pub. It goes perfectly with the French brasserie-style food.

Bridgewood Manor, Chatham

Bridgewood Manor, Chatham
Courtesy of Bridgewood Manor, Chatham / Expedia
Pampering weekends are handled perfectly at this low-rise modern spa hotel in Chatham, featuring a splendid heated indoor pool, sauna and steam room, as well as treatments using grape extracts – after all, this is prime wine-producing territory. Rooms and suites have been decorated with serenity in mind, all shades of champagne, cream and gold; upgrade to a suite for angular metal four-poster beds and floral feature walls. After the spa, it’s the done thing to take (three-tier) afternoon tea with jam-and-cream-filled scones and slender finger sandwiches. Dig in, as you can walk it all off later at Leeds Castle, less than 20 minutes’ drive away.

The Farm House, West Malling

The Farm House, West Malling
Courtesy of the Farm House, West Malling / Expedia
Don’t let the name fool you. This rustic-sounding B&B, in the heart of the pretty market town of West Malling, steps out in contemporary style: chevron-laid wood-clad walls, French-style wicker bed heads and rustic-chic murals, as well as super-shiny bathrooms adding urban glamour. You’re spoilt for local walks, starting from the pub itself – but don’t miss a day among the glorious grounds of Leeds Castle, 20km (12mi) away. When you get back to the Farm House, up to the eyeballs in historical details, flop and switch off, with a dinner of rosemary sourdough flatbread and fig-and-cobnut salad – and another helping of this place’s unique rustic chic.

N° 64 at the Joiners, West Malling

No.64 at the Joiners, West Malling
Courtesy of N° 64 at the Joiners, West Malling / Expedia
French-style decor lends charm to the four rooms at this bijou red-brick B&B on West Malling’s charming High Street. Settle in among glassy chandeliers, marble-topped ornate dressers and hand-painted period-style beds, before ambling out to explore the local independent shops, inviting pubs and history on your doorstep. Back at the ranch, relax with a glass of fruity French wine in your free-standing volcanic-limestone tub as you contemplate your serene surroundings – you’re just 10 minutes’ drive from Maidstone; Leeds Castle is another 10 minutes further away.

Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club

Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club
Courtesy of Tudor Park Marriott Hotel and Country Club / Expedia
Returning from a stressful trip to France? Ashford International and the Eurotunnel are 20 minutes away from this modern golf and spa resort, set amid leafy rural scenery and deer parkland – so a quick de-stress night or two makes sense. Have steak at the in-house Cast Iron Grill before visiting Leeds Castle. Or just stay in – many rooms overlook the 18-hole PGA golf course, and superior terrace rooms have a sweet outside space set with a bistro table (ideal for morning cuppas). Among the highlights of the wellbeing centre is the freeform indoor pool in a modern beamed space, with loungers to loll on following a dip and a steam.

The Black Horse Inn, Thurnham

The Black Horse Inn, Thurnham
Courtesy of the Black Horse Inn, Thurnham / Expedia
Worshippers of old-world beams, exposed brick walls and cosy fireplaces will love this 18th-century pub in Thurnham hamlet, 15 minutes by road from Leeds Castle and its celebrated gardens. Kentish barn-style lodges, sleeping between one and four guests, strike a cheery note with pine furniture and checked fabrics; choose a cottage if you’d like a four-poster bed. The inn is on the Pilgrims’ Way, between Winchester and Canterbury, and gets mentioned in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Toast those many feet that have gone before you over the centuries with a Kentish cask ale at the bar – after a day exploring the verdant Kentish countryside.

Riseden Bed and Breakfast, Loose

Riseden Bed and Breakfast, Loose
Courtesy of Riseden Bed and Breakfast, Loose / Expedia
You’ll sleep soundly in this family-run B&B, with tranquil gardens that share the tranquillity of its village location on the edge of Maidstone. Two light-filled rooms in soft shades of grey and cream overlook the grounds and can be booked as doubles or twins. There’s no onus on you to do anything – unless you want to nose around Leeds Castle, an easy 11km (7mi) drive away. Many guests simply idle around, bedding down early to rise in time for perfectly cooked bacon and eggs (there are vegan alternatives) in the pretty conservatory, before a day exploring Kent’s charms.

For more options, discover our guide to the best boutique hotels in Kent and book now on Culture Trip.

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