Goudhurst Duck Pond - photo by David Hodgkinson Goudhurst Duck Pond - photo by David Hodgkinson High Street, Goudhurst - photo by David Hodgkinson High Street, Goudhurst - photo by David Hodgkinson Goudhurst View Walking in Tunbridge Wells Goudhurst View Walking in Tunbridge Wells

Goudhurst is a delight with its village high street tumbling down the steep hill from the church to the village pond. This winding hill played host (or is that havoc?!) to the Tour de France in 2007.

The village and, in particular the historic 14th century tower at St Mary’s Church, commands wonderful views over the Kent countryside.

Take a moment to stop and drink this in, one of the highest points for some miles around. Even higher if you climb the Church tower (150m above sea level) where it is reported you can see 50 church spires almost to the coast!

Smuggling sagas

Today Goudhurst is a pretty laid back village arranged round the duck pond. Ancient houses and cottages are higgledy-piggledy along the main road and down the side streets. Woe betide anyone who tries to race round the corners, the pace here is genteel!

In contrast, Goudhurst has a colourful history culminating in the defeat of the Hawkhurst Gang, a local group of smugglers, in a gun battle in 1747.

Gastro village with a view

The pubs can not only serve mouth-watering local food, wine and cider they can tuck you up for the night ready for your next day’s touring as well.

A handful of both country and gastro pubs, and a café/bakery offering freshly made sandwiches, cakes, pastries and drinks are welcome respite for touring travellers. An antique store and clothing/gift shop are a browser’s delight.

Local produce is readily available to take on your journey from several purveyors. There is the Flimwell Smokery, the Taywell Farm Shop (for game from the Glassenbury Shoot), roadside fruit stalls selling local strawberries and cherries as well as the chocolatiers, Goupie which is available in nearby shops.

The free village car park is behind the pond down Balcombes Hill which can be reached via the village crossroads.

Picturesque pit-stop

Check out the bizarre fantasy garden of The Old Smithy near the duck pond. Lit up with colourful lights of an evening, what whimsies can you see?

Nearby, Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest makes for a fabulous day out in the heart of the rural countryside.

Exciting adrenalin filled activities can be undertaken at Go-Ape in Bedgebury and at Bewl Water.

Really explore the area and stay awhile, check the accommodation pages for nearby hostelries.  Discover what else is nearby on our Things To Do and Events pages.