Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Just over a hundred years ago a visitor to Goudhurst described the place in words that are as true today as they were at that time. "The whole neighbourhood is singularly beautiful with the sylvan pastoral beauty that is England’s great characteristic. The village is straggling. Genius could scarcely have made it more irregular. It is built on the slope of an eccentric hill. Approaching it from the south you see a collection of red roofs one above another, picturesque and promising. At the summit of the hill you come to the church, ancient, large and interesting. The landscape is richly timbered. There are woods on all sides. The whole scene sparkles with a light and laughter that makes you joyous in spite of care, the fret of life, the grasping at shadows, the missing of substance, all that is so crooked in the world, so hard to bear.
"I can never forget one Sunday morning standing at a certain gate in the highest part of Goudhurst, waiting for the bell to cease before entering the church. A vision of far-off wooded undulations, here and there villages reposed and church towers and steeples nestled amidst hills and trees and valleys. In every direction the fast- ripening hop gardens bore promise of an abundant yield. It was a perfect pastoral scene, one of those to be found only in England."

Our website lists some of the things to discover in and around Goudhurst – the excellent village shops, places to stay or to enjoy a meal, some outstanding tourist attractions within only a few miles, including the gardens of Sissinghurst Castle and Scotney Castle (NT) and the National Collection of conifers from all over the world in the Bedgebury Pinetum. The nearby village of Kilndown (part of the same parish) has a remarkable 19th century church with unique features. All around both villages the traveller can discover a veritable network of narrow lanes for gentle motoring and well-marked footpaths for safe walking.

Getting to Goudhurst
The best route from London is via A2, M25, A21 and A262. From Dover and Folkestone the road journey takes about an hour, less from the Channel Tunnel.

Nearby places
The nearest seaside resort is Hastings (visit the Old Town). The picturesque Cinque Port of Rye is also some 45 minutes away. The spa town of Tunbridge Wells is about 10 miles to the west.