The Maiden's Tower was built as an annexe to the castle and used for house parties when the…
The Dirty Habit
“Historic watering hole on the Pilgrims Way”
There’s been a pub on this site since the 11th century, and it was later frequented by pilgrims plodding from Winchester to the shrine of Thomas à Becket at Canterbury. The building retains much period charm – look, for instance, at the long Georgian oak bar and panelling, and the Victorian furniture, all beautifully restored by skilled local craftsmen. Harvey’s of Lewes is one of the real ales on tap, and there’s cider from Aspall too. The Monks Corner, with oak beams to the apex and a bread oven in the corner, is ideal for private dining, while outside is a quiet terrace. The kitchen prepares dishes such as fish, tapas and meat sharing boards; Rye Bay cod fillet with Jerusalem artichoke; local venison burger, nduja sausage, smoked cheddar, red cabbage and chips; king prawn linguine; and chocolate, orange and Cointreau tart.
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About the area
The White Cliffs of Dover are an English icon – the epitome of our island heritage and sense of nationhood. They also mark the point where the Kent Downs AONB, that great arc of chalk downland stretching from the Surrey Hills and sometimes known as ‘the Garden of England’, finally reaches the sea. This is a well-ordered and settled landscape, where chalk and greensand escarpments look down into the wooded Weald to the south.
Many historic parklands, including Knole Park and Sir Winston Churchill’s red-brick former home at Chartwell, are also worth visiting. Attractive settlements such as Charing, site of Archbishop Cranmer’s Tudor palace, and Chilham, with its magnificent half-timbered buildings and 17th-century castle built on a Norman site, can be found on the Pilgrim’s Way, the traditional route for Canterbury-bound pilgrims in the Middle Ages.
In the nature reserves, such as the traditionally coppiced woodlands of Denge Wood and Earley Wood, and the ancient fine chalk woodland of Yockletts Bank high on the North Downs near Ashford, it is still possible to experience the atmosphere of wilderness that must have been felt by the earliest travellers along this ancient ridgeway.
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