The village of Kingsdown lies within the Parish of Ringwould-with-Kingsdown, located at the northern end of the White Cliffs of Dover and south of Walmer and Deal on the English Channel. The village was a fishing village and sits below the cliffs.
The village has a butcher, a hairdresser, a newsagent and a post office on the main Upper Street which winds its way up the hill, as well as a couple of pubs, one of which is on the beach. Kingsdown also has an 18 hole golf course on the cliff tops.
Kingsdown is located on the South Foreland Heritage Coast and the countryside around the village within the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), a nationally important protected landscape.
The lovely seaside village of St Margaret's is set in the heart of White Cliffs Country. It first appeared in the Domesday Book as "Sancta Margharita" with continuing history revolving around its location. From late Victorian times it developed as a holiday resort and retreat for the well to do, amongst which Lord Byron, Ian Fleming and Noel Coward all stayed or lived here.
During the Second World War the village was subject to almost daily bombardment and became known as "Hell-fire Corner".
Today the village and Bay offer an inspiring backdrop to spectacular countryside and coastline and to a wide range of activities.
From a luxurious 4 star country house hotel, great Kentish pubs and restaurants, St Margaret's has something for everyone.
St Anthony’s Church, overlooking the village green in Alkham, is Grade I listed and the surrounding churchyard which is a wildlife site, has 15 Grade l listed headstones. It was once linked to St Radigund’s Abbey and inside the church is a coffin lid bearing one of the oldest inscriptions in Kent.
The village has a number of excellent places to stay and eat.
Temple Ewell was the local commandary of the Knights Templar. Founded sometime before the 8th century, Temple Ewell was at one time owned by Bishop Odo, half brother of William the Conqueror. It is situated in the Dour Valley which stretches to the sea. Temple Ewell is served by Kearsney railway station.
Capel Le Ferne
Above the southern end of the Valley on the cliff tops overlooking the English Channel is the village of Capel le Ferne, home to the Battle of Britain Memorial.
The tiny village of Barfrestone’s most famous landmark is St Nicholas’ Church, known worldwide for its wonderful stone carvings around the doors and windows. Another unique feature is its bell which hangs in the branches of a massive yew tree in the church yard, rung by means of a rope from within the church.
Goodnestone Parish comprises of the villages of Goodnestone, Chillenden, Rowling, Knowlton and Tickenhurst. Goodnestone, locally pronounced ‘Gunston’, is the largest of the villages and was once part of the Kentish estate of the Saxon Lord Godwin, father of King Harold, which subsequently passed to William I. Since 1765 it has belonged to the Fitzwalters and still has the appearance of an estate village, with its distinctive architecture, red brick houses with lead paned arched windows.
Shepherdswell has the unusual distinction of having two names, also known as Sibertswold, both indicating that this was once an area of ‘weald’ or forest. Shepherdswell Green is the oldest part of the village and the two fine old yew trees in the churchyard are supposedly around 1000 years old.
Voted Kent's best-kept village, Coldred is one of the highest places in East Kent at nearly 400 feet above sea level. The oldest buildings around the village green are those belonging to Chilli Farm. The farm's name dates from the 1500s, but its meaning remains unknown. The church, dating from the 8th century, is one of the few in England dedicated to St Pancras. The village pond, opposite the Carpenter’s Arms, was used in the 17th century for trying witches.
Eastry is close to Sandwich and once boasted a Royal Palace for the Kings of Kent, as early as 660 AD. The Church of St Mary the Virgin, dating from around 1230, was built lavishly by the monks of Christ Church Abbey, Canterbury who owned the Eastry Manor at that time. This Norman church certainly replaced a Saxon building. Of special interest are the medieval frescoes known as "St Mary's Medallions" – rows of seven "medallion" wall paintings.
Wingham is a busy village that retains many of its shops and services. Important historically, its houses reflect many periods, from timbered Tudor to modern, with certain Flemish influences peculiar to East Kent. A College of Secular Canons was founded here in 1286 and although none of the College Buildings remain, some of the canons’ houses (in particular on Canon’s Row) are still here. St Mary the Virgin dates from the early 1200s. In the 12th century a local brewer ran off with the rebuilding funds for the Nave; hence there are now wooden columns instead of stone. Wingham has four Wealden Hall Houses that contribute to its historic atmosphere and once boasted three railway stations.
Ash, also known as Ash-Next-Sandwich, is on the Roman road from Sandwich to Canterbury. It retains 11 of its 12 original manor houses and the Church of St. Nicholas is a significant landmark, having a very tall tower and needle-like spire. St. Nicholas is known for its number of monumental brasses and effigies.The Ash Level extends to the River Stour crossed only by old drove ways and it is here that you will find the isolated village of Westmarsh. The River Stour divides the Ash Level from the Minster Level and it on this section of the river that the Saxon Shore Way passes.
Worth has an interesting historic conservation area with several fine houses, such as Barton House by the duck pond. The village church of St Peter and St Paul is of Norman origins and has unusual wooden shingles on the tower and a roof reminiscent of an upturned boat. The oldest and largest Quercus Ilex (Holm Oak) in the area can be viewed from the footpath adjacent to Ilex Cottage behind the churchyard. Village cricket games are popular with many overseas visitors wanting a glimpse of traditional English life. The RSPB has recently acquired new nature reserves in the parish.
In Staple, the Church of St. James is dedicated to St. James The Great, Apostle and Martyr, the patron saint of all travellers and pilgrims. See the stunning 21st century designed three light stained glass window in the south wall of the Nave, called the Pilgrimage Window. Staple was on the old East Kent Light Railway and had a busy station serving both Staple and Ash. Its main traffic was the outward flow of flowers, fruit and vegetables.
Head down to Temple Ewell and follow the River Dour Trail to the Crabble Corn Mill, a working museum that shows Georgian and Victorian engineering excellence at work using one of nature’s most powerful forces – water.
You can explore Lydden Temple Ewell (James Teacher) Reserve managed by the Kent Wildlife Trust before lunch or refreshments at the Lydden Bell or the Hope Inn.