Eight of the best villages near Deal, Kent
Deal is a Cinque Port on the Kent coast, overlooking the English Channel. The town has a long history and is home to a Castle built by King Henry VIII.
With two farmers' markets and a weekly general market, there is always something to attract people to the town, which was awarded High Street of the Year in 2013 and saw its beach voted number one in the Telegraph's "10-top spots to lay your beach towel".
New High Speed rail services have reduced travelling time to London to one hour and twenty minutes, with connections at Ashford International to Paris and Brussels.
With so much going for the area, the villages around Deal are very popular and provide a real taste of Kent village life.
Woodnesborough is a small village of around 400 people, located seven miles northwest of Deal. The village boasts its own Football Club, while other activities are centred around the medieval church and village hall.
Previously voted Kent's village of the Year, Eastry was once home to the Saxon Kings of Kent, who had their palace in the village on land now occupied by Eastry Court. Typically lined with white-painted cottages and timber-framed houses, the High Street contains a pharmacy, fish bar and the Five Bells public House, while a village shop, newsagents and post office lie along the Sandwich Road.
Betteshanger is a former mining village, five miles west of Deal. The village grew in the 1920s when the mine was opened, with new homes built to house the influx of workers from across the UK. Since the closure of the mine in 1989, the village has seen the development of a mining heritage museum and visitor centre.
Tilmanstone is a small village six miles from Deal. The village is home to a 1,200 year-old Yew Tree in its churchyard, and an independent school operates locally. The village hall is the meeting place of the Parish Council and other local organisations, while the local pub, The Plough and Harrow in Dover Road, offers refreshment to locals and visitors. Typical red-brick and tiled houses line the narrow wooded lanes of the village, with new properties along Upper Street.
The 750 inhabitants here enjoy a range of local activities, clubs and associations, including the Great Mongeham Society. St Martin's Church is at the heart of village life, while the village hall and village green play host to an annual Charity Fun day and a host of other activities.
Also known as Ripple Vale, this delightful little village is typical of the area, with narrow lanes, 150 well-kept homes and a thriving community spirit. The village pub, The Plough Inn, is at the heart of the village, and the skyline includes Ripple Mill windmill and the steeple of St Mary's Church.
The Grade I listed Church of St Nicholas and the Five Bells public house are at the heart of Ringwould. This quaint village has a wealth of architecture, from the old post-office, converted mills and 16th-century cottages to modern designs offering great views across the open Kent farmland.
The neighbouring village of Kingsdown is a tranquil coastal community overlooking the blue-green waters of the English Channel. It shares a parish council and primary school with Ringwould and is home to the Kingswood Residential Adventure Centre, a popular education centre for schools and youth groups.