Smarden is proudly home to a medieval Church called the Barn of Kent, so named due to its wide scissor-beamed roof which, amazingly, is not supported by any pillars. In the Church hangs a copy of the Charter, first granted by Edward III and endorsed by Elizabeth I, giving the Village permission to hold a weekly market and an annual fair. A community spirit runs right through the Village with lots of local activities.There is a local Primary School, Village Hall, Recreation Ground, an excellent Butchers and three popular, character Country Inns, including the renowned Smarden Bell, all serving food and holding regular events.
There are also three Country Inns in Pluckley, all with Restaurant facilities and serving real ales. The Black Horse in the centre of the Village was built in 1450 and opened as a public house in 1474. It was also featured in the Darling Buds of May. The Dering Arms was once the hunting lodge for the Dering Family and it is believed that it was once connected via underground tunnels to various parts of the Dering Estate. The Rose and Crown at Mundy Bois is located approximately 1.5 miles out of the Village and enjoys marvellous views of the Church. The Village also has a General Stores and Post Office, a quality Butchers sourcing meat from local farms, a Village Hall, a Church, a Recreation Ground with a Tennis Court and a Mainline Station to London.
The pretty and thriving Village of Headcorn with its Mainline Station (2 miles away) providing fast links to central London has a varied selection of individual shops including a Butcher, Baker, Greengrocer, Hardware Store and a Sainsburys. It also has Churches of various denominations, a Village Hall, Recreation Ground, Country Inns and Restaurants.
For a more comprehensive range of shopping facilities the nearby Towns of Tenterden and Cranbrook (approx. 8 and 9 miles South respectively) offer everything from renowned Schools to excellent Shopping, including a Waitrose, a Tesco’s and a Co-op plus Sports and Leisure Facilities. Both towns also have a variety of excellent Restaurants, friendly Country Inns and fascinating Antique Shops.
Ashford (some 10 miles away) offers lots of national chain stores and a much-praised Designer Outlet. The new fast link train station to London from Ashford International takes only 38 minutes. This is attracting the ‘smart money’ into the area to take advantage of the excellent house prices, educational choice and the quality of life. Ashford International also provides rail links to Europe. The Euro Tunnel, accessed via Exit 11a on the M20, provides an excellent Train service for motorists wishing to travel with their cars over to Calais with a journey time of approximately 35 minutes. The M20 Motorway offers road links to the South Coast and the M25 leading to London, Lakeside, Bluewater, Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted Airport. Once on the M20 one has access to the full UK Motorway Network.