Home Kent News The riverside Dover villages that most people have probably never heard of

The riverside Dover villages that most people have probably never heard of

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Original article from Kent Live

Stourmouth and Plucks Gutter are two neighbouring villages tucked deep in rural Kent next to the Little Stour.

There isn't much argument about how beautiful they are.

The former is an ancient settlement split into East and West.

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They're home to a beautiful old church and a traditional village pub.

The latter is a hamlet that's become a small holiday village, with caravans and holiday homes scattered around in different sections.

There's also a large pub and a popular mooring spot for boats and boat trips nearby.

What is up for debate, however, is which town or district these two super-rural settlements are supposed to be associated with.

East Stourmouth, where the pub and most of the houses are located

Thanks to the curiosities of our local authority boundary system, they are classified as being in Dover district, and residents and businesses pay taxes to Dover District Council.

Which is downright bizarre if you look at a map.

The villages lie around 20 miles from Dover, well over a half an hour's drive away.

The villages are home to very old buildings

The addresses and phone codes fall under Canterbury.

But even that's a 26-minute drive according to Google, well over ten miles away.

Sandwich looks closer, but again thanks to the way the county lanes divert around the rivers and dykes, it's another plus-20 minute drive.

Lying where the Little Stour and Great Stour join, the area is home to plenty of dykes and streams too

Most villagers said they did their shopping in Ramsgate, also more than 20 minutes away.

The place is well and truly in deep and dark rural Kent.

"We moved over from Bridge in Canterbury," said one couple who didn't want to be named.

East Stourmouth

"Even being in Canterbury we'd never heard of Stourmouth before.

"An estate agent showed us the place and we ended up moving here a few years ago.

"We love it now. It's absolutely beautiful."

Asked if they thought of themselves as Dover residents, their heads shook vigorously.

Pluck's Gutter is mostly a small holiday village these days

"Not at all," the kind-faced lady said. "The man from the council comes up to our parish meetings sometimes and goes on and on about what they're doing in Dover.

" "It all seems totally irrelevant. I haven't been there for years."

With a combined population of 268 according to the latest census, you wouldn't expect Stourmouth and Pluck's Gutter to have much in the way of amenities.

Yet because they're so far from anywhere, there's actually a surprising amount.

The Rising Sun is a popular pub and restaurant

Until the 1970s there was a post office and bakery, and there's still the Rising Sun public house, which is also a popular restaurant.

The other buildings are residential, including some that are very old indeed.

These days, the village is surrounded on pretty much all sides by commercial fruit fields.

And despite its name, Stourmouth doesn't actually lie next to the River Stour.

Stourmouth and Pluck's Gutter lie within Dover district – despite being 20 miles from Dover

The name derives from a village that was at the mouth of the River Stour before the Wantsum Channel was cut off from the sea.

West Stourmouth, where the beautiful old church is located, is a short walk from the river.

Pluck's Gutter though is located right where the Little Stour and Great Stour meet.

You can walk through the Dog and Duck's pub garden to reach the mooring spot for boat trips.

The Dog & Duck pub in Pluck's Gutter

From there you can sail to the spectacular 'lost city' Roman Fort at Richborough, the main landing place for the Roman legion over 2000 years ago.

Or you can go further afield up to Fordwich, Britain's smallest town and one of its most beautiful, complete with a Michelin Star gastropub.

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The abundance of rivers, streams and wooded areas means there are plenty of beautiful walks around too.

So there you have it – a pair of villages that many in Dover, or indeed the rest of Kent, will ever have heard of.

But now that you have, you might think they're worthy of a visit after all.

Original Article