Original article from Kent Live
When it comes to things Kent is known for, you'd often automatically think of our stunning coastline, rolling countryside, or rich history – but the forgotten jewel in the crown is arguably our villages.
Kent is a county brimming with quaint, history-packed, picturesque villages and hamlets, with countless country pubs, gorgeous walks and beautiful churches dotted across the garden of England.
According to The Times, that reputation has really begun to cement itself, though – as a tiny Kent village was given the coveted title of the best village in the entirety of south east England.
Unlike well-known big towns and cities like Rochester or Canterbury, you've probably never heard of Bethersden, but it has apparently earnt itself some really high praise.
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What's more – it's not even the only village mentioned in the list – with Smarden, Benenden and Pluckley being given honourable mentions, with the Times saying they were 'spoilt for choice' in choosing Kent's most idyllic settlement.
It seems the town has a little bit of everything you'd want, too.
"With its two ancient pubs, proper traditional butcher, cricket pitch, Kent peg tiles and oast houses, it’s Bethersden that has everything you need for a Darling Buds of May lifestyle."
That final part isn't a joke about the quaintness of the town, either – as it was actually the set for the original Darling Buds of May show.
The town also has "a dash of modern convenience and transport links" to boot.
"It has an Ofsted-rated “good” primary school, a shop and post office, village hall for yoga and Pilates and clubs and societies covering everything from tennis, art and gardening to model aircraft."
Just a few miles from Ashford, and connected to the rest of Kent via nearby Pluckley, Bethersden was once the centre of the Kentish wool trade.
It's got a literary claim to fame, too – being the home of poet Richard Lovelace, and is also known for Bethersden Marble, a very rare but beautiful kind of limestone.
With the going rate for houses in this picturesque country village sitting at an average of £426,000 according to Savills, it's an aspirational bit of the county – as you'd imagine for Kent's best village.
So if you've ever wanted to recreate what it'd be like to stand in the shoes of Ma and Pop Larkin, or just get away to a little slice of heaven fit with everything you'd want from a proper English village, look no further than Bethersden.