I spent a weekend here in the middle of a two-week business trip. It offered a welcome country respite for a traveler weary of travel and cities.
The rooms are really attached chalets, a little like a motel, but with a bit of grass out front instead of cars. The rooms are a little on the basic side, but are perfectly adequate.
What makes this place really stand out is its splendid location. Thurnham is a tiny hamlet on the Pilgrims Way, just outside Maidstone. The Pilgrims Way is the ancient pilgrimage route to Canterbury, celebrated in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. A short walk up the hill from the Inn takes you to the ruins of Thurnham Castle, and the North Downs Way walking trail.
The Inn has a number of maps of suggested walking routes, plus OS maps, to borrow. One of the walks takes one to Hollingbourne, a town a little further down the Pilgrims Way, where Catherine Howard grew up. Hollingbourne also features The Dirty Habit, an excellent pub where James II stopped on his way to France after the Glorious Revolution.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 17th Century Pub / Restaurant with beams, hops and open fireplaces serving real ales and country wine. 27 beautiful en-suite rooms in the grounds provide a peaceful haven around the duck pond. Ideal for business or tourists. Close to Leeds Castle and only a 50 minute train journey to London. Lovely gardens and outside dining area. Also licensed for Civil Marriage Ceremonies.Fully equiped air conditioned business centre ideal for conferences, meetings and training seating up to 80 delegates ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Black Horse Hotel Maidstone
- Black Horse Maidstone