Perfect cosy pubs in Canterbury

Sinead Hanna
1st September 2023

As the nights draw in, there’s usually only one thing on our minds – finding the perfect cosy pub!

When it comes to whiling away the long winter nights or relaxing after a bracing winter walk, Canterbury‘s city, coast and countryside has a fine selection of traditional pubs with open fires and wood-burning stoves to warm the cockles of your heart. Many are dog friendly too, with excellent pub grub on the menu.

Take a look at some of our favourite cosy pubs below...

Cosy in the city

Within the historic city walls, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to pubs and bars with toasty open fires or woodburners. 

Grab a comfy chair or big table with pals by the fire at The White Hart in the Castle Quarter, or for a great view of the towering cathedral gates, head to The Old Buttermarket for a traditional English pub experience. You can slip through the cobbled side streets towards The King’s Mile where a warm welcome awaits at The Thomas Becket, and history buffs will love the oak beams and olde world charm of The Parrot (one of the city's oldest pubs). Near by, The Dolphin is a magnet for groups wanting a hearty meal by the fire, as is The Millers Arms close to the river.

Further along the King's Mile you'll find The Thomas Tallis Ale House with a huge wood burner and a regular rotation of excellent cask ales, beers and local wines. On the High Street, both The Black Griffin and The Cricketers are keeping things cosy with live music and warm fires.

Near Canterbury West Station, The Unicorn in St Dunstan’s is a CAMRA favourite thanks to its excellent ale selection and its wood burner is a welcome site on winter nights. The Monument is one of the city's best kept secrets with cosy vibes and a much lauded menu, while The Bishops Finger boasts live music and sports screenings. And Ye Old Beverlie’s open fire and large menu are hard to resist.

Whitstable winter warmers

There’s nothing better than a brisk walk along the coast to blow away the cobwebs, except for the warming beverage you reward yourself with straight afterwards. Whitstable has plenty of beautiful pubs to visit this winter – settle down by the fire at The Smack Inn (and check out their beach-inspired beer garden!) or order a wood-fired pizza and pint at the East Kent. And sea views and sunsets don’t come much better than those viewed from The Rose in Bloom, perched above the seaside.

For finer dining in luscious surroundings, swing by The Pearsons Arms – literally a stone’s throw from the beach, as is the spacious Marine Hotel with open fires and fine drinks on offer on the seafront.

Hunker down in Herne Bay

If you’re taking a big trek around the Kentish coast, or just get a bit of sea air, Herne Bay is the perfect spot for walkers with ample watering holes to enjoy before during or after your travels.

Head to Grade II listed 14th century pub The Ship Inn for unbeatable sea views and splendid drinks, or Kent Pub of the Year winner The Four Fathoms for historic character and contemporary comfort down by the sea.

The Prince of Wales, Hoath, is well placed for walkers as the starting – and end – point for magnificent circular walking routes through the surrounding Canterbury woodland and countryside. And The Rising Sun in Stourmouth is a stunning country pub with rooms and a great base for exploring the coast and countryside – or for just snuggling in front of the fire!

Walk to the pub

Canterbury’s countryside is a veritable treasure trove of beautiful pubs, most of which can be found along the district’s network of picturesque foot and cycle trails.

If you’re looking for an Instagrammable slice of country living with historic buildings in chocolate box villages, then you’ll want to feast your eyes on The Rose Inn  in Wickhambreaux, which has been standing in one form or another since the 1300s. The Fitzwalter Arms at Goodnestone dates back to 1589, and is a great base for exploring the district if you want to bag one of their bedrooms for the night.

The Duke William in Ickham also combines old-world charm with outstanding modern cuisine with roaring fires, faux fur throws and sumptuous decor. Chilham is great destination for walkers or history lovers as it boasts one of the best-preserved Tudor village squares in the region, and nearby The White Horse is the perfect spot to warm up by the fire after a big country walk.

Foodies will want to make a beeline for The Dog at Wingham, a dog-friendly award-winning gastropub, while fine dining and top class fizz lie in wait at timber-framed The Griffins Head at Chillenden.