Located in Otford, a quintessential old English village in Kent, the Bull is a charming local pub with historical features that date back as far as the early 16th century.
Despite its timber-beamed Tudor looks and 500 years of history, the Bull offers guests a modern pub experience, with a family-friendly atmosphere and a highly-rated food menu.
As an old coaching inn that dates back to 1512, the Bull is as rich in history as Otford itself. Original wood panelling and large Tudor fireplaces make for a cosy atmosphere and the pub building houses several unique historical treasures, from a carving of Henry VIII and his wives to a ‘wishing chair’ from Otford Palace. The palace, also known as the Bishop’s Palace, belonged to the archbishops of Canterbury until Henry VIII took it for himself in the 1530s. It fell into ruin after the king’s death but what remains of it is now a designated ancient monument, located just a couple of hundred yards from the pub.Read more...
Occupying just a couple of thousand acres of Kent countryside, what Otford lacks in size it more than makes up for in charm and appeal. Period buildings and independent shops line the narrow streets, and you will find an ancient parish church and quaint duck pond setting a classic village scene in the centre. The history of the village is a long one, with archaeological discoveries indicating that the earliest occupants came here some 3,000 years ago. Subsequent residents included Romans, Royals and Archbishops and the area has even hosted a historical battle or two in its time. Today, Otford’s residents are mostly London commuters, drawn to the rural charm that has won Otford the title of Best Village in Kent on more than one occasion.
Other historical sites on the doorstep of the Bull include the Knole estate, a 1,000-acre medieval deer park at the heart of Sevenoaks town. The jewel of the park is Knole House, a 15th-century mansion built by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, which dominates this rural, Heritage Trust-approved landscape. Millions of trees can be found in the park, most notably the namesake oak trees of Sevenoaks.
Less than 10 minutes’ drive from the Bull is the natural haven of Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve. Set on the site of an old gravel quarry, the peaceful reserve encompasses lakes, woodlands and marshlands that are criss-crossed by several well-marked trails, making it a lovely spot for a tranquil stroll. The reserve is particularly beloved by binocular-toting birdwatchers thanks to its high density of feathered species, among them the little ringed plover, lapwing, great crested grebe and Canada goose.
About nine miles from the Bull is the National Trust-owned Chartwell, another big attraction to the area. The former family home of Britain's beloved wartime prime minister, Winston Churchill, the house still contains many items belonging to the great leader, including the largest collection of Churchill’s own paintings. The estate also contains over 80 acres of walkable woodland and farmland, where dogs are welcomed providing they are on a short lead.
The Bull is positioned in a prominent roadside spot on Otford High Street, a lane that is full of historical character. The pub is surrounded by old buildings from across the centuries and a mix of lovely fashion, antique and art boutiques. Whether you live nearby, or you are visiting the village to absorb the local history and browse the shops, the Bull makes the perfect pit stop for a quality drink or a meal.Show less...