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TEN EATERIES IN THE SOUTH EAST WITH COUNTRY WALKS

Fiona Jamieson

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Country walks aren't just for dog walkers and ramblers; a good old stomp through the countryside ought to be a staple in everyone's life – especially on Sundays. The South East is awash with great places to explore, from coastal walks to sweeping hilltop vistas. But before you reach for your Hunter wellies, arm yourself with the low down on the area's top-notch rural eateries. The only dilemma you then have is whether to eat before, or after, your along, bracing hike…
The Coach & Horses

Situated on the edge of the Ashdown Forrest, this family-run pub has all the warmth and charm you'd expect from a village local. The award-winning food is locally sourced wherever possible; from Horsted Keyes pheasant to Danehill lamb. There's a great choice of local ales, too, and cider from a nearby orchard. Take the 3-mile circular walk from the pub or explore the nearby Ashdown Forest, the largest free public-access space in the South East.

The Plough Inn

Set amidst rolling countryside in the Kentish North Downs, the Plough oozes traditional rural charm. The cosy interior is replete with low beams and hop garlands. The owners have close ties to the local farming community and take great pride in their locally sourced ingredients, including rare-breed pork and Seasalter lamb. Once you've sampled the tasty fayre, you can join the Syndale Valley Walk at Stalisfield Green for some spectacular views of the coastline at Thanet.

The Griffin Inn

Loved by locals and hotel residents alike, The Griffin is a village inn with a difference. The bar has an intimate, laid-back atmosphere thanks to the many friendly, colourful locals. Tasty, traditional dishes are served in the bar, while the a la Carte restaurant menu offers up sophisticated, Modern European food. A good circular walk along the Ouse Valley Way takes in the villages of Pitdown and Newick, and is not too strenuous.

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