Dick Turpin is reported to haunt this hotel – recent accounts describe the spectre of a man dressed in green velvet, wearing a hat with a plume, sitting at a table writing with a quill. Turpin was a highwayman who was executed in York for horse theft. In the 1730s, Dick joined a gang of deer thieves and later went on to become a poacher, burglar, horse thief and murderer – he’s known best for a fictional 200-mile trek from London to York on his steed, Black Bess.
Another ghost at the hotel is thought to be that of a soldier from the Napoleonic wars, who was said to have been woken in the middle of the night during a robbery and then killed during the ensuing struggle from a fatal knife wound. He is seen periodically in just one room at the inn.
The Chequers Inn in Smarden is one of the oldest buildings in the village. Dating back to the 14th century, the village itself only appears on record in 1205, when Adam de Essex became the rector of the parish. The Chequers Inn is one of three public houses in the village. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Smarden became very prosperous and some stunning houses were built, lending Smarden a charming atmosphere that still exists today.
The Chequers Inn is an award-winning 14th-century coaching inn located in the heart of the Kentish countryside in a pretty village. It’s a small hotel, but it’s perfectly formed, with two double bedrooms, one twin and one family room that sleeps, three people. All of the bedrooms have been sympathetically and historically refurbished to ensure that the hotel retains all of its original charms. All of the rooms at the hotel feature en-suite bathrooms, easy chairs and writing desks, tea and coffee-making facilities and flat-screen televisions. One of the double rooms is a four-poster, which can be requested, and has all of the features of the other rooms with just a little extra charm.
The hotel has a restaurant, situated in a barn, although they can cater for up to 100 guests in a marquee in the gardens. Food on the menu is locally sourced and carefully selected, with the menu changing seasonally to show off the best of Kentish produce. The inn also has a stunning garden, resplendent with flowering beds and lawns, complete with a carp pond – the perfect place to relax and soak up the sunshine. Whatever your reason for visiting Kent, the Chequers Inn is the perfect place to stay if you’re looking for an intimate hotel with a cosy, village atmosphere.
- 4 en-suite bedrooms
- Breakfast included in the room rate
- Picturesque setting
- Restaurant and bar on site
- Television in room
- Tea and coffee making facilities in the room
- Carp and duck pond
- Close to London
- Close to nearby villages
- Ideally located for exploring Kent
Things to do
The Chequers Inn is ideally located for all sorts of outdoor activities, including rambling through mysterious marshlands, walking through the breath-taking countryside or playing golf at the course located just ten minutes away from the hotel. For culture lovers, there are a number of medieval towns, castles, cathedrals and art galleries nearby, and for families, you could visit The Wildlife Heritage Foundation and see the big cats up close and personal.
- Single room rate £60 Sunday – Thursday, £70 Friday and Saturday
- Standard double from £85, based on two people sharing.
- Twin room from £85, based on two people sharing.
- King size double with a four-poster from £95, based on two people sharing.
- King size double and single (family room) from £105, based on two people sharing.
All room rates are per night and include breakfast.
Related pages: Most Haunted Places in Kent