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A Guide to 40 Pubs with Play Areas in Kent & East Sussex

Tunbridge Wells blog

This guide about pubs with play areas in Kent and East Sussex has been a long time coming! There are lots of outdoor but several indoor options too and I’ll be updating it regularly, so it should be relevant throughout the year.

Just a few things to note – I haven’t been to every single one of these pubs with play areas in Kent and East Sussex. But, with the help of local parents, I have been able to put this post together! I have tried to ensure that the information is as accurate as possible, however if I have made an error or if you have other recommendations, please please do get in contact by emailing me on clare@mytunbridgewells.com or messaging me on the My Tunbridge Wells Facebook page HERE. It’s always best to try to book ahead and perhaps double check with the pub whether their children’s facilities are in use before you go. Enjoy!

The Blue Anchor – Crowborough

The Blue Anchor in Crowborough has an enormous garden with a lovely grassy play area for the kids and some play equipment too. They usually have had several family friendly events during the summer with live music, hog roasts and bouncy castles for the children and one for the adults. 

Covid-19 Update: The Blue Anchor Garden Shack with a fabulous new pizza oven is now open for mouthwatering feasts. Check out the Facebook page for opening hours and visit the website to book a table. We aren’t sure whether the play equipment is accessible but will update this blog post when we do. 

The Bull Inn – Three Leg Cross, Ticehurst

We came across this little gem when we did a cycle around Bewl Water several years ago. You need to come off the Bewl Water track and cycle up quite a steep hill to get to The Bull Inn,  but it was well worth it! Set in the tiny village of Three Leg Cross, The Bull has a beautiful outdoor seating area at the front overlooking a duck pond and more seating plus a children’s play area to the side of it.

There are plenty of picnic benches and the spacious play area has slides, swings and lots of equipment to keep them busy. Although we didn’t get a chance to eat there, we enjoyed a drink while the boys ran around. The inside of the pub looked lovely too – with lots of character and a quirky feel to it.

Covid-19 Update: The Bull Inn is open again however the play areas isn’t open just yet. I will update this post when it does open.

Castle Lake – Leybourne

A Brewer’s Fayre Pub, Castle Lake located in Leybourne is renowned for its excellent kids outside play area plus a large indoor soft play area for those rainy days. If you in the area, check out Leybourne Lakes which is the prefect place for a budget friendly family day out! This is one of just a few pubs with play areas in Kent which has both indoor and outdoor equipment for the kids.

Covid-19 Update: Castle Lake will be re-opening from 29th July and reservations can be made from 17th July. 

The Chequers – Laddingford

Slightly further afield, The Chequers in Laddingford is a traditional ‘olde worldy’ pub. There are some tables and a climbing frame for the kids to one side of the garden, and grazing ponies in a fenced enclosure on the other side. With low beams and quaint tables, this is a pretty Kentish pub.

Covid-19 Update: The Chequers haven’t announced their re-opening date yet

The Cherry Tree Inn – Tichehurst

This lovely Cherry Tree Inn in Ticehurst has an outdoor play area and welcome families 7 days per week. The spacious garden has plenty of room for families and there’s a play area with climbing frame and swings. There’s plenty of parking with two carparks and a toy box inside the pub.

The Compasses – Tunbridge Wells

This quaint pub located in the old village (Little Mount Sion) of Tunbridge Wells backs onto the gorgeous Grove Park which has a kids playground. The food at The Compasses is good value and it’s just a short walk from The Pantiles and the charming Calverley Grounds.

Covid-19 Update: The Compasses in Tunbridge Wells will be open from Monday 6th July. Bookings to be made via the website.

Cross Keys – Tunbridge Wells

The Cross Keys, located on the St John’s Road leading into Tunbridge Wells has a lovely garden at the back as well as a sunny conservatory leading onto the garden.

Covid-19 Update: The Cross Keys is now open. They have been doing lots of work to get the garden ready. At the moment the play area isn’t accessible. We will update this page when the play area does re-open.   

The Chequers Inn – Heaversham (near Seal)

The Chequers Inn in Heaversham, Sevenoaks has a new small play area ready for when we return to normality. The pub was taken over by new owners just over a year ago and we have been hearing great reports about it.

Covid-19 Update: We will update this blog post when the small play area is accessible.

The Fenn Bell Inn – Hoo

A little further afield, The Fenn Bell Inn not only has a large garden with grassy area for the children to play on, it also has a  zoo! This has got to be one of the most  unique pubs with play areas in Kent and East Sussex which I have come across…

Covid-19 update: At the moment the pub itself won’t be opening but the zoo and garden with outdoor kiosk is open. There’ll be hot food as well as drinks available from the kiosk and tickets need to be booked beforehand. Their Facebook page is the best place to find out more info. 

The George & Dragon – Chipstead

There’s a Beach Hut and BBQ at The George & Dragon in Chipstead along with a little kids play area at the bottom of the garden. This is a seriously old pub with heavy oak beams and solid furnishings and it looks like there’s been a lot of effort made to make it into a modern day gastropub with subliminal food!

Covid-19 update: The George & Dragon is open now.The play is open too, however there is (understandibly) a rule of two families maximum per time. An adult must be present at all times, parent must try and help the children with social distancing and parents are responsible for ensuring children’s hands are cleaned / sanitised before and after playground use.  

#10 The George Inn – Frant

The George Inn in Frant is a relaxed and traditional village pub with a lovely enclosed garden at the back. The staff are so friendly and attentive and there’s usually a selection of toys for the children to play with in the garden – perfect for a sunny day!

Covid-19 Update: The George Inn is open now. The garden is looking lovely and although it’s unlikely that there will be outdoor toys supplied by the pub, there is plenty of space outside for them to play.

30 more pubs with play areas in Kent & East Sussex

#11 The George Inn – Trottiscliffe

The George Inn, located in Trottiscliffe has an excellent play area which includes a climbing frame and slide. They also have two bouncy castles out in the Summer time, one for toddlers and one for the bigger kids.

Covid-19 Update: The George Inn is now open although the play area isn’t accessible.

#12 The Goudhurst Inn – Goudhurst

We had a marvellous meal at The Goudhurst Inn with the kids and their cousins the day after our wedding three years ago and have been back there several times since. There’s a beautiful patio area which leads onto an enclosed garden with a central playframe and some other pieces of play equipment to keep the little ones occupied. There are blankets available if you fancy having your meal on the grass and the Summer BBQ and woodfire pizzas are awesome! It’s definitely up there in my top  pubs with play areas in Kent and East Sussex.

Covid-19 Update: The Goudhurst Inn is now open. They are not taking bookings and are operating on a first come, first served basis. The children’s play area will temporarily remain closed.

#13 The Greyhound Inn – Wadhurst

An old coachhouse dating back to 1502, The Greyhound Inn in Wadhurst has a super secluded garden which has a wooden climbing frame and slide for the kids.

Covid-19 Update: The Greyhound Inn are serving takeaway but have not yet confirmed when they are opening.

#14 The Rose Revived – Hadlow

Formerly Hadlow Bar & Grill, The Rose Revived has a decent play area in its garden which we drive by quite often.

Covid-19 Update: The Rose Revived is open now and they have confirmed the play area is accessible.

#15 The Halfway House – Brenchly

A couple of different friends have recommended The Halfway House in Brenchly as a quirky family run pub full of character. There’s a family garden to enjoy and a separate section for adults without kids. How good is that?! The pub prides itself on serving great quality real ales too – something for the adults to check out?

#16 The Hop House – Tunbridge Wells

Located next to the Odeon Cinema in Knights Way,  Tunbridge Wells, The Hop House has an indoor soft play area for kids. Ok, this isn’t the fanciest of pubs with play areas in Kent, BUT it’s very budget friendly (check out the menu beforehand) and incredibly informal. If you are looking for something cheap and cheerful with indoor play, then this could be a good option.

#17 The Huntsman – Eridge

Described as ‘quirky and real,’ The Huntsman in Eridge provides board games indoors (a nice touch!) and has a slide and some piggies to make friends with in the outdoor area. Right next to Eridge Station and the end of the line for the Spa Valley Railway, this is a lovely place to pop in to for a meal with the kids.

#18 The Junction Inn – Groombridge

I have passed The Junction Inn many times and haven’t been into it yet, but a few parents have recommended it. If you fancy making a day of it, you could take the Spa Valley Railway (which starts next to Sainsbury’s Car Park in Tunbridge Wells) to get there. It’s also close to Birchden Woods which is one of my favourites for a toddler friendly walk near Tunbridge Wells (which you can read about HERE).

There’s an outdoor play area with slide, swing and climbing frame and a very relaxed feel to The Junction Inn! The website says that the pub is going through a change in ownership. I will try to find out more about this and will update this post with any news. There’s also a lovely little enclosed playground opposite the pub which is worth a visit too…

#19  The Kentish Horse – Markbeech

There’s a lovely country feel to The Kentish Horse at Markbeech near Edenbridge – the garden is picturesque with gorgeous views over the Ashdown Forest and has plenty of things for the kids to play with including swings, a slide, a little castle and some bikes, trikes and ride-ons. There’s a large car park too and families could make a day of it by combining a visit to The Kentish Horse with a trip to Pooh Sticks Bridge which is only about 5 miles away.

#20 The Kings Head – Bessels Green

I don’t think there is a play area at The King’s Head in Bessels Green but there’s a decent garden with plenty of seating and there are bookable huts which are perfect for a ‘quirky’ family meal!

pubs with play areas in Kent

20 more pubs with play areas in Kent & East Sussex

#21 The Lion – Farningham

With plenty of rural charm and rustic character, The Lion in Farningham doesn’t have a play area but is does have a river running at the bottom of the beer gardens where kids can paddle and take along their fishing nets too! While you are there, take a walk along the banks of the river or visit the Farningham Woods Nature Reserve.

#22 The Little Brown Jug – Chiddingstone Causeway

Several people have recommended The Little Brown Jug at Chiddingstone Causeway as a one of their favourite pubs with play areas in Kent. It’s got a dedicated play area with treehouse and ladder for the kids and plenty of outdoor space to run around. They also hire our private huts in the garden and have an outdoor Barbecue & Smokehouse in the Summer.

#23 The Mark Cross Inn – Crowborough

The Mark Cross Inn has a stunning south facing garden and an area for the kids to play in which includes a climbing frame. Located in Crowborough, this family friendly pub has beautiful views of the countryside – perfect for a Sunday lunch alfresco.

#24 The Milkhouse – Sissinghurst

The Milkhouse in Sissinghurst is an excellent example of how a country pub can be transformed into a beautiful family friendly venue while still maintaining its charm. I can’t vouch for the food as haven’t eaten there yet (just had a peep around it) but there’s a lovely rustic garden area with an enclosed area for the kids, a fenced off duck pond and the all-important outdoor oven for some freshly made pizza. It’s next on my list of places to try!

#25 The Old Jail – Biggin Hill

The Old Jail has a wonderful wooden play frame and attractive garden. If you want to make a family day out of it, you could visit The Christmas Tree Farm beforehand.

#26 The Nevill Crest & Gun

On the Eridge Road, leading out of Tunbridge Wells to Crowborough, The Nevill Crest & Gun has a really relaxed atmosphere and a generous amount of outdoor space. The outside picnic benches are spread a good distance apart from each other and there’s a static tractor to keep the little ones entertained (at least for a little while). The building itself is a beautiful 500 year old former farmhouse which is very well maintained.

#27 North Pole Pub – Wateringbury

The North Pole Pub is a recent discovery for me and it has been recommended by multiple parents who have been there, which is always a great sign. It offers a child friendly environment with a fenced play area at the back of the garden and I’m told there is also a play area for dogs! It’s also just a short walk from Kings Hill through the woods, if you fancy stretching your legs.

#28 The Plough – Leigh

The Plough in Leigh has such a beautiful garden! It’s enclosed at the back of the pub with lots of space for the kids to run around and there’s plenty of play equipment to keep them busy too. Parents can really relax in this beautiful countryside location – the pub has lots of character and plenty of parking too.

It’s just up the road from Toy Time so you could always combine a trip to the two (though check the opening hours/days for Toy Time as it isn’t open every day). During the summer months, The Plough is open all day (Tues to Fri) and after school teas are provided.

#29 The Poacher & Partridge – Tudeley

Located just outside the little village of Tudeley in the heart of the Kentish countryside, The Poacher & Partridge is one of my favourite pubs with play areas in Kent.

The food itself is fantastic, with a Sunday menu offering a traditional roast, wood fired over pizzas and much more! Enjoy a BBQ during the summer months too and sit back and relax in this family friendly pub.

#30 Poppy Fields – Maidstone

Yay! Another pub that has both an indoor and outdoor play area. I haven’t had a chance to visit the Poppy Fields in Maidstone, but it has been recommended by another Mum. Specialising in rotisserie chicken, there are some great options on the ‘Little Chicks’ menu.

10 more pubs with play areas in Kent & East Sussex

#31  Had to remove

#32 The Salehurst Halt – Robertsbridge

Located near Robertsbridge, The Saleshurst Halt is a charming village pub with a very pretty garden. There’s table tennis equipment and a few soft play pieces in the very pretty garden too.

#33 Sankeys – Tunbridge Wells

Ok so ‘The Public House’ at Sankey’s doesn’t specifically have a play area but it does have free meals every day of the week for kids under 12 (with every adult main meal), a really relaxed atmosphere, colouring paper & pencils, some board games in the beer garden and one of the best Sunday lunches I have sampled for a while! We took the kids there a few months ago and really enjoyed it. You can read about it HERE.

#34 The Snail – Stone Street

Hidden away on a country road near Sevenoaks, The Snail at Stone Street prides itself on being a family restaurant and gardens. The spacious garden has lots of play equipment for the kids and I’m told the food is tasty too. There’s often a bouncy castle along with a selection of bikes and trikes, making this top of my list of pubs with play areas in Kent and East Sussex to visit.

#35 The Star – Matfield

The Star is a family friendly country pub set in the picturesque village of Matfield. There’s a bouncy castle in the garden (weather permitting) and a lovely grassy area for the kids to run around. There are plans for a play frame so watch this space! There’s also a kids menu, plenty of high chairs and families are very welcome.

#36 The Vineyard in Lamberhurst

I know I shouldn’t have favourites, but this pub is right up there for me in terms of pubs with play areas in Kent and East Sussex! We have visited The Vineyard many times over the last few years and it’s both cosy and full of character in Winter and really comes into its own in the Summer.

With a brilliant outdoor garden with children’s play equipment and an outdoor bar and grill, there’s plenty of outdoor seating and space in this lovely family friendly pub!

#37 The White Hart – Brasted

After a recent refurbishment, The White Hart in Brasted, Westerham looks like it is definitely worth a visit! There’s isn’t play equipment as such but there’s a section of the spacious garden where children can kick a ball around and generally be as noisy as they like without disturbing other guests…

#38 The White Hart – Sevenoaks

The White Hart in Sevenoaks (just at the top of Riverhill) has a gorgeous garden with a children’s play area. There are several board games inside and lots of nooks and crannies to discover. It’s very close to Knole Park so an ideal place for lunch after some deer spotting in the wonderful woodland.

#39 The Woolpack – Yalding

A quintessentially English pub, The Woolpack is meant to be lovely. It’s close to the beautiful village of Yalding and is very much wooden beams and open fires. The garden is the place to be in the summer and it sounds like one of the best pubs with play areas in Kent to keep the children busy while us parents take some time out. If you fancy getting some post-lunch exercise, there are some wonderful walks to du in the surrounding area.

#40 The Zetland Arms – Kingsdown, Deal

Located right on the beach, the Zetland Arms doesn’t have a traditional ‘play area,’ instead the beach is its playground! Specialising in seafood dishes and just a short walk along the promenade from Deal to Kingsdown, this is popular with locals and visitors too.

I hope this post on pubs with play areas in Kent and East Sussex was useful!? Please do get in touch with any comments, feedback or suggestions by emailing me on clare@Mytunbridgewells.com.

For more inspiration, here are 75+ things to do around Tunbridge Wells this Summer!