Lower Halstow: The charming village with a medieval church and one of Kent's best pubs

Barges in the river Medway at Lower Halstow near Upchurch in Kent, England
Barges in the river Medway at Lower Halstow near Upchurch -Credit:Getty/ asmithers

Villages are often overlooked in favour of major towns and cities busting with tourists. Yet, some have a unique story and atmosphere that charm visitors at first glance.

And for those living in busy areas, villages are a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and retreat to a calm place. With Kent having an array of stunning villages, it can be tricky to pick one.

However, Lower Halstow would be a great starting point. Situated to the northwest of Sittingbourne, the village of around 1,200 inhabitants is located on the banks of the Medway Estuary.

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“Evidence suggests that Lower Halstow was inhabited in the Roman times, and possibly dating back to the Iron Age due to its natural resources of flints, clay and water,” it reads on Sittingbourne.me. The village has a rich history, starting with the pub; The Three Tuns, which was recently named Pub of the Year in Swale by CAMRA.

The venue was built in the 15th century
The venue was built in the 15th century -Credit:Google Maps/Street view

The venue was built in 1468 and has held an ale licence since 1764. It features a crackling open fire as well as a separate dining area serving “fine restaurant food and an ever-changing seasonal menu using the finest local produce”.

And with the sunny summer days on the horizon, the pub has a large beer garden at the rear which is the venue for an annual Summer Kentish Beer and Cider Festival. It reads on the pub’s website: “The Three Tuns is a great place to meet friends and family and the perfect location for ramblers and dog walkers to start or end a walk in a surrounding area abundant with history and many public footpaths.

“Take a few steps from the Saxon Shore Way and enjoy a cream tea or a refreshing pint of Kentish real ale, lager or cider.” If you enjoy historic buildings, your next stop should be St Margaret of Antioch church.

The 11th-century village church has been in use for more than 800 years, featuring wall paintings and other items of historical significance. It has a variety of services, ranging from a Book of Common Prayer Communion service to informal family-oriented services.

There is a Family Time service on the second and fourth Sunday of each month which is designed for those starting to explore what the Christian faith is all about. The church also holds regular produce sales.

According to The Six Benefice's website: “This offers an opportunity to buy the beautiful and tasty work of many creative people, while enjoying coffee and homemade cakes. All this in the wonderful setting of the ancient church at Lower Halstow, which is right beside the Estuary.

“The Produce Sale takes place in July, August and September with specials at Harvest and Christmas.”

With its location being on the banks of the Medway Estuary, those exploring the area can also visit the Edith May Barge Charter, a fully restored historic ship which is now available for sailing charter trips on the River Medway.

It reads on the Tiller and Wheel website: “Whether you’re a newcomer or experienced sailor, young or old – we aim to create amazing days out on the water for everyone. The Skipper and crew will ensure that the maximum time possible is spent under sail, and you can be as involved as you like when it comes to setting sails and steering the ship.”

The village is also an ideal location for families who want to raise their children in a quiet area. Its primary school was rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted at its last inspection in 2019.

The school website reads: “We pride ourselves on preparing children for a successful future by equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed for the next stage in their education and beyond. Learning and development is at the heart of everything we do and we ensure that every decision we make is centred around the needs of the children. Our walls and class scrapbooks are full of 'memorable moments' that make learning fun and stay with the children well after they have left us.”

Properties in Lower Halstow had an overall average price of £392,000 over the last year, according to Rightmove. The majority of sales in Lower Halstow during the last year were terraced properties, selling for an average price of £294,750.

Detached properties sold for an average of £590,000, with semi-detached properties fetching £385,000. Overall, sold prices in Lower Halstow over the last year were similar to the previous year and 4% up on the 2021 peak of £376,793.

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