Known as the gateway to the beautiful Eden Valley, Edenbridge houses a practical mix of butchers, independent shops, cafes and pubs along its distinctive High Street.
Edenbridge’s spot on the main route to London made it popular with the Romans, who first paved the High Street. Since then, the town has been a haunt of leather tanners, miners and smugglers, but more recently, commuters have seen the appeal in this well-connected little town. You can find out more about Edenbridge and nearby villages in the Eden Valley Museum, hidden in a 14th-century farmhouse behind the High Street.
The High Street’s timber-framed medieval buildings are the picture-perfect backdrop to the antiques shops that Edenbridge is known for. It’s easy to while away a few hours looking through the antiques dealerships, including one owned by Antiques Roadshow’s Lennox Cato.
As you browse, look out for Ye Olde Crown’s unique Kentish bridging sign, which spans the High Street. The inn has been serving visitors since the 14th century. There’s even a secret passage to the church, said to have been used by the Ransley gang for smuggling in the late 17th century.
Allow time to sample the latest brew in a micro-pub or have a coffee in a characterful cafe, and if you’re here on a Thursday morning, drop by the bustling market that takes over Market Yard car park. The market was established by a Charter granted by Henry III in 1227. Look out for the rings on the east wall – they were used for tethering cows when the site was a regular cattle market.