What’s The Bell in Ticehurst like?
This quirky 16th Century coaching inn will appeal to creative types who love their food. It’s located in a picture-postcard village, between Hastings and Tunbridge Wells, and is packed full of art and poetry. Rudyard Kipling supposedly wrote A Smuggler’s Song here and songwriter Bert Jansch, who was once a local, used to jam on the pub’s piano.
How dog-friendly is The Bell in Ticehurst?
Very. Dogs are welcome in the bar area, where there’s a lovely open fire, and there are two pet-friendly tables in the restaurant that can be pre-booked. When we visited, Ernie also had a cosy dog bed and bowl waiting for him in the room and got lots of fuss from the staff. There’s a £10 charge for pets to stay overnight.
Tell me more about The Bell in Ticehurst
There are seven gorgeous rooms to choose from, all of which are dog-friendly and have been individually designed. We stayed in Moon Wild above the bar area, which – as you might expect from a building as old as The Bell – comes complete with beamed ceilings and creaky, sloping floors.
The handmade Somnus bed is very much the centrepiece of the room but there’s also a tree. This makes for quite a feature and is a nice link to the wood that once stood on the site of The Bell. The room also has antique furniture, a large brick fireplace filled with wood and quirky, mismatched light fittings. There’s also a tray with tea, coffee, water and homemade biscuits to snack on.
Bath lovers will be in heaven, thanks to the enormous copper tub in the bathroom – which Ernie enjoyed admiring his reflection in. And complimentary toiletries from The Scottish Fine Soap Company will leave you smelling lush.
As well as the rooms above the bar and restaurant, The Bell has four rustic garden lodges. These have been designed with traditional oast houses in mind but look a little like hobbit homes! The lodges are slightly more expensive to stay in but come with private outdoor decks and open fires. One, the Love Nest, even has a round roof terrace overlooking the fire pit in the pub garden.
What’s the food like at The Bell in Ticehurst?
Lovely. The Bell serves everything from fish and chips to steak, ramen and pork belly. The food is a little on the pricey side for a pub but much of it is locally sourced, so you can dine in the knowledge that you’re helping to support local farms and suppliers. It would be nice to see a few more veggie options on the menu, though.
The bar and restaurant has a wonderfully cosy feel with columns made out of books and lots of art dotted around. Much of it has been done by local artist Bill Talbot but look out for the lithograph by Henry Moore and the limited edition Picasso print. Also keep your eyes peeled for the tongue-in-cheek message carved in the front door that reads: “Thank you kindly, now bugger off quietly.”
Are there resident dogs at The Bell in Ticehurst?
No, but some of the local dogs visit so often with their owners, they could almost be classed as residents! We met a good few of them during our stay.
Where are the best dog walks near The Bell in Ticehurst?
There are lots of lovely walks to be enjoyed around Ticehurst itself but you’ll find plenty of other attractions nearby. King John’s Nursery, two miles away in Etchingham, is a great place to visit all year round. Set in the grounds of a gorgeous country lodge (pictured above), it has an eight-acre garden to explore, as well as a shop and cafe. Entry to the garden is £6.50 and dogs on leads are welcome.
Other good places nearby include Bewl Water and Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest, with its magnificent collection of conifers. The Scotney Castle estate, managed by the National Trust, is also great for dog walking. Click here for more information about visiting with your four-legged friend.
What Ernie loved about The Bell in Ticehurst
The comfy bed waiting for him in the room, the sausage at breakfast, the location for village walks
What I loved about The Bell in Ticehurst
The quirky decor, the warm welcome, the lovely pub garden
How to book The Bell in Ticehurst
Overnight stays start from £85 per night, including breakfast. The hotel also has a special ‘Going Mutts’ package for £165, which includes dinner, bed, breakfast and a pawsome welcome pack for your pooch (based on two sharing). For more information or to book, call 01580 200300 or visit The Bell in Ticehurst website.