A range of properties ideal for families, good schools – and a Jacobean jewel right at its very heart – but what else to local love about this leafy town? We find out…

Great British Life: Steph DarlingSteph Darling


External Communications Associate at a local housing association, Steph – originally from West Yorkshire – has lived in the town for eight years, along with her husband Tim and their pug, Lenny.

Steph’s local life

There’s always something to do or something to see around here, with great walks and easy access to London. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

A tucked-away spot

Still under many people’s radars, Bradbourne Lakes on Lambarde Road were laid out in the 18th century around a long-gone country house. Complete with little waterfalls and plenty of ducks, they’re a lovely quiet spot for a wander.

Great British Life: The Sunday Roast at the White Hart on Tonbridge Road is always a winner with StephThe Sunday Roast at the White Hart on Tonbridge Road is always a winner with Steph

The best Sunday Roast

For a traditional feast with all the trimmings, including crispy potatoes, you really can’t beat The White Hart pub on the road in from Tonbridge. Perfectly cooked and plentiful portions – I always go for the roast beef.

Real pubs

The Oak Tavern & Taphouse on the High Street often plays host to local bands on Friday nights – we’ve heard some really good rock music there and they’re a very friendly crowd. We also love the Anchor on London Road. Landlord Barry has been there for over 40 years and always makes an effort to chat to his customers – if you’ve not been before, prepare to be made welcome!

Good gift shops

Two places I’ll always turn to for gifts are Between the Lines in Blighs Meadow – they’ve got something for everyone from trinkets and candles to china, but I’ve got great, unusual gardening gifts for my Dad here – and Feather Lane on London Road, with its lovely selection of wooden toys - ideal presents for friends with small children and my nieces and nephews.

Great British Life: Rachael HoveyRachael Hovey (Image: Anna Lambert)


Rachael grows, arranges and sells flowers from her one-acre garden near Sevenoaks and via wildgardener.co.uk. She lives with her husband, Chris, teenage son, Luke, and a menagerie of pets.

Rachael’s local life

‘I’m originally from the Wirral but I feel completely at home here. Without a doubt it’s the countryside and the views right on our doorstep that make me appreciate this area so much.’

Courses galore

I really rate Sevenoaks Adult Education Centre on Bradbourne Road – the breadth of courses on offer, from crafts to languages means something for everyone. I’ve done some excellent floristry courses there.

A good farm shop

Just outside Sevenoaks, Chart Farm at Seal Chart sells its own venison, free-range sausages and meat. Look out too for the Three Sisters supper club that runs from here.

Great British Life: The lake at KWT's Sevenoaks base is lovely for a walkThe lake at KWT's Sevenoaks base is lovely for a walk

Wildlife and more

Off Bradbourne Vale Road, Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, run by the Kent Wildlife Trust, has a lake and woodland trails and activities including mini safaris, birdwatching and pond dipping .

Arts Centre

There’s plenty going on at The Stag, from theatre and stand-up to cinema. Our son really enjoys being part of the Youth Theatre here, too – with plenty of productions and activities to keep young people busy.

Great British Life: Mark Steels Mark Steels MARK STEELS

Retired communications professional Mark – whose career includes a stint as a music reviewer for Smash Hits magazine – has lived in Sevenoaks with his wife Debbie for 26 years.

Mark’s local life: ‘When I was working in London the fact that I could easily commute to the capital, then come back to an area with a countryside feel was something I really valued – and that’s still true today: you get the best of both worlds in Sevenoaks

Jewel in the crown

I start every day with a 10k walk around magnificent Knole Park, which surrounds the National Trust’s Knole House, also brilliant to visit. I’ll admire the deer, pat other people’s dogs and take nuts to feed the resident crows and jackdaws.

Great British Life: Deer at Knole Park, where Mark Steels walks dailyDeer at Knole Park, where Mark Steels walks daily

Food to enjoy

Run by Stuart Gillies and his wife Cecilia, Number 8 on London Road is a great local restaurant that offers affordable, Mediterranean-inspired fine dining. The menu changes to reflect the seasons, so there’s always something new to try.

Keeping fit

It’s great that Sevenoaks Leisure Centre in Buckhurst Lane, with its 25-metre pool, gym and classes, has recently reopened – so good that people have somewhere local and affordable they can go to for fitness or just pleasure. Further afield, Nizels Health Club near Hildenborough has good facilities too.

Sweet stuff

Also on London Road, The Chocolate Shop’s been going strong since 1991 and no wonder: delicious chocolate sourced from great supplies from around the world, beautifully packaged and with wonderful window displays that reflect whatever’s going on.

Great British Life: Natalie SeldonNatalie Seldon


Award-winning writer of The Goodness of Nuts & Seeds, food expert Natalie was born and bred in Sevenoaks and today lives there with her husband Mark and children Elijah, 3, and Aben, nine months.

Gorgeous garden

Riverhill Himalayan Gardens make for a great day out, especially with children, who can enjoy its maze and playground and even play ‘Spot the Yeti’! There’s a café courtesy of independent Malabar coffee house, loads of creative events including yoga and crafts, and of course the beautiful gardens themselves.

Great British Life: Riverhill Himalayan Gardens - image Kate WestbrookRiverhill Himalayan Gardens - image Kate Westbrook

Great reads

We’re very fortunate to have the award-winning independent Sevenoaks Bookshop in our midst – owner Fleur and her enthusiastic, helpful team put so much love into everything, from hosting author events to imaginative window displays. Great children’s books too.

Great coffee and brunch

Life on High on the High Street offers coffee roasted on-site, a focus on healthy yet delicious brunches and lunches (I’d recommend giving their fully-loaded Lebanese bread with roasted squash and chorizo a try!) – and really interesting evening events that involve everything from tapas to DJs and drag artists.

Scandi chic

Danish Collection on the High Street features clothing and accessories from laid-back brands like Ilse Jacobsen, plus beautiful homeware in muted colours, plus candlesticks, crockery, even furniture: you could kit out a whole house here very stylishly.

READ MORE: Sevenoaks named best place to live in the Southeast