Published: 06:00, 04 September 2020
| Updated: 09:50, 04 September 2020
But over the years it has lost countless hotels and B&Bs, whether they've been transformed into a new venture or torn down to make way for re-development.
KentOnline decided to trawl through its extensive archive to take a look at the photographs, many black and white, that show how some of the county's hotels used to look, and in some cases, what has replaced them.
We have also decided to include some pictures of hotels that remain open, but have changed dramatically over the years.
Let us know in the comments how many you remember from days gone by.
Ashford and Tenterden
Our journey begins in Ashford as we reminisce over the former Saracen's Head Hotel, Market Hotel and Park Hotel.
For generations the Saracen's Head, on the corner of High Street and North Street, was the top social meeting place for business and commerce.
It can be traced back to 1666 and is understood the meeting to found the Ashford Cattle Market Company Ltd was held at the hotel in 1856.
Today, Boots stands in its spot.
The Market Hotel was situated on Bank Street and opened in 1858 to serve the needs of those using both the nearby cattle market and corn exchange.
It was later known as The Wig and Gavel - the name change was presumably to tempt trade from solicitors and auctioneers from their Bank Street offices.
It stood empty for many years before being demolished to make way for Debenhams. That now too has closed and stands empty within the County Square shopping centre .
The Park Hotel - previously called Wolseley Hotel - was found in the town centre. But it was torn down in 1975 to make way for a new shopping centre, now Park Mall.
In Tenterden , we came across images of the Cinque Ports Hotel & Restaurant, pictured in 1981, and The Woolpack Hotel, which is pictured in winter 1995.
The Woolpack is still open to this day.
The Swan Hotel in Appledore, found at 27 The Street, dates back to 1839 when it was purchased by Alfred White, a brewer, draper and grocer of Lydd .
The building gained a Grade II listing in 1962. It closed in the 2000s and is now housing.
Canterbury and surrounding areas
The Red Lion Hotel in the village of Wingham dates back from the 13th century.
It may have formed part of the Canonical College set up in 1286 by Archbishop Peckham.
But it was more likely the "market house", as a weekly market was licensed by Henry III in 1252.
A few years ago Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood joined a campaign to save the pub but now it is shut.
The Falstaff - named after Skakespeare's characters Sir John Falstaff - can still be found in St Dunstan’s, Canterbury .
It dates back to the 15th century and was called the White Hart before its name change in 1783.
It boasts more than 40 rooms, a restaurant, lounge and meeting room and remains a popular cocktail bar and afternoon tea venue.
A favourite of author Charles Dickens, The Sun Hotel in the city's town centre - opposite the Cathedral gates - was built in 1480.
The hotel was vacant for some 40 years before part of the downstairs was restored in 1992 and used by department store Debenhams for its cafe.
Thirteen years later, the whole building was taken on and extensively refurbished by Andros Efstratiou, who transformed the derelict property into a seven-bedroom boutique hotel, which remains open to this day.
Maidstone and nearby
The Queen's Head Hotel in High Street, Maidstone dates to the 1700s but closed in 1986 and was turned into a Pizza Hut. It now forms part of the Buenos Aires Nights Steakhouse.
But before that it was a coaching inn and still stabled horses at the back of the premises till the late 1920s.
The Rose & Crown Hotel, also in Maidstone High Street, was thought to have opened in the early 1600s and The Bull Hotel in Gabriel's Hill dates to 1538. Both have now closed, with the latter being replaced by a Paddy Power betting shop.
Also in the High Street was The Royal Star Hotel which was described as a Commercial Inn in 1837.
It had a banqueting hall and dance floor as well as bedrooms, but was converted into the Royal Star Shopping Arcade in 1986.
The Russell Hotel, in Boxley Road - which is thought to have once been owned by the gangster Kray twins - ceased trading in 2005 after serving customers for decades.
It was part of the Best Western chain but was demolished to make way for housing.
The Victoria Hotel in Week Street, later known as The Vic pub, closed in 2011. It was then torn down in 2018 to make way to extend Maidstone East Railway Station.
Before it was Maidstone Hilton, the hotel was known as Stakis County Court Hotel and our pictures from 1991 show its swimming pool, jacuzzi and gym.
Our picture of The Great Danes Hotel at Hollingbourne was taken in 1962 before it was extensively re-developed.
It is now run by Mercure and offers 14 meeting and function rooms for 600 guests, tennis courts, golf course, health club and spa.
The Wateringbury Hotel, in Wateringbury, is pictured in March 1986. Today it is part of the Premier Inn chain.
The Larkfield Priory Hotel, in London Road, Larkfield was originally a manor house located on the site from the 18th century on what was known as Larkfield farm.
In the 19th century it was the home of the Reverend William Lewis Wigan and his family. Wigan died in 1876 and the family continued to live at the residence.
In 1892, a fire damaged the building and it had to be restored. It was eventually extended and became a hotel.
We also uncovered pictures of the Shant Hotel in Sutton Valence, and the George Hotel and Restaurant at Cranbrook and the Chilston Park Hotel, Lenham - the latter two which both remain open.
Our picture of the Gibraltar Hotel, in New Road, Chatham , was taken in the 1950s and shows the statue to Thomas Waghorn - a Victorian sailor and naval officer who was born in the town - out front.
The statue remains but the hotel does not. A dental practice is now using the building.
The Bull Hotel became the Bull and Royal Victoria Hotel in Rochester after the death of Queen Victoria, as she had stayed there in 1836.
It is a traditional coaching inn over 400 years old and is still open today.
Charles Dickens also stayed at the hotel and mentions it in two of his novels, Great Expectations as the 'Blue Boar' and by its own name in Pickwick Papers.
Our photo of the pub shows the Great Expectations Bar in April 1981.
The Aurora Hotel in Gillingham had a substantial ballroom and had quite an illustrious career throughout the 60s and 70s, notably seeing an early performance by David Bowie.
It is now the King Charles Hotel, in Brompton Road.
The Central Avenue Hotel in Gravesend was renovated to become the Ascot Arms in 2015.
We also enjoyed these old pictures of The Old Silver Star Hotel in Rochester, taken in December 1977, the Crest Hotel, also in Rochester, from April 1984 and The Clarendon Hotel in Gravesend, pictured in 1980.
The Coniston Hotel in Sittingbourne - with its sign out front offering luncheons and dinners - is pictured in 1986.
Today is it a Holiday Inn, titled the Sittingbourne Inn The Coniston Hotel and Restaurant, with the restaurant named The Coniston Kitchen.
The Railway Hotel could be found in High Street, Sheerness-on-Sea. Today the former hotel is home to a chartered accountants.
The Angel Hotel, Tonbridge dates back to 1828 and had started life known as the Angelus. Today Poundstretcher sits in its former location at 1 High Street.
Further down the High Street and from the same era, was the The Bull Hotel. It was later demolished and has been Macfisheries wet fish, Wallis and a DIY store too. Today it is Peacocks.
In Wrotham, we discovered pictures of the Post House Hotel, from 1984, including one of its health and leisure club, and of the former Moat Hotel & Restaurant from February 1987.
We also found a picture of Callis Court Hotel in London Road, West Malling from June1985 with a Vauxhall Cavalier sitting out front.
We give thanks to www.dover-kent.com for history on some of the hotels.