Skip to main content
30th January 2023

Historic village pub keeps it in the family as new manager takes over from her parents

If pubgoers at The Bull Inn at Linton, Maidstone, think the new face behind the bar looks familiar, they’d be right – new General Manager Natalie Alden took over the pub from her parents, after growing up there.

Natalie took on the running of the Shepherd Neame pub – which moved from being a tenanted site to a managed house earlier this month – after watching her parents run it for the past 15 years.

And she has such a fondness for the establishment, that she had her own wedding reception to husband Charlie there five months ago, with many of the guests being regulars at the pub.

Natalie, 39, said: “I am completely and utterly in love with The Bull Inn. I got married in September here, and all the customers came to the wedding.”

Her parents Kim and Bob were in the hospitality industry for more than 30 years and Natalie, who has two sisters and two brothers, describes running a pub as ‘in her blood’.

She said: “I have lived with the industry since I was seven; I have lived and breathed it. We used to come home from school and Mum was working behind the bar and the head chef would make us our tea.

“Whatever I have done in my life over the last 15 years, I have kept ending up back here. So when my parents decided it was time to move on, and it became a managed house, it made perfect sense to apply to become the General Manager.”

She said of her parents, who are now enjoying well-earned semi-retirement: “My parents have been massively supportive of me doing this. After all, it’s because of them that I got into the industry in the first place!

“They have taught me that if you want something in life you have got to work hard for it. My parents are incredibly hardworking people, and are great role models for us to look up to.”

The Bull can date its history back to at least 1674, when the first licensee was listed, and is set close to Maidstone and on the edge of rural Linton, with fields and woods perfect for walkers. Well-behaved dogs are also welcomed in the bar area – and visitors may also glimpse Natalie’s sister Bobbie’s resident young dog, Bruno.

Relax by the fire and enjoy one of Shepherd Neame’s award-winning range of ales and lagers, or choose from its selection of premium wines and spirits. Freshly prepared food is also served every day, with a delicious menu of light bites and pub classics, using locally-sourced ingredients.

After taking on the management of the site, which offers breathtaking views over the valley from its garden terrace, Natalie has been delighted that the vast majority of its staff have chosen to stay on.

Some cosmetic changes to the site are planned, but, Natalie emphasises, it will continue to provide the same warm welcome it has done for regulars and new visitors alike that it has done for many years.

“The Bull just needs someone here to love her,” she added. “And I do love her.”

You can find The Bull Inn at Linton Hill, Linton, near Maidstone, ME17 4AW, call 01622 743612 or by visiting


About Shepherd Neame

Shepherd Neame has been based in the market town of Faversham, Kent for over 300 years. Perhaps best known for great British classic ales such as Spitfire Amber, which carries the Royal Warrant, its diverse portfolio includes Five Grain Lager, Bear Island East Coast Pale Ale and Bear Island Triple Hopped Lager, and the Whitstable Bay Collection. It also brews international lagers under licence including Samuel Adams Boston Lager and premium Thai lager Singha. The independent family business boasts an award-winning visitor centre and more than 300 pubs and hotels throughout London and the South East, from the historic heart of the City to the Kent coastline.

Shepherd Neame is not responsible for the content on third party websites.

Press release from Shepherd Neame.

For further information please contact Communications Executive Angela Cole on 01795 542142 or email or visit