Rye via Hamstreet
HAMSTREET is a large and expanding village, with a green and a duck pond, which has had some of its tranquillity returned thanks to the arrival of a bypass. It was built on land reclaimed from Romney Marsh. It is well served by, among others, a primary school, doctors’ surgery, post office counter, pub, supermarket and a hairdresser. A small terraced house might cost £160,000. A four- to five-bedroom house in large grounds will fetch £425,000 or more. Just to the north are Hamstreet Woods, a linked series of five woods in a nature reserve famous for its nightingales.
Appledore is a delightful village and one of the best places to slip off the main road to enjoy the eerie flat landscape of Romney Marsh just to the east. It has lovely old black-and-white houses and a particularly attractive main street, church and two pubs. The school closed due in part to the incomers’ preference for private education and village children are bussed three miles to the primary in Wittersham. The village has an old forge, a bric-a-brac shop, an antiques shop and small general store. The Royal Military Canal, on which Appledore stands, was built in 1804 as part of the nation’s defences against possible invasion by Napoleon and was re-fortified during the Second World War. Houses sell quickly here, with buyers always waiting for an opportunity. A semi-detached two-bedroom cottage will cost £180,000 or more; a four-bedroom detached house, £250,000; a seven-bedroom, four-reception-room property with land, over £700,000.
Rye is regarded as one of the most picturesque towns on the south coast. Two miles into the mouth of the River Rother, it was once a flourishing port huddled behind protective sea walls. Now its steep cobbled streets and Tudor, Stuart and Georgian houses attract hordes of summer tourists. It is an intimate place in which to live – most people seem to know what everyone else is doing. There are plenty of shops selling food, antiques and souvenirs, and galleries selling work by local artists, but going to the cinema means a trip into Hastings. A farmers’ market takes place every Wednesday and a general market on Thursday. Rye has all the usual clubs and societies, including the Rye Players, and numerous annual events such as Rye Bay Scallops week in January the Rye Festival in September. The area has a long tradition of attracting creative types - such as John Ryan, the creator of Captain Pugwash, and Spike Milligan who had a house nearby (in Udimore.) A two-bedroom terraced house in Rye will cost £160,000 or more. The picture-postcard streets include Church Square, Watchbell Street and Mermaid Street, where a two-bedroom detached cottage with mansard roof would cost around £230,000. The rail journey is arduous so many choose to drive to Ashford and hop on the train there.