CHATHAM Little flat-fronted Victorian terraces, ideal for first-time buyers at around £100,000, cram the steep hillsides around Chatham dockyards, once the industrial heart of the town. Its first ship was launched in 1586 to join the fleet against the Spanish Armada. Four centuries and 400 Royal Navy ships later, the docks were closed in 1984 and handed over to a trust. The 80-acre site, which contains 47 scheduled monuments, is the most complete Georgian and early Victorian dockyard in the world. Now it is almost as much of an attraction to house-hunters as it is to tourists visiting the several museums located here. You can board a Cold War submarine or a Second World War destroyer, see artefacts from the Cutty Sark or walk the ¼ -mile long Ropery. Other parts have been converted to residential use with a choice of both restored and new properties. The new developments include one- and two-bedroom flats starting at about £150,000, and town houses modelled on the Georgian officers’ terraces, priced at £290,000. Restored properties include 12 houses in a terrace built on five floors between 1722 and 1732. These are the cream of the bunch. Former naval stable blocks have been converted into three-bedroom mews houses selling at about £300,000.
For cheaper modern housing you could look at the Walderslade area, a huge estate with two-bedroom terraces at £125,000 and four-bedroom family houses at £220,000 to £270,000. The Walderslade Woods area is more sought-after and prices can rise to £350,000 for a five-bedroom house.