CHILHAM The central square of 14th- and 15th-century black-and-white houses in Chilham is an irresistible draw for tourists, film crews and wealthy house-hunters. The church is known for its roughly chequered flint tower. The gardens at privately owned Chilham Castle – a Jacobean mansion with a 12th-century keep – were laid out by the 17th-century botanist John Tradescant. The post office and general stores provides a focal point for village life, but otherwise the shops are increasingly geared towards tourists. There is a school and doctors’ surgery. Properties rarely come up for sale in Chilham. If you are lucky, you might snatch a family-sized house for £400,000. Near the station, a two-bedroom semi-detached house with garden might come up for sale at £210,000. It is a village with a strong community spirit. There are football, cricket, tennis and angling clubs, and on Spring Bank Holiday the square is closed for the annual Pilgrim’s Fayre. Chilham also has the advantage of being only five miles from Canterbury.
Old Wives Lees, a mile to the north, is a cheaper alternative, known to locals as Old Wives Knees. There is plenty of modern development here. A three-bedroom older house might cost £220,000.