LENHAM is a large working village with a population of around 3,500. It combines a pretty central market square, surrounded by Wealden hall houses and Georgian-fronted buildings, with a strong industrial base on the village edge. In the Seventies the Lenham Storage Company set up Freightflow, one of Britain’s first international customs depots. This brings a lot of trans-continental lorries to (but not through) the village. A parish hall has been built on the outskirts and is regularly used by groups ranging from the Archaeological Society to the Working Men’s Club. There is a delicatessen, ironmonger, hairdresser and some little antiques shops, as well as a pub and the Dog & Bear Hotel. A country market is held in the square once a month. It has its own primary and secondary schools. Changes in farming methods have led to ramblers often finding themselves prairie-walking rather than following the ancient footpaths, but the village’s saving grace is that it lies just at the foot of the North Downs, which is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Prices don’t vary much in the villages between Maidstone and Ashford. Small cottages start at around £200,000, with prices rising to over £800,000 for the largest period properties. For a three-bedroom semi on a modern estate you would have to pay around £195,000.