COWDEN is a very pretty village cushioned amid the quiet leafy lanes that wind through the Weald. Its main street has a curious symmetry, with a housing estate at each end and a pub in the middle, and it contains the village’s oldest houses, many of which date back 400 years. Buses do exist here, but you would be seriously inconvenienced without a car. There are no shops. It pays to get on with the neighbours, because the same people are likely to belong to the same societies – the horticultural society, British Legion and WI, among others – and to turn up at the same events. There is no school, and little to occupy teenagers. A period, three-bedroom, end-of-terrace house costs about £415,000; a 16th-century, Grade Two listed, five-bedroom house, about £960,000.