HEADCORN is very popular with commuters, not least for its large station car park. It has an excellent shopping centre, which includes a Sainsbury’s Local, butchers, bakers, a hardware store, haberdashery, factory outlet shop and a post office, bank and restaurants. Other assets include a primary school, a monthly farmers’ market, village green, a flower farm and vineyard, an aerodrome and the Lashenden Air Warfare Museum. Well-heeled commuters pay over £450,000 for a detached house and good-sized garden on a smart modern development. Medieval timber-frame cottages are silent reminders of the past. A timber-framed farmhouse or barn conversion with swimming pool might cost £925,000 to over £1.9m. Within the village itself, a period four-bedroom house will fetch around £495,000. A three-bedroom detached house right in the centre will cost £250,000.
Smarden, three miles to the east, is a beautiful well-kept village with listed cottages grouped around a 14th–15th-century church. There is a primary school, a post office, a butcher and an art gallery. The mobile library calls once a week. The village teems with activities including a cricket club and gardening club. It tends to be popular with families. Large, family-sized period properties with perhaps two acres will cost from £600,000 upwards. A Grade Two listed three-bedroom cottage will cost £280,000; a two-up-two-down semi, £175,000.
Biddenden, three miles south of Headcorn, is favoured because of its proximity to Tenterden, a stylish Wealden town that has become something of a local antiques centre. It has a newsagent, butcher, pub and hairdresser. This is where you find Kent’s oldest commercial vineyard and can buy locally made ciders, wines and apple juices. An 18-hole international golf course, Chart Hills, designed by Nick Faldo, is nearby. A three-bedroom end-of-terrace house could cost £190,000; a four-bedroom detached house with paddock, £550,000 or more.