PENSHURST nearby, is an attractive, straggly Kentish village with some nice old tile-hung cottages and its own primary school. The heavy influx of commuters here has resulted in a certain them-and-us feeling. Commuters are often referred to as ‘invisible parishioners’, so slight is their involvement in village activities, but membership of the village football and cricket teams is growing. When Penshurst’s general store closed, Lord de L’Isle of Penshurst Place opened up a post office and grocery store in the village garage for the convenience of the elderly. A farmers’ market takes place on the first Saturday in the month. Penshurst Place and Hever Castle bring tourists as well as patronage – an irritant in the summer. Property is now so expensive that it is beyond the means of local young people. A two-bedroom semi-detached cottage might cost £350,000; a five-bedroom thatched cottage £1.2m; a substantial Queen Anne house over £1.5m. Chiddingstone is also a show-stopping village. The main street, with Chiddingstone Castle at one end, is owned by the National Trust (the castle made an excellent Toad Hall in a recent film of The Wind in the Willows). Prices are on a par with Penshurst.
|London terminal:||London Bridge|
|Journey time:||55 mins|
|Season ticket:||£2740 (also valid Edenbridge Town) or £3000 (also valied via Tonbridge)|
|Peak trains:||2 per hour (plus 3 per hour changing at Redhill or Tonbridge)|
|Off-peak trains:||2 per hour (plus 1 per hour changing at Tonbridge)|