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Counties > Kent > Pluckley


PLUCKLEY The countryside around Pluckley will be familiar to anyone who remembers the television serialisation of H.E. Bates’s Darling Buds Of May. The influence of the Dering family – previous lords of the manor of Surrenden Dering – is obvious here. Kentish ragstone was used for many of the older houses, most of which have distinctively-arched Dering windows. The village has remained small, with a population of just over 1,000 served by two shops, a hugely admired silversmith, three pubs, one church, and a Church of England primary school. Leisure opportunities include cricket, tennis, and Pluckley Pantomime Unlimited. The smallest two-bedroom semi-detached cottage can fetch £130,000; a four-bedroom detached house, £465,000; a period country house with half an acre and panoramic views, £575,000 or more. Pluckley has the dubious reputation for being the most haunted village in England (Guinness Book of Records 1998).

Bethersden, a couple of miles south of the station, is another pretty conservation village of listed weatherboarded and tile-hung houses. It clusters around a post office and general store, a butcher, a church, two pubs and a primary school. A two-bedroom restored brick cottage will cost about £165,000; a four-bedroom period house, £295,000.

Good for: rural idyll, grammar schools, a commute that takes you into the heart of the countryside.
London terminal: Charing Cross
Journey time: 78 mins
Season ticket: £3640
Peak trains: 2 per hour plus 3 per hour to Cannon Street
Off-peak trains: 1 per hour