WEST MALLING Considering its proximity to London, West Malling is surprisingly unspoilt. The old High Street, in parts Tudor and Georgian, opens out into what was once the market square. There is a Tesco, a highly regarded delicatessen, a bakery, and a store which sells everything from plimsolls to vests. A farmers’ market is held once a month. Cake decorating, knitting and sewing are practised in the local craft centre. The village has two primary schools and a 900-year-old abbey. A number of local stalwarts keep the social wheels turning, running the conservation society and fending off new development. The fields that cushion the village from Maidstone are guarded with particular vigilance. The local airfield, an old Second World War fighter station, has been turned over to housing with a business park known as Kings Hill. Four- and five-bedroom houses here range from £250,000 to £600,000. The M20 is close enough to be audible from the nearby woods. A four-bedroom town house in the centre of West Malling is unlikely to cost less than £365,000, though you might pick up a two-bedroom modern box for as little as £150,000.