Prettiest villages in Kent within easy reach of London
Home to some of the country’s most breath-taking scenery, it’s no surprise that Kent villages are among some of the UK’s prettiest.
From supernatural hot-spot Pluckley – reportedly The Most Haunted Village in Britain – to the laid-back enclaves of Chilham and Chartham, each of these countryside retreats are well-served by national rail, making them among the best places to live in Kent if you’re still looking to commute to the Big Smoke.
Nestled among chalk downs and along the river Stour, the tiny village of Chilham is an idyllic retreat from the hubbub of city life.
Benefitting from its own mainline railway station, it’s within easy commutable distance from London, or nearby Ashford and Canterbury, making it the countryside-haven for young professionals and their families.
If you love white picket fences, manicured cottage gardens and buildings that are steeped medieval history, you won’t fail to be impressed by gorgeous and quaint Chilham.
How to get there: Trains to and from London run on the hour from St Pancras to Chilham, with a change at Ashford, taking about 1hr 30 mins. By car, it’s 60 miles from the centre of London.
Nearby Chartham is also easily commutable to London, as well as the main Kent towns and cities. Indeed, only 4 miles from Canterbury, many of its inhabitants choose to ditch the car and cycle to work along the picturesque Stour River.
There’s a real laid-back charm to Chartham – think easy days basking on the village green in the sunshine. But don’t let the wide-open spaces deceive you. The village is home to schools, greengrocers, a garden centre and a perfectly serviceable pub owned by local brewers, Shepherd Neame. Popular with families – after all, this village is a great place to raise children – Chartham has its own playgrounds, nurseries, a primary school (rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted) as well as Sure Start centre. In short, Chartham has everything – and ain’t half bad to look at, either.
How to get there: Trains to and from London run on the hour from St Pancras to Chartham, with a change at Ashford, taking about 1hr 30 mins. By car, it’s 63 miles from the centre of London.
If you’re a fan of the supernatural or the work of H.E. Bates, you’ll find yourself right at home in Pluckley.
Hailed as Britain’s Most Haunted Village and popularised in the televised adaptation of Bates’ The Darling Buds of May, Pluckley is the epitome of old English charm, with its chocolate-box cottages and country pubs and tea rooms.
The village is lined with apple orchards and offers breath-taking views over the Weald – it’s easy to forget that you’re only an hour from London by train.
How to get there: Trains to and from London run every 20 minutes and take roughly an hour. By car, it’s 55 miles from the centre of London but your commute will be decidedly longer than by train, usually around 1hr 30 minutes.
You’ll find a whole host of Kent’s prettiest villages which are commutable from London on our country property listings.