Responsible travel: Chilham farm shop & plant centre, Kent Downs
The landscape is at the heart of my business, having been born and brought up in Perry Wood an area of Selling, a village adjoining Chilham. Perry Wood, adjoins our land to the back, a truly unique spot with jutting mounds of sand and heathland, rising to a height of 504ft above sea level, heritage and wildlife. From here there are fantastic panoramic views across the Kent Downs countryside, lovely woodland walks and a hidden heritage. There is a wealth of footpaths linking, amongst others, the site of the old Shottenden Mill, an Iron Age earth works, the Drawing room and the famous Pulpit, its heritage a mystery. The view point called The Mount was used as part of a semaphore chain, sending messages from the Kent ports via Barham Downs to Beacon Hill the other side of Ospringe and on to the Admiralty in London.
Chilham, a nucleated village, a village with the square with the houses surrounding, the Church at one end and the Castle at the other with arable fields stretching away from the single settlement, is a must when you arrive. The square is a very popular venue for the film industry with Emma, Miss Marples and Top Gear being filmed there recently; spot the buildings which have been used, you may even see some filming taking place whilst you visit. Chilham is famous for its Castle, you can peer through the gates at the Jacobean house with the Keep hidden behind. If you visit on a Tuesday the gardens may be open under the National Garden Scheme.
Whilst in Chilham walk the village trail, or walk from the village; it could be along the North Downs Way but behind Chilham Shop nestling in the valley, are lakes and the River Stour. Walk past the Old Mill which featured in the film A Canterbury Tale, and up the hill. You will stumble across Julliberrie Grave, a long barrow which purports to be the burial ground of Roman tribune, Quintus Laberius Durus, however, it is Neolithic. The question is did Caesar visit Chilham?
To discover these walks and much more around Chilham, pick up a guide from either the Chilham Shop or the Post Office.