Chilham farm shop & plant centre, Kent Downs

Chilham in the North Kent Downs AONB
From £0.10 - £100 free admission
Retail Farm Shop and Plant Centre
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Chilham farm shop & plant centre, Kent Downs

Probably the oldest farm shop in the area, opened in the mid 1930's and run by the same family for nearly 30 years.

Within walking distance of the historic village of Chilham with its mediaeval Square, Chilham Shop specialises in local seasonal produce and fine delicacies to create a veritable feast for that hard earned evening meal after a long days walking in the Kent Downs. Once there take time to wander and discover the amazing range of plants to add to your garden borders, this shop has so much more to offer than the normal village shop. There are a variety of local meats from the Weald Smokery, cheeses from The Canterbury Cheesemakers, chocolates and cold pressed oils, hazel and rapeseed, as good as olive oil, ice creams, jams and moreish juices, crisps and yummy cakes. Flowers to grace your table, often English and local, there is a myriad of local products. The shelves are also brimming full of a wide range of every day groceries.

In 2010 Chilham Shop was very pleased to have received Highly Commended in the “Kent Community Retailer Award” for our services to Chilham village. Not only does Peter run Chilham Shop he looks after the Post office close to the square in Chilham with views of the surrounding Kent Downs.

All of this in a comparative small shop, run by enthusiastic friendly staff.

Responsible tourism: 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.

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Story behind the experience

Many years ago Peter use to supply Chilham Fruit Farm, now called Chilham Shop, with produce from their market garden business in the neighbouring village of Selling. In 1983 they bought Chilham Fruit Farm and continued sell their own market garden produce. This declined over the years in favour of raising garden plants for sale at the shop. They now support many local business’ which specialise in a broad range of home grown produce but also an enormous range of other local delicious products to compliment the business. Four years ago Peter took over the running of Chilham Post Office, since it was under threat of closure. The Post Office is now run as a satellite to the core business at Chilham Shop.

Day tour/Attraction provider no: 3010

Chilham farm shop & plant centre, Kent Downs

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