Faversham, Kent - focus on this beautiful place
PUBLISHED: 15:21 02 September 2011 | UPDATED: 19:55 20 February 2013
Faversham has the largest number of listed medieval houses in England, a fine town square, a creek leading to the sea and it's surrounded by scenic villages and countryside...
Faversham has the largest number of listed medieval houses in England, a fine town square, a creek leading to the sea and its surrounded by scenic villages and countryside.
Famous in history for making gunpowder, bricks and beer, nowadays its an agricultural centre and one of the most intensely farmed areas in Britain.
Its also got a world-class swimming pool, award-winning restaurants and nearby Brogdale Farm is the home of the National Fruit Collection.
September is when the fabulous Faversham Hop Festival comes to town, and its a great time to visit. And Favershams annual Classic Car Show was bigger and better than ever earlier in 2011, with a whole weekend of vintage bus displays and rides, hundreds of classic cars and motorcycles, and even a 1960s steam train in town. The 2012 event takes place on 19 and 20 May.
The heart of town is the semi-pedestrianised grand open area of the market place and its surrounds: Market Street, Preston Street, Middle Row, Court Street, West and East Streets.
The Market Place is notable for the pale blue medieval Guildhall building, which is raised up to room height on massive beams to form an undercroft.Preston Street, leading up to the station, is where youll find the Fleur de Lis Heritage Centre and Museum, as well as the red-brick Alexander Centre.Court Street, leading from the market place, is home to the interesting old building housing the Shepherd Neame Brewery Visitors centre.
Faversham Creek is at the end of Quay Lane, and if you go along here to Standard Quay the chances are you may see some fine old sailing barges. Plenty of car parks plus some on-street parking.
Where to shop
There is a mixture of small specialist traders as well as national names. The town has several art galleries, toy shops (see The Toy Box and Arctophili) and the timber-framed Stationery Shoppe in Preston Street.
Fine local produce is available at Macknade Fine Foods and A J Barkaway Butchers (see Traders Talking) as well as at the Heaven and Earth Health food shop, and Sweet Scene, a Victorian-style sweet shop.
Homeware suppliers include Court Interiors, Housepoints, Faversham Carpets, Tickham Interiors and Whites of Kent. Regular markets.
Where to eat and drink
Posillipo is an excellent Italian restaurant (01795 590580) based in a converted mill overlooking Faversham Creek.
Reads Restaurant (01795 535344), in a Georgian manor house, is a Michelin-starred establishment, while The Dove Inn at Dargate (01227 751360) is an ivy-clad hostelry serving excellent food in a rustic dining area as well as in its fine gardens.
Good pubs include The Anchor Inn (01795 536471), a beautiful building close to Faversham Creek, The Railway Hotel (01795 533173), a traditional Victorian pub, and the White Horse Inn (01227 751343), an ancient coaching inn mentioned in Chaucers Canterbury Tales.
The Hop Festival on 3-4 September is a celebration of the hop harvest and the heyday of hop picking, when thousands of Londoners visited the Kentish hop gardens for a working holiday.
Enjoy live music, street theatre, colourful processions and plenty of local Kent produce on sale, plus concerts, ceilidhs, exhibitions and craft stalls.Brogdale Farm has a number of festivals still to come this year: Nut Day on 18 September, The Great British Cider Beer and Food festival 24-25 September and the Apple Festival 22-23 October.
Considering a move?
There are some excellent schools (Lorenden School, the Grammar School, plus several others), and its got good transport links (the M2 is close). Within the town, property is likely to be more expensive than that in surrounding villages, with one- and two-bedroom flats costing around 110,000 and 141,000 respectively, a three-bedroom semi around 219,000 and a four-bedroom detached house upwards of 413,000.
The print version of this article appeared in the September 2011 issue of Kent Life.
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