Skip to main content

Visit the villages of Chalk, Shorne and Higham

Experience Chalk

The village of Chalk borders the river Thames with many interesting historic connections. The Old Forge on the corner of Forge Lane is believed to be the inspiration for Joe Gargery’s cottage in Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations.

That’s not the only link with the famous author. It was also provided a romantic destination in real life following his marriage to Catherine Hogarth. The couple are believed to have stayed in ‘Craddocks Cottage’ nicknamed ‘The Honeymoon Cottage’.

On the more rural side of Chalk, you will find St Mary the Virgin church with parts of the building dating back to the 11th Century. The font originates from Norman times with the church’s first bell hung in 1348. The tower has long been considered a prominent navigation landmark from the Thames, a marker for journeys near and far, home and away.

Experience Shorne

Set in very pleasant countryside indeed, Shorne is a gem of an English village.

With a 13th century church of St Peter and St Paul, the Rose and Crown Public House a visit here is rewarded with fine views across the Thames valley to Essex and London.

Shorne Woods Country Park, Kent’s most popular country park, lies to the south of the village and is easily accessible from the A2. There are various way-marked trails to explore along with picnic and play areas, a trim trail and fishing. There is also an Easy Access route suitable for prams and wheelchairs.

The Visitor Centre, with its shop and café, is an excellent place to start your visit and if you want to stretch your legs further explore neighbouring Cobham Park and Jeskyns Community Woodland.

Experience Higham

Renowned for its literary connections, Higham nestles between the River Thames and the North Downs. Its name originates from the Anglian word ‘hēh’ meaning ‘high’ with the Old English word ‘ham’ as a ‘village’; therefore meaning ‘high village’.

Gad’s Hill Place , opposite the John Falstaff public house, was the home of England’s most famous author Charles Dickens from 1856 until his death in 1870. Many of his best-known works, including Great Expectations are set in the borough.

Gravesend Road, Higham – the main road through the village - was the scene of many highway robberies in the 16th to the 18th centuries it was one of the most dreaded stretches of road in the country. Legend has it that Swift Nick Nevison robbed a man on Gad’s Hill in the early hours in 1676, then crossed The Thames by ferry to Essex and rode hell for leather to reach the city of York in time to show himself on the bowling green at 8pm the same day and thus establish the alibi that secured his acquittal.

Visit Gravesend
Visitor Information Centre
Gravesend Borough Market
High Street
Gravesend
DA11 0AZ
01474 337600
visit.gravesend@gravesham.gov.uk
OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF VISIT GRAVESEND