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jasey Mar 25th 2012 8:01 pm

Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
Hi guys

I'm looking to move to London in the next year or so and have been loads of research around where to live - all of it online, most of it based off searches on rightmove and zoopla, and some of it based off watching shows like Escape To The Countryside.

I'll need to live in the outlying areas to afford a 2 or 3 bedroom detached house with a large garden, conservatory, in a green leafy environment close to nature (there'll be two of us, with dogs, and we want to have the countryside near us while still being close enough to the conveniences of town living).

So, I've looked at Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and Kent; Kent seems to give us everything we're looking for at relatively affordable prices - as well as being one of the warmest spots in England - but I can't figure out which town to focus on. Reading this forum, it seems people have bad things to say about just about all of the major towns in Kent. According to posts on the forum, Canterbury is filled with chavs, Ashford is Trashford, Sevenoaks is terrible, the north of Kent is awful, Tunbridge Wells is green and leafy but chav central (though you'd swear they're all in Canterbury from one of the posters on the forum), Dover is too far removed ... and so on.

I'm going to be visiting in June and will be driving through a lot of Kent but I obviously can't move around the entire region. If any of you have lived in Kent before, or have visited people there, please could you share your thoughts on the town/s you have experienced? I'm just trying to get a balanced idea of the areas other people have enjoyed living in. As a non-citizen, I'm coming into this with no prior knowledge of the various areas and their drawbacks. Surely there must be some lovely areas in Kent?

huddm Mar 25th 2012 8:24 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by jasey (Post 9971857)
Hi guys

I'm looking to move to London in the next year or so and have been loads of research around where to live - all of it online, most of it based off searches on rightmove and zoopla, and some of it based off watching shows like Escape To The Countryside.

I'll need to live in the outlying areas to afford a 2 or 3 bedroom detached house with a large garden, conservatory, in a green leafy environment close to nature (there'll be two of us, with dogs, and we want to have the countryside near us while still being close enough to the conveniences of town living).

So, I've looked at Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and Kent; Kent seems to give us everything we're looking for at relatively affordable prices - as well as being one of the warmest spots in England - but I can't figure out which town to focus on. Reading this forum, it seems people have bad things to say about just about all of the major towns in Kent. According to posts on the forum, Canterbury is filled with chavs, Ashford is Trashford, Sevenoaks is terrible, the north of Kent is awful, Tunbridge Wells is green and leafy but chav central (though you'd swear they're all in Canterbury from one of the posters on the forum), Dover is too far removed ... and so on.

I'm going to be visiting in June and will be driving through a lot of Kent but I obviously can't move around the entire region. If any of you have lived in Kent before, or have visited people there, please could you share your thoughts on the town/s you have experienced? I'm just trying to get a balanced idea of the areas other people have enjoyed living in. As a non-citizen, I'm coming into this with no prior knowledge of the various areas and their drawbacks. Surely there must be some lovely areas in Kent?

jasey

We moved back to the UK from Canada and ended up in South East Kent, on the outskirts of Dover. I live in a small subdivision containing 16 houses which we really like. We have a quarter acre plot and close to the countryside. Many of my neighbours have dogs and walk the North Downs way which starts across the road from my house.
I was raised in Kent and to us its an affordable, safe place to bring up my two sons. I would not always believe what you read and to be honest I can remember my sons saying "Chavs" are quiet nice really. Most Kent towns are not over run with Chavs as many of the posts on BE try and tell you. We never had any issues in the last 4 years living in Kent.

Kent is one of the sunniest, driest and warmest part of England and we spent a lot of time outside, even on a winters day.

Kent is becoming popular place to move from London. Trains to London from Ashford takes 40 minutes and 68 minutes from Dover, if you want to work in London.

Hudd

bigals Mar 25th 2012 8:30 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by huddm (Post 9971900)
jasey

We moved back to the UK from Canada and ended up in South East Kent, on the outskirts of Dover. I live in a small subdivision containing 16 houses which we really like. We have a quarter acre plot and close to the countryside. Many of my neighbours have dogs and walk the North Downs way which starts across the road from my house.
I was raised in Kent and to us its an affordable, safe place to bring up my two sons. I would not always believe what you read and to be honest I can remember my sons saying "Chavs" are quiet nice really. Most Kent towns are not over run with Chavs as many of the posts on BE try and tell you. We never had any issues in the last 4 years living in Kent.

Kent is one of the sunniest, driest and warmest part of England and we spent a lot of time outside, even on a winters day.

Kent is becoming popular place to move from London. Trains to London from Ashford takes 40 minutes and 68 minutes from Dover, if you want to work in London.

Hudd

do not believe all the bad you see on here,Kent is good I have friends there who love it

Pomster Mar 25th 2012 9:06 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
I lived in Kent a reasonable portion of my life and was in fact there today visiting old schoolfriends.
Everywhere there are good and bad parts.

Canterbury is mostly nice with some horrible council estates.
Thanet (Ramsgate, Broadstairs, Margate) is mostly horrible and run down, but Broadstairs is lovely. Sandwich and Deal are nice.
Dover is awful
Folkestone is a bit meh.
Some of the villages around Maidstone are lovely.
I don't like Herne Bay
Whitstable has become very trendy in the last few years.
Sittingbourne Faversham are a bit nothing-y that I am aware of
Chatham has a lot of the overspill from London slum clearance post war so seems to have a lot of council housing.

Best advise is go and look, when you find somewhere you think you like, stay a weekend see it at all points of day and night- it will give you a better perspective.

brissybee Mar 25th 2012 11:25 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
I grew up in Kent and loved the countryside.

Staplehurst station was our commuter stop to London.

I'm ready to be shot down in flames, because it's been a while, but Tenterden, Benenden and surrounding areas used to be nice.

I'd also be interested to hear about these areas from anyone who has spent time there recently.

jasey Mar 26th 2012 5:08 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by huddm (Post 9971900)
We moved back to the UK from Canada and ended up in South East Kent, on the outskirts of Dover. I live in a small subdivision containing 16 houses which we really like. We have a quarter acre plot and close to the countryside. Many of my neighbours have dogs and walk the North Downs way which starts across the road from my house.

Kent is one of the sunniest, driest and warmest part of England and we spent a lot of time outside, even on a winters day.

Kent is becoming popular place to move from London. Trains to London from Ashford takes 40 minutes and 68 minutes from Dover, if you want to work in London.

Hudd

Thanks Hudd. These are exactly the reasons for me wanting to choose Kent. It just seems that Kent is never at the top of the average forum poster's 'where to live in London' list ... with Surrey, Hampshire, Cambridgeshire always coming first. I'm just not sure why, if Kent has so much natural beauty going for it!? :confused:


Originally Posted by bigals (Post 9971910)
do not believe all the bad you see on here,Kent is good I have friends there who love it

Thanks - do you know which areas they live in, specifically?


Originally Posted by Pomster (Post 9971962)
Canterbury is mostly nice with some horrible council estates.
Thanet (Ramsgate, Broadstairs, Margate) is mostly horrible and run down, but Broadstairs is lovely. Sandwich and Deal are nice.
Dover is awful
Folkestone is a bit meh.
Some of the villages around Maidstone are lovely.
I don't like Herne Bay
Whitstable has become very trendy in the last few years.
Sittingbourne Faversham are a bit nothing-y that I am aware of
Chatham has a lot of the overspill from London slum clearance post war so seems to have a lot of council housing.

Best advise is go and look, when you find somewhere you think you like, stay a weekend see it at all points of day and night- it will give you a better perspective.

Thanks for this list! I do plan on visiting, I'm just hoping to be able to concentrate my efforts on areas that are thought to be the safest and nicest in Kent - otherwise I could end up needing a few weeks to travel around every spot in the county! :)


Originally Posted by brissybee (Post 9972129)
I grew up in Kent and loved the countryside.

Staplehurst station was our commuter stop to London.

I'm ready to be shot down in flames, because it's been a while, but Tenterden, Benenden and surrounding areas used to be nice.

Thank you for these areas. Haven't heard of them really, so will certainly start investigating :)

DeadVim Mar 26th 2012 5:50 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by Pomster (Post 9971962)
I lived in Kent a reasonable portion of my life and was in fact there today visiting old schoolfriends.
Everywhere there are good and bad parts.

Canterbury is mostly nice with some horrible council estates.
Thanet (Ramsgate, Broadstairs, Margate) is mostly horrible and run down, but Broadstairs is lovely. Sandwich and Deal are nice.
Dover is awful
Folkestone is a bit meh.
Some of the villages around Maidstone are lovely.
I don't like Herne Bay
Whitstable has become very trendy in the last few years.
Sittingbourne Faversham are a bit nothing-y that I am aware of
Chatham has a lot of the overspill from London slum clearance post war so seems to have a lot of council housing.

Best advise is go and look, when you find somewhere you think you like, stay a weekend see it at all points of day and night- it will give you a better perspective.

What she said. (I spent my first 33 years in various scummy bits of Kent ... Chatham, etc)

The outskirts of Maidstone would be my choice if you don't want to go stupid on the house prices (I assume the prices differences of the various areas haven't changed much here).

There are nice bits of Kent without doubt and if you can find one close to a welcoming pub you will have a little bit of me jealous. :)

A little bit. ;)

jasey Mar 26th 2012 7:16 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by DeadVim (Post 9972505)
What she said. (I spent my first 33 years in various scummy of Kent ... Chatham, etc)

The outskirts of Maidstone would be my choice if you don't want to go stupid on the house prices (I assume the prices differences of the various areas haven't changed much here).

There are nice bits of Kent without doubt and if you can find one close to a welcoming pub you will have a little bit of me jealous. :)

A little bit. ;)

Maidstone you say? Great, will investigate.

Do you think I'm wasting my time with Kent as a whole? In other words, would someone be better off in Surrey or Sussex or Essex instead of *anywhere* in Kent?

brissybee Mar 26th 2012 7:44 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by jasey (Post 9972592)
Maidstone you say? Great, will investigate.

Do you think I'm wasting my time with Kent as a whole? In other words, would someone be better off in Surrey or Sussex or Essex instead of *anywhere* in Kent?

As Dead Vim says, there are some really lovely parts of Kent around the Maidstone area. I'd like a re-look there for country affordability.

Surrey also seems lovely, but more expensive. Sussex, meh, bit far. Essex, from what I've seen and heard, I wouldn't. Can't even bring myself to watch TOWIE. :lol:

DeadVim Mar 26th 2012 7:52 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by jasey (Post 9972592)
Maidstone you say? Great, will investigate.

Do you think I'm wasting my time with Kent as a whole? In other words, would someone be better off in Surrey or Sussex or Essex instead of *anywhere* in Kent?

I haven't really lived elsewhere for any length of time so I'm not really one to judge.

Being more of a 'country' person if I had to move back then I'd be targetting further North (not just the northern bits around London, the real North :)) to get some value for money for my space. All depends on work, as ever.

I have some friends near York, very nice as far as I can make out.

I did live around Bristol for a while and liked it there but apparently crime was an issue (at the time), I didn't have any problems with it but I was that bit younger and focussed on other things.

jasey Mar 26th 2012 7:59 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by brissybee (Post 9972618)
As Dead Vim says, there are some really lovely parts of Kent around the Maidstone area. I'd like a re-look there for country affordability.

Surrey also seems lovely, but more expensive. Sussex, meh, bit far. Essex, from what I've seen and heard, I wouldn't. Can't even bring myself to watch TOWIE. :lol:

Looking at Maidstone as we speak :) I've found some pretty affordable options in Surrey but do you think they'd have the same leafy/green/country feel that Kent delivers?


Originally Posted by DeadVim (Post 9972622)
Being more of a 'country' person if I had to move back then I'd be targetting further North (not just the northern bits around London, the real North :)) to get some value for money for my space. All depends on work, as ever.

I have some friends near York, very nice as far as I can make out.

I did live around Bristol for a while and liked it there but apparently crime was an issue (at the time), I didn't have any problems with it but I was that bit younger and focussed on other things.

My only concern with going North is the weather. If I can choose somewhere that's bound to be warmer and nearer the coast (another positive for Kent) then that's first prize.

jasey Mar 26th 2012 8:05 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
Another question for you guys: are there any areas around London located near to wetlands or lakes or other such bird areas? Milton Keynes seems to be, but this seems like the absolutle no-go zone for everyone I've spoken to. Anywhere else? :)

Bo-Jangles Mar 26th 2012 8:59 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
If I had my choice, it would be Tonbridge and surrounds but not sure about the affordability

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonbridge

I also would not be quite qo quick to judge half of Essex based on TOWIE. :rofl: There are some beautiful places especially further out from London you go. I doubt those that mock it have ventured much past Basildon.

Bo-Jangles Mar 26th 2012 9:02 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by jasey (Post 9972635)
Another question for you guys: are there any areas around London located near to wetlands or lakes or other such bird areas? Milton Keynes seems to be, but this seems like the absolutle no-go zone for everyone I've spoken to. Anywhere else? :)

Not sure what amenites and facilities or how far from London you would be prepared to go, but the Suffolk coast has beautiful villages and has a lot of RSPB reserves.

jasey Mar 26th 2012 9:02 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by Bo-Jangles (Post 9972688)
If I had my choice, it would be Tonbridge and surrounds but not sure about the affordability

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonbridge

I also would not be quite qo quick to judge half of Essex based on TOWIE. :rofl: There are some beautiful places especially further out from London you go. I doubt those that mock it have ventured much past Basildon.

Cool, thanks for that, will add it to the research list!

jasey Mar 26th 2012 9:21 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by Bo-Jangles (Post 9972692)
Not sure what amenites and facilities or how far from London you would be prepared to go, but the Suffolk coast has beautiful villages and has a lot of RSPB reserves.

That sounds absolutely wonderful. I will definitely give this some more research, thank you! :)

jasey Mar 26th 2012 9:22 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by Bo-Jangles (Post 9972688)
If I had my choice, it would be Tonbridge and surrounds but not sure about the affordability

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonbridge

I also would not be quite qo quick to judge half of Essex based on TOWIE. :rofl: There are some beautiful places especially further out from London you go. I doubt those that mock it have ventured much past Basildon.

Having a look at Tonbridge now, thank you. From the short glimpses I've already seen, it looks lovely :)

And yes, poor old Essex is forever doomed by that show!

DeadVim Mar 26th 2012 9:25 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by jasey (Post 9972631)
My only concern with going North is the weather. If I can choose somewhere that's bound to be warmer and nearer the coast (another positive for Kent) then that's first prize.

How about Torquay, they have palm trees :D

I worked in Tonbridge for a couple of years, it did seem like a nice spot, if a little slow (says he who lives in thrill-a-minute Brisbane ;))

jasey Mar 26th 2012 9:56 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by DeadVim (Post 9972727)
How about Torquay, they have palm trees :D

I worked in Tonbridge for a couple of years, it did seem like a nice spot, if a little slow (says he who lives in thrill-a-minute Brisbane ;))

Haha, no thanks to Torquay!

Slow is not always a bad thing. As long as there are all the fast city things around the corner somewhere :)

robin1234 Mar 26th 2012 1:23 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by jasey (Post 9972723)
Having a look at Tonbridge now, thank you. From the short glimpses I've already seen, it looks lovely :)

And yes, poor old Essex is forever doomed by that show!

I'm from Sevenoaks myself. It's actually quite a nice town, decent shopping centre, good variety of housing from the reasonably priced to the stratospherically high. Excellent train service to London, several each hour to London, fastest journey time about 30 minutes (or maybe a tad higher, maybe 35 mins.) Train service is appreciably better now than it was 20+ years ago. Downside of Sevenoaks is it is busy all the time, roads crammed with expensive cars, disgustingly wealthy people on all sides. I remember when it was a quiet, unassuming little country town....

Countryside, amenities, National Trust properties, beautiful churches & villages... very very good. Hiking is superb, several long-distance trails go past S'oaks or nearby. Tonbridge is nice, Tunbridge Wells is a bigger town with very good shopping. It's an old spa town and beautiful in parts. Hospitals, schools, top notch.

Anywhere you look within commuting distance of London, property prices are closely related to the quality/convenience/speed of the train service.. just a fact of life.

robin1234 Mar 26th 2012 1:27 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by jasey (Post 9972762)
Haha, no thanks to Torquay!

Slow is not always a bad thing. As long as there are all the fast city things around the corner somewhere :)

Torquay (Torbay in general) would be an excellent place to live, frustratingly slow connections though. Once you get to Exeter, the world is your oyster.. fast, frequent trains in all directions. However, the train from Torquay to Exeter (pleasant & spectacular though the journey is) takes about 50 minutes, even though distance is not great...

killerhales Mar 26th 2012 1:28 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
Faversham: yes...Sittingbourne: NO
Canterbury; yes...Ashford: NO

jasey Mar 26th 2012 1:43 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by robin1234 (Post 9973025)
I'm from Sevenoaks myself. It's actually quite a nice town, decent shopping centre, good variety of housing from the reasonably priced to the stratospherically high. Excellent train service to London, several each hour to London, fastest journey time about 30 minutes (or maybe a tad higher, maybe 35 mins.) Train service is appreciably better now than it was 20+ years ago. Downside of Sevenoaks is it is busy all the time, roads crammed with expensive cars, disgustingly wealthy people on all sides. I remember when it was a quiet, unassuming little country town....

Countryside, amenities, National Trust properties, beautiful churches & villages... very very good. Hiking is superb, several long-distance trails go past S'oaks or nearby. Tonbridge is nice, Tunbridge Wells is a bigger town with very good shopping. It's an old spa town and beautiful in parts. Hospitals, schools, top notch.

Thanks for this. Sevenoaks sounds lovely - pity there aren't more homes in my price range :( Definitely having a closer look at Tonbridge and TW.


Originally Posted by killerhales (Post 9973036)
Faversham: yes...Sittingbourne: NO
Canterbury; yes...Ashford: NO

Faversham looks really nice too, thanks for the suggestion. Canterbury still draws me for some reason too.

Any good/bad thoughts about Sheerness?

sallysimmons Mar 26th 2012 1:52 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by DeadVim (Post 9972622)

I have some friends near York, very nice as far as I can make out.

I'm heading to that area in 3 weeks!! So excited to be moving back.

York is lovely as are Knaresborough and Harrogate. The countryside is to die for and the access to the coast is good. It's definitely on the pricey side though as far as the North is concerned.

DeadVim Mar 26th 2012 2:13 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by jasey (Post 9973058)
Thanks for this. Sevenoaks sounds lovely - pity there aren't more homes in my price range :( Definitely having a closer look at Tonbridge and TW.

Faversham looks really nice too, thanks for the suggestion. Canterbury still draws me for some reason too.

Any good/bad thoughts about Sheerness?

Sheerness, to live in? Nope, would not be my choice. Too isolated for a day-to-day thing. I have many happy memories of going there as a kid though. :)

Tonbridge much better for real life.


Originally Posted by sallysimmons (Post 9973075)
I'm heading to that area in 3 weeks!! So excited to be moving back.

York is lovely as are Knaresborough and Harrogate. The countryside is to die for and the access to the coast is good. It's definitely on the pricey side though as far as the North is concerned.

I shall take your word on the relative cost of living but the countryside and coast is great tho :)

jasey Mar 26th 2012 2:18 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by DeadVim (Post 9973104)
Sheerness, to live in? Nope, would not be my choice. Too isolated for a day-to-day thing. I have many happy memories of going there as a kid though. :)

Tonbridge much better for real life.

Perfect, it's great to have some areas that I can cross off the list completely.

DeadVim Mar 26th 2012 2:30 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by jasey (Post 9973116)
Perfect, it's great to have some areas that I can cross off the list completely.

Hey, don't take my word for it ... there could be a perfect life waiting for you in Sheerness, don't discount it ...

<Reality On> No, really discount it :D

I retain much affection for the north Kent coast but would I recommend living there ... no siree :)

jasey Mar 26th 2012 2:38 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
Hahaha - I really prefer the honesty!

A few years ago I bought a house in a brand new area that I had only ever driven through before. I asked the estate agent at the time: "is there a GOOD part of this neighbourhood and a BAD part of the neighbourhood?" She replied, "oh nooo, not at all". It was only after we signed the papers that we realised that we weren't very far from a completely different, much poorer neighbourhood, that made ours a little more dangerous than the other GOOD half of the area that the estate agent said never existed. We fell in love with the house so didn't worry too much about the area ... this time I want to be sure that we have a full picture of where it is that we're living.

So because you've lived in and/or experienced these places, your feedback is invaluable. Much more so than anything else that I could fine online.

killerhales Mar 26th 2012 7:38 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
Sheerness is a definite NO (even though one of my best friends comes from there).

jasey Mar 26th 2012 7:49 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by killerhales (Post 9973613)
Sheerness is a definite NO (even though one of my best friends comes from there).

LOL, thank goodness we use usernames here then, right? :rofl:

Englishmum Mar 26th 2012 9:56 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
You might also want to check out Hertfordshire and South West or West Essex (M11 vicinity). There are fast trains to Liverpool St Station in London's financial district - The City.

There are some lovely villages on the Herts/Essex border (and Stansted Airport for those cheap flights to Europe). Check out Finchingfield (Essex) if you like village pubs and a duck pond...:D The closer you are to London and the Central Line underground trains, the more expensive it is eg. Epping Forest area.

http://www.beenthere-donethat.org.uk...hingfield.html

Thaxted is lovely too, but is probably a little further out from London than you may prefer (45 miles):

http://www.thaxted.co.uk/

Great Dunmow (or Dunmow) is a small country town with an easy connection to Stansted airport and the M11 motorway. My SiL lives in a hamlet nearby.


Sawbridgeworth is a small countryside town on the Herts/Essex border (David Beckham has a house there) with trains to Liverpool St. Going further west in the county is the lovely Roman city of St.Albans. Many people commute to London daily for work from these places.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sawbridgeworth

http://www.stalbans.gov.uk/leisure-a...sm-and-travel/

We had friends living in the village of Roydon, Essex (again near the Herts border) and some of the Olympic events will be taking place nearby this Summer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roydon,_Essex

http://www.roydonmarinavillage.co.uk/

jasey Mar 26th 2012 10:05 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
Wow, thanks for all the new suggestions Englishmum. I haven't heard of most of these until now, so I'm going to get my teeth into them straight away.

huddm Mar 26th 2012 10:47 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by jasey (Post 9972592)
Maidstone you say? Great, will investigate.

Do you think I'm wasting my time with Kent as a whole? In other words, would someone be better off in Surrey or Sussex or Essex instead of *anywhere* in Kent?

Jasey

I have lived in Surrey, Essex as well as Oxfordshire, Hampshire and prefer Kent.

I could not afford the house in the location we currently own in other home counties that I have lived in the past. Before moving to Kent we rented a house in Oxfordshire, which was close half the size of our current house and the rent was double what my mortgage payments are.

I would recommend Canterbury area its see as a more up market area. Maidstone area is one of the areas they recommend to move to due to its relatively high living standard. I have family who live in the Maidstone areas(one is the current Mayor of Maidstone) and they have nice houses on the outskirts of Maidstone.

Hudd

Sally Redux Mar 26th 2012 10:52 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
There are some lovely places in Essex. I visited my old haunts last summer and it hardly seems to have changed at all. I'd love to move back there.

jasey Mar 27th 2012 5:46 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by huddm (Post 9973883)
Jasey

I have lived in Surrey, Essex as well as Oxfordshire, Hampshire and prefer Kent.

I could not afford the house in the location we currently own in other home counties that I have lived in the past. Before moving to Kent we rented a house in Oxfordshire, which was close half the size of our current house and the rent was double what my mortgage payments are.

I would recommend Canterbury area its see as a more up market area. Maidstone area is one of the areas they recommend to move to due to its relatively high living standard. I have family who live in the Maidstone areas(one is the current Mayor of Maidstone) and they have nice houses on the outskirts of Maidstone.

Hudd

Great, Canterbury and Maidstone are at the top of my list, so very happy to hear this :)


Originally Posted by Sally Redux (Post 9973889)
There are some lovely places in Essex. I visited my old haunts last summer and it hardly seems to have changed at all. I'd love to move back there.

Cool, will also be checking some parts of Essex out when we visit in June.

Bo-Jangles Mar 27th 2012 6:14 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
One of my favourite places in Essex would be Maldon and around thereabouts too are very nice, but doubt if very commuter friendly. Although I have fond memories from camping there as a child, I would have not liked to live there in my younger adult life, but certainly more appealing the older you get. :D

My appreciation for all those country villages and pretty towns has grown all the more after having lived in Auckland for the past few years; I would happily live in any one of the places mentioned. Erm okay, except maybe for Sheerness / Isle of Sheppey :confused:

Still, it can't be all bad it has it's attractions for those who have their little piece of 'paradise' out of town, down the 'van.

formula Mar 27th 2012 10:27 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
Kent is the best of all the UK counties, with Sussex running second. Kent is the warmest and most dry of all of the UK as well as having stunning countryside, historic buildings, land steeped in history and fantastic walks. The wild orchids are a site to behold. Kent also offers an easy route to London and Europe. I went to school in Kent and our day trips were to France. Kent also has the top state schools and many a goverment minister uses these schools for their children. You will be able to grow grapes in your garden, but watch out for the wild parrots eating your fruit trees (the winters are too mild to kill the parrots off).

Like all the counties, some areas you need to avoid, just like you will need to avoid some areas of the cities.

I have lived or visited a lot of the UK and Kent just has everything else beat.
Devon and Cornwall are pretty, but just too wet and too cut off from everything, for me. South Wales is beautiful too with very friendly people, but just too wet. The midlands are landllocked and like all inland areas, suffer from extreme weather. Yorkshire is freezing, even in the summer. Lancashire has really friendly people, but again is cold, plus it rains a lot. Surrey is a non-type of county. Essex is flat and has harsher winters, just as most other east UK counties do (east UK is Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridge). Many a time I have driven to Essex to drop my son off for a football match and found frost on the football pitch, having left a frost free morning in Kent. The west of the UK is wet. The further north you go, the colder it is.

Oh and avoid Ashford, as I said before, it is known as Trashford. There is a reason Ashford housing is cheap to buy. One of the presenters on one of these housing programmes even said, that if Kent was to have an enema, Ashford is where you would insert the tube! Some of the outer villages around there are pretty though. Dover and Folkestone too now, should be avoided.

jasey Mar 27th 2012 10:43 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by formula (Post 9974634)
Kent is the best of all the UK counties. It's the warmest and most dry of all of the UK as well as having stunning countryside, historic buildings, land steeped in history and fantastic walks. The wild orchids are a site to behold. Kent also offers an easy route to London and Europe. I went to school in Kent and our day trips were to France. Kent also has the top state schools and many a goverment minister uses these schools for their children. You will be able to grow grapes in your garden, but watch out for the wild parrots eating your fruit trees (the winters are too mild to kill the parrots off).

Like all the counties, some areas you need to avoid, just like you will need to avoid some areas of the cities. I have lived or visited a lot of the UK and Kent just has everything else beat.

Devon and Cornwall are pretty, but just too wet and too cut off from everything, for me. Wales beautiful too, but just too wet. Essex is flat and has harsher winters. Many a time I have driven to Essex to drop my son off for a football match and found frost on the football pitch, having left a frost free morning in Kent.

This is music to my ears. You have no idea how much your description above matches exactly what we're looking for. Can't wait to visit in June and see Kent for myself, first hand :) Thanks very much for posting!

formula Mar 27th 2012 11:20 am

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 

Originally Posted by jasey (Post 9974643)
This is music to my ears. You have no idea how much your description above matches exactly what we're looking for. Can't wait to visit in June and see Kent for myself, first hand :) Thanks very much for posting!

I got so carried away, that I even added to that post:D

The strange thing is, when I had the chance to live anywhere and drew up a list of what I wanted, Kent was the only place that ticked all the boxes! I guess we never know what we have when we see it every day.

Kent is very dog friendly. When I lived in Yorkshire, most of the land was fenced off and it was only by getting friendly with some farmers, that I then had places to run and train my dogs! I sat in the same carriage as a border collie when I took a trip on the minature steamtrain ride along the Kent southcoast:D A very well behaved BC and the owners did ask if I minded if their dog came in the same carriage, bless them.
http://www.rhdr.org.uk/

Take a walk around Shoreham village (the village in Kent not Sussex) and Eynesford village too (you can walk over the fields to Shoreham from Eynesford if you are fit) plus visit the nearby beautiful Lullingstone (Country) Park, where dogs are welcome to run free. If you do decide to walk the Shoreham and Eynesford loop, you will cross parts of Lullingston park. The Eynesford end of Lullingstone Park now has a cafe, with an outside tap and dog bowl always in place plus a river for dogs to wade or swim in. The further away from London you look, the cheaper the houses will get. A lot of pubs will let your dogs in too or you can sit in the pub garden with them.
http://www.kent.gov.uk/leisure_and_c...ntry_park.aspx
The above site also has other country parks in Kent listed, again where dogs can run free.

Some of the beaches are now banned to dogs at certain times of the year, caused of cause, by the bad owners. Still plenty of coutryside to walk through though with glorious views.

The areas I wouldn't waste my time looking at are the towns of, Chatham, Gravesend, Ashford, Dover, Folkestone or the places on the outskirts of Folkestone called Cheriton and Hawkinge. No doubt there are other areas too, to avoid.

Here is the visit Kent site that may help with your journey around Kent - The Garden of England.
http://www.visitkent.co.uk/

jasey Mar 27th 2012 12:22 pm

Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?
 
formula, you're getting me more and more excited by the minute. if you're around those parts in June, I may have to fit you into my GPS unit to help us get the most out of the area :)


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