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

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

Old Mar 25th 2012, 8:01 pm
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Default 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?
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Old Mar 25th 2012, 8:24 pm
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

Originally Posted by jasey View Post
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

Last edited by huddm; Mar 25th 2012 at 8:27 pm.
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Old Mar 25th 2012, 8:30 pm
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

Originally Posted by huddm View Post
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
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Old Mar 25th 2012, 9:06 pm
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Default 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.
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Old Mar 25th 2012, 11:25 pm
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Default 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.
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Old Mar 26th 2012, 5:08 am
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

Originally Posted by huddm View Post
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!?

Originally Posted by bigals View Post
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 View Post
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 View Post
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
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Old Mar 26th 2012, 5:50 am
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

Originally Posted by Pomster View Post
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.

Last edited by DeadVim; Mar 26th 2012 at 7:47 am.
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Old Mar 26th 2012, 7:16 am
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

Originally Posted by DeadVim View Post
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?
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Old Mar 26th 2012, 7:44 am
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

Originally Posted by jasey View Post
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.
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Old Mar 26th 2012, 7:52 am
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

Originally Posted by jasey View Post
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.
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Old Mar 26th 2012, 7:59 am
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

Originally Posted by brissybee View Post
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.
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 View Post
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.
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Old Mar 26th 2012, 8:05 am
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Default 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?
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Old Mar 26th 2012, 8:59 am
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Default 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. There are some beautiful places especially further out from London you go. I doubt those that mock it have ventured much past Basildon.
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Old Mar 26th 2012, 9:02 am
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

Originally Posted by jasey View Post
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.
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Old Mar 26th 2012, 9:02 am
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

Originally Posted by Bo-Jangles View Post
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. 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!
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