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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 May 31st 2012, 6:13 pm
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

Originally Posted by Belles30 View Post
We are moving back to the UK by the end of the year.We can't decide where to live though I have been researching an hours commute to London.Our 18 year old son will be moving back with us and he is our first priority,hopefully he will be having a gap year before starting Uni next Sept/Oct.I have been looking at Tunbridge Wells, it looks like there will be plenty to do and safe,we have a dog as well who I take for long walks everyday,there is no river unfortunately for walking along.Is it far to get out in the countryside or feeling of countryside without having to drive.
I have been there once years ago but think we only went to The Pantiles,can't remember much else.
As we are a small family who want to take advantage of traveling and weekends away to Europe and other parts of Britain,we won't want a big house or large garden.
Any thoughts or recommendations greatly appreciated.
Cheers
If you were to live in the Grove Hill Road area of T-Wells it is about 1/4th of a mile to Camden Park and 3/4ths of a mile to further extensive parkland with a lake and which is bounded on the east side by Hall's Hole Road and open country. I've taken that walk and found it easy going in hot summer. The Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk and High Weald Landscape Trail run off the back of this latter parkland and also west to The Grove (see below).

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1300975

In the other direction (west of the A26) is extensive Victoria Grove and Mt Ephraim Park (T-Wells Common)

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1997580

The commute can be just under an hour depending upon where you are actually working but the fast service into Cannon Street takes 52 mins, Charing Cross 1 hour.

Again, you would be well placed if living somewhere around The Grove district or Grove Hill Road as it is only a couple of hundred yards to the station.

FYI, The Pantiles are about half a mile south of The Grove, 100 yards beyond the bottom end of the High Street.

I would say The Grove is desirable and priced accordingly and there is a good local primary school (Claremont). Another area with good parkland is around Rusthall Common and if parking a car for a commute from Rusthall it seems most leave their car on hills running down to Victoria Grove and then hoof it the last couple of hundred yards or so to the station, which would likely in total add ten to twelve minutes.

Unfortunately the nearest stream walks with public footpaths are between Southborough, Tonbridge & Pembury, three miles further north.

Last edited by Pistolpete2; May 31st 2012 at 6:20 pm. Reason: Common and Geograph
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Old May 31st 2012, 10:25 pm
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

Thank you so much, great to get some insider info.
I will have a look at the Grove area and hopefully some properties in our price range will be available.The walks sound great.
Is Southborough reasonably nice and safe,I see it is cheaper,is that because it is not close to a rail station or is it a bit dumpy.I have seen some nice houses there.Also you mentioned Rusthall is that a nice area I have read it is a bit downmarket,only going on comments on websites.
I just want my son to feel safe walking home from nights out and coming home from Uni or work.From what I gather TW seems fairly safe,obvisiously no where is 100% safe I know.
I really appreciate all opinions.We have friends dotted around Kent and family across the Dartford Tunnel in Essex,so will be perfect location.
OH will hopefully get work in The City so Cannon St will be ideal.
Right I am going to check out the walks now.
Thanks Pistolpete2
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Old Jun 1st 2012, 11:22 am
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

Originally Posted by Belles30 View Post
Thank you so much, great to get some insider info.
I will have a look at the Grove area and hopefully some properties in our price range will be available.The walks sound great.
Is Southborough reasonably nice and safe,I see it is cheaper,is that because it is not close to a rail station or is it a bit dumpy.I have seen some nice houses there.Also you mentioned Rusthall is that a nice area I have read it is a bit downmarket,only going on comments on websites.
I just want my son to feel safe walking home from nights out and coming home from Uni or work.From what I gather TW seems fairly safe,obvisiously no where is 100% safe I know.
I really appreciate all opinions.We have friends dotted around Kent and family across the Dartford Tunnel in Essex,so will be perfect location.
OH will hopefully get work in The City so Cannon St will be ideal.
Right I am going to check out the walks now.
Thanks Pistolpete2
I don't think that Southborough and Rusthall are dumpy but not as salubrious, shall we say, as the parts of T-Wells around the Common and The Grove and on the Frant Road* and they are cheaper because the commute is harder. Houses also tend to be terraced in Rusthall. There are some nice houses on the main drag through S-Boro, up near the cricket ground, towards Tonbridge. The High Brooms area (has its own station) seems a bit dumpy. To me housing up north of Camden Road is a lot less attractive in general.

*Also check this area out and Eridge Road around Broadwater Down for walks and better quality housing and residential areas.
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Old Jun 1st 2012, 11:51 am
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

Originally Posted by Belles30 View Post
Thank you so much, great to get some insider info.
I will have a look at the Grove area and hopefully some properties in our price range will be available.The walks sound great.
Is Southborough reasonably nice and safe,I see it is cheaper,is that because it is not close to a rail station or is it a bit dumpy.I have seen some nice houses there.Also you mentioned Rusthall is that a nice area I have read it is a bit downmarket,only going on comments on websites.
I just want my son to feel safe walking home from nights out and coming home from Uni or work.From what I gather TW seems fairly safe,obvisiously no where is 100% safe I know.
I really appreciate all opinions.We have friends dotted around Kent and family across the Dartford Tunnel in Essex,so will be perfect location.
OH will hopefully get work in The City so Cannon St will be ideal.
Right I am going to check out the walks now.
Thanks Pistolpete2
Southborough seemed nice and safe, I only worked there for 3 years (close to the cricket pitch as another poster has mentioned) but my boss, who was very picky, lived there for some time and liked the area.

There are many worse places to live in commutable distance for London for my limited knowledge.

Good luck
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Old Jun 1st 2012, 11:17 pm
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

Thank you again for your replies,good to get first hand knowledge.Oh one more question sorry to be a pain,can you recommend some good locals.cheers
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Old Jun 2nd 2012, 12:13 pm
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

Originally Posted by Belles30 View Post
Thank you again for your replies,good to get first hand knowledge.Oh one more question sorry to be a pain,can you recommend some good locals.cheers
If by local you are referring to pubs,

Most of the list are particularly good for Harvey's of Lewes or local Larkins of Chiddingstone drinkers and are all, in my view, civilised establishments:

Almost all have their own websites - I don't see The Compasses.

All in T-Wells,

The Grove Tavern - Mt Sion

Royal Wells Hotel** - Mt Ephraim - yes a local! but also has a restaurant

The Beacon - Rusthall - end of a good walk! also has fairly pricey food

The Compasses - Little Mt Sion - a bit characterless with its modernised interior these days but decent food as well as beer.

Sankey's Pub, Seafood Brasserie - Mt Ephraim near Hospital - main bar

Black Pig - Grove Hill - gastropub, but nice drinking area in and outside

In Langton Green*:

The Hare - also good for food.

When I was a teenager we used to frequent (around 1970) the Sussex Arms near the Pantiles and it was fairly wild in the evening in those days but I have not visited since so can't give a view or recommendation.

In Southborough, this used to look pretty rough but, as is typical these days, it appears to have moved up market:

Can't give an opinion on it though.

http://www.thehandandsceptre.co.uk

*For general info, not the OP - Langton Green, which is on the main road heading west out of T-Wells towards Groombridge, East Grinstead and Gatwick is another popular if somewhat expensive (some very expensive) residential area. There is a very good private school (Holmewood House) up to prep age there (start at 4?).

**The Royal Wells also owns the Beau Nash Tavern which is behind it and is also worth a look.

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Jun 2nd 2012 at 12:23 pm. Reason: beau nash and websites
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Old Jun 2nd 2012, 4:00 pm
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

Originally Posted by Pistolpete2 View Post
If by local you are referring to pubs,

Most of the list are particularly good for Harvey's of Lewes or local Larkins of Chiddingstone drinkers and are all, in my view, civilised establishments:

Almost all have their own websites - I don't see The Compasses.

All in T-Wells,

The Grove Tavern - Mt Sion

Royal Wells Hotel** - Mt Ephraim - yes a local! but also has a restaurant

The Beacon - Rusthall - end of a good walk! also has fairly pricey food

The Compasses - Little Mt Sion - a bit characterless with its modernised interior these days but decent food as well as beer.

Sankey's Pub, Seafood Brasserie - Mt Ephraim near Hospital - main bar

Black Pig - Grove Hill - gastropub, but nice drinking area in and outside

In Langton Green*:

The Hare - also good for food.

When I was a teenager we used to frequent (around 1970) the Sussex Arms near the Pantiles and it was fairly wild in the evening in those days but I have not visited since so can't give a view or recommendation.

In Southborough, this used to look pretty rough but, as is typical these days, it appears to have moved up market:

Can't give an opinion on it though.

http://www.thehandandsceptre.co.uk

*For general info, not the OP - Langton Green, which is on the main road heading west out of T-Wells towards Groombridge, East Grinstead and Gatwick is another popular if somewhat expensive (some very expensive) residential area. There is a very good private school (Holmewood House) up to prep age there (start at 4?).

**The Royal Wells also owns the Beau Nash Tavern which is behind it and is also worth a look.
Haven't been there but The Bull on the Frant Road beyond the Broadwater Down turn-off looks good and well commended on tripadvisor (FWIW) and the food slate with mains @ 11.95GBP seems fair enough. Beer is Shepherd Neame and most importantly dogs are welcome.
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Old Jun 3rd 2012, 10:48 pm
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

I actually looked at the Bull in Frant Rd looks very nice,we have seen a couple of lovely garden flats in Broadwater Down.
The Bull would be the closest,I didn't know dogs are welcome that is another plus point
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Old Jun 4th 2012, 12:59 pm
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

Originally Posted by Belles30 View Post
I actually looked at the Bull in Frant Rd looks very nice,we have seen a couple of lovely garden flats in Broadwater Down.
The Bull would be the closest,I didn't know dogs are welcome that is another plus point
I see the plentiful supply of reasonable property in the Broadwater Down and Warwick Park area.

The Bull's website seems to be down today but the dogs welcome bit is also on tripadvisor as a peculiarity/rare feature of the Bull in the T-wells area.

Have tried to broaden your search area, based upon your prerequisites and quite frankly, apart possibly from Sevenoaks, where country access is actually a bit tougher, I cannot put forward any other alternative to Tunbridge Wells on the south side of London.

I would say that T-Wells is actually pretty unique, like the other spa towns of Bath (city), Cheltenham and Harrogate, for the lifestyle it offers but with the added plus of good commutability.
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Old Jun 7th 2012, 5:14 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?
Not had time to go through the whole thread, but lived in Kent for most of my life (lived in London for 10 years but headed back home most weekends) before we moved to Canada. Not sure why anyone would say Sevenoaks is terrible?! If you need to be close to London, I think it's one of the best towns and areas you could pick.

We lived in Sevenoaks and nearby Otford for about five years. Loved them both. Easy access to London (25 mins by train to London Bridge), close enough to get to the seaside in under an hour, near to Sussex, close enough to the M25 to get away / go shopping (if Bluewater or similar is your kind of thing). I don't have a bad word to say about the area, really.

I see from the last few posts that you're also considering Tunbridge Wells (my wife's from that area so again, know it quite well). Another good choice as an area (and bigger than Sevenoaks, too), but if commuting to London is a consideration then you'll be adding at least another 20-25 minutes to your journey (each way) not to mention quite a steep uplift in the train fares, too. It never felt as quaint to me as Sevenoaks did.

I spent my first 18 years, however, in and around Maidstone. My family still lives there. And all are looking to move. Even the nicer areas aren't what they used to be. It's ok, but before we moved out here we were weighing up whether to buy in Maidstone, move up north or move away to Canada. Maidstone was the bottom option of the three.

Good luck with whatever you end up choosing - despite having moved away, I do love my home county. Well, parts of it, anyway!
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Old Jun 7th 2012, 5:43 pm
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

Thanks for the personal experiences of each area, SJ. Really good to know your reservations about Maidstone, as this will definitely contribute to our approach to each of the areas we visit later this month.
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Old Jun 7th 2012, 5:45 pm
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

Originally Posted by sonnyjames View Post
Not had time to go through the whole thread, but lived in Kent for most of my life (lived in London for 10 years but headed back home most weekends) before we moved to Canada. Not sure why anyone would say Sevenoaks is terrible?! If you need to be close to London, I think it's one of the best towns and areas you could pick.

We lived in Sevenoaks and nearby Otford for about five years. Loved them both. Easy access to London (25 mins by train to London Bridge), close enough to get to the seaside in under an hour, near to Sussex, close enough to the M25 to get away / go shopping (if Bluewater or similar is your kind of thing). I don't have a bad word to say about the area, really.

I see from the last few posts that you're also considering Tunbridge Wells (my wife's from that area so again, know it quite well). Another good choice as an area (and bigger than Sevenoaks, too), but if commuting to London is a consideration then you'll be adding at least another 20-25 minutes to your journey (each way) not to mention quite a steep uplift in the train fares, too. It never felt as quaint to me as Sevenoaks did.

I spent my first 18 years, however, in and around Maidstone. My family still lives there. And all are looking to move. Even the nicer areas aren't what they used to be. It's ok, but before we moved out here we were weighing up whether to buy in Maidstone, move up north or move away to Canada. Maidstone was the bottom option of the three.

Good luck with whatever you end up choosing - despite having moved away, I do love my home county. Well, parts of it, anyway!
Found this in a quote on here back in 2007 which seems to sum up what several thought of the place at the time:

"I'm in a village on the edge of Sevenoaks. While it's nice, you either have loads of money or no money and for those stuck in between it's hard. Town is dying and it's become just pubs, estate agents, roadworks and restaurants with quite a bit of trouble if you're out at closing time. Our local school is awful so we have our children in a private school at the mo."

I too lived in Sevenoaks, for about 12 years, and even worked there for a while which was thoroughly enjoyable, but property prices are very high anywhere just reasonably close to the station which is the key issue that puts most off, aside from the general feeling of very considerable affluence around which can be intimidating.

Haven't been back for a while but retail now seems just the same as in any comparable town as the family butchers, fishmongers and greengrocers are long gone to be replaced by Waitrose and Tesco?? at Bulls Head as I recall. There's a better choice of restaurants these days though than your bog-standard Italian and Chinese!

If I were looking to return, I would look at somewhere around Brasted or Sundridge and time it nicely to come in on the bus to the station. That way you can have easy access to nice country as well.

Otford would also be good but is a bit tougher roundabout commute into London when the best route is to come back to Sevenoaks before turning back north (43mins if you make the best connection), unless you are headed direct to Victoria (45mins). Annual season is the same as Sevenoaks unless you use the fast direct service (51mins) into St Pancras.

Cheapest currently on the market near Otford Station is this:

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-...-22340190.html

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Jun 7th 2012 at 6:07 pm.
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Old Jun 7th 2012, 8:59 pm
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

Westerham looks lovely as well does Brasted,will investigate once there.We don't have a big budget as we don't want a huge mortgage around our neck,so for us I think we will get more for our money in TW.Being a bigger place,there is a lot more stock on the market to choose from.Sevenoaks looks lovely but very expensive.Nice to hear your personal experiences,it does sound like this area of Kent is lovely.I briefly toyed with Maidstone but I didn't think the town centre looked half as nice as TW.Cheers.
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Old Jun 7th 2012, 9:42 pm
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

I was in TW over Christmas and wasn't that enthralled by it to be truthful. I guess I was hoping for more. I found Canterbury to be far nicer.
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Old Jun 7th 2012, 9:54 pm
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Default Re: Kent: so confused; no one seems to like any of the towns?

Hi Britwhore,did you visit the touristy area ie the Pantiles,we visited years ago and just went to this area,like you wasn't over impressed,but looking on google maps I didn't realise all the other areas,the High St and architecture looks beautiful.I will have to look again in person to get a proper feel if it is the right area for us.I love Guildford but too expensive unfortunately.It's hard trying to know exactly where we want too live from the otherside of the world,but excellent to hear everyone's opinions.cheers.
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