Moving to Canterbury(42 Posts)
We're planning on making the time honoured move out of SE London (East Dulwich) to Kent and having read loads of messages on mumsnet we are particularly interested in Canterbury but know nothing about it! Can anyone tell me anything about good places to live in/near to Canterbury please? I found an old review on the Guardian website that said "Within the walls are lanes with brooks and medieval houses, where you can still imagine monks tending duck ponds. There are nice villagey inner areas, such as St Dunstan's. The best suburban streets are south of the centre on the hills around the Old Dover Road and towards the university in the north-east. The countryside is much in demand, especially those lovely villages, such as Chartham and Wye". This was written 5 years ago so don't know if it's still relevant?
We have 3 little girls (aged 3,5 and 7) so schools will be very important but more than anything at this point we want to get a feel for the different parts of Canterbury in particularly that are family friendly. Any thoughts very gratefully received!
I used to live near Canterbury, in Chartham. We lived on a new development which was lovely. Wye is very nice, technically a village but it has a lot of facilities and a high speed rail link to London. But it is expensive! Chilham is a good village too. Villages around Canterbury are generally nice and in my opinion good value for money as you get more space and parking generally than in Canterbury itself. Canterbury is lovely, it does have a great cultural vibe but some of the big issues are lack of parking and traffic and flooding in some areas.
St Stephens is good, St Dunstans nice historic area but limited parking, Wincheap- I wouldn't live there but it is on the up so to speak. Old Dover Road and New Dover Road very nice but you pay for it.
There are parts to avoid such as Sturry Road area and and Hersden.
My knowledge is about 5 years out of date but hope that helps.
I love Canterbury but only really know the town centre. Gawd it's lovely, the Marlowe theatre is such a good feature, a great vibe with lots of students, coffee shops, the river that runs through it. Can't praise it highly enough. So if I were in a position to move (and had the dosh) I would want to live within the city walls. If you are coming from EDulwich area you can get a super house!
...oh oh oh OMG - a thread I can contribute to.....
Ask me anything - I live in one of those "villages to the South" of Canterbury... we love it but there are downsides - limited bus services to Canterbury - not a problem for little ones but a BIG DOWNER for teenagers.
I must admit that even now I don't know much about the surrounding areas but would avoid Wincheap and Sturry.... good for shopping but that is it...
When we re-located years and years ago from South London - I drove around in the mist and fog and was very down-beat - didn't want to live ANYWHERE here. However, we took a trip around all the local School Summer fairs to get a feel for things and where we would like to live.
We wanted a village that had a shop, pub etc etc etc - stuff that we could walk to - although when we choose our village there was a Pub but no shop. There is still a great little Primary School but sadly the Pub was sold - but the Village still remains quite lively..
Stelling Minnis is an area that I would still like to live if we ever downsize - it has a Pub, a good Shop, great walks - direct road links to Canterbury if you turn right - and Folkestone, Dover, Hythe if you turn left... and then onto LONDON...
Wye is quite good as well - not a small village as it is quite spread out - but is classified as Ashford rather than Canterbury..
Please send a PM if you want more information .... or any help on Estate Agents etc etc etc
We have been here 17 years now so we are nearly considered locals - but I must admit at first I hated it - shops used to close for a 1/2 day on Wednesdays and there was no John Lewis within 100 miles - things have changed.... and when you are on first name terms with the Postie it is quite unnerving when he delivers the post to tell you that you son has passed his 11+ before you open the envelope !!!! I will never forgot that day...
Thank you everyone for all these brilliant comments - really helpful. We are planning on coming down soon for a reccie (without kids in tow) and will use all your comments to form the basis of our search. This was just what we needed!
lookoveryourshoulder I will definitely PM you nearer the time for more info!!
If anyone else has anything else to add please keep the comments coming - we don't know Canterbury at all so are completely in the dark!
Primary schools - Blean or Bridge (both villages outside Canterbury).
You could always look to the coast - Whitstable?
At the moment we are thinking we want to be near or in Canterbury but are open to ideas!
Having two universities there means there a lot of students!!! This can impact people looking for part time jobs etc
We would both need to get into London to work but not on a daily basis, possibly a couple of times a week, so would need to be relatively near a station with a decent connection to London. We've lived in London for so long that near or in Canterbury seems like a sensible next step rather than going radically rural but who knows!
I'm biased but what about Olney. Access by train to London from 3 stations (husband in London today). It's a market town not far from the M1. Fab pre-schools, infant, junior and secondary schools all within walking distance. Loads of shops, pubs and restaurants and countryside too! Great community spirit.
I live in Canterbury.
Hales Place (where I live now) is very student-y. Lots of ex-Council housing, not the nicest looking area. But the primary school is good, I think. And there are nice greens and it's an easy walk into town (20mins) or Canterbury West (15 mins) station, where the High Speed rail goes from/to.
Wincheap (where I lived last year) is less nice. Little Victorian terraces, fewer students, more families. About 5 mins walk from town, 5 mins from Canterbury East station. Primary less good. Easy access to countryside if you like walking.
St Dunstans is nice, like bits of north-west London. 5-10 mins to West station, 15 mins to town.
There's a Tesco express in town, a big Sainsbury's and a huge Asda. Parking is expensive, I walk into town mostly.
Ashford's ok and is 37 minutes from St Pancras on the train. 20 minutes from Canterbury in the car.
If you want good access to London, Canterbury West train station (there is also a Canterbury East) has the high speed links into London. I believe Blean, St Stephen's and St Peter's are all very good schools.
We are trying to move to Canterbury and actually it becomes enormous to deal with.
Two "children" 16 and 13, looking for "schools" and a well-comunicated neighborhood in canterbury I feel a bit lost.
As a family, we actually prefer to live near the center and next to schools.
Any advise is very welcomed.
Canterbury is great although there is a very high percentage of student houses in town as there are two universities. So be aware when house hunting. There are excellent grammar schools but you will be moving into a 11+ area. Some lovely villages aroubd the area. Avoid Ashford. Whitstable is great but expensive. Do gave a look at faversham love it there schools not so good as canterbury though.
Both faversham and whitstable have high speed train links to London. Ten minutes drive from canterbury most secondary schools will be canterbury. Pm me about schools etc ive lived in area all my life
I'm curious, Olney and Faversham - what's the vibe there? is it very MC (kike most of surrey), or laidback, is there open-minded approach to newcomers, on the other hand ar there rough areas there too?
Faversham is a mixture-quite a lot of "down from Lunnons" but also a lot of families who've lived there for generations. Some very very deprived areas ........
what curlew says sums it up. I love faversham and its certainly upwardly mobile i think but there are definately some rough areas - the weatherspoons pub on the highstreet is horrible, i walk on the other side of the road . Ive not heard of Olney though.
thanks curlew - so are these mainly middle class or a mix? I generally dislike it when a place is strongly biased socially towards one group.
well, Olney is off the list for anyone who wants a rail link - I've just looked.
NB do please have a look at MN local
Sorry I know I sound like a broken record with this but there are lots of folk working hard on it.
Olivia, it seems like local section is for arranging meetups much more than giving general info. Also nice to read about many locations in Property all in one place - especially in case of places that you wouldn't even know until you read about them.
I think you'll like faversham then, there does tend to be a real mix there - I would say it is a predominantly working class area and i mean that in a good way. I mean, whats not to like about the town that boasts the countries first brewery . Whitstable tends to be very middle class
poncey although there are areas of poverty and the local secondary school is to be avoided. Herne bay tends to be mixed although not so nice as faversham, there are a lot of bedsit type places in hbay. If it wasn't for the beach, id choose faversham any day. Canterbury is very diverse but you will notice lots of students so areas with nice three/four bedroom houses are often predominantly student lets and can be a bit noisy. I wouldn't want to live in canterbury as it seems less "personal" and less community based.
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